So Stasis is an isometric sci-fi horror point and click adventure game. That doesn’t really sound like the kind of perspective or genre that would be all that effective in terms of horror, but it really pulls it off. You play a guy who has woken up from…STASIS…and found himself alone in a seemingly empty and mysterious spaceship. You remember going into stasis with the intent of going on vacation to another planet with your wife and child, but they are nowhere to be found and this ship doesn’t look like a very good vacation spot at all. Your mission is to find your family and figure out where the hell you are and what the hell is going on here. The environments and the atmosphere in general are so detailed and alive that it really sells the feeling that you’re all alone and just waiting for some mysterious terrors to come crawling around any given corner.
The many well-written text logs help add to the detail and dread of each location too. For instance, you enter a room where there’s a locked box and a text log with a detailed description in a journal about a crew member working in a room with some large clone vats filled with experiments gone wrong. Once all the trouble begins on the ship the person finds themselves trapped with their only way out to be to swim across the clone vat full of slimy mutant things. Naturally, in the next room you find the very same vat with the crew members corpse right in the middle and have to figure out how to do a better job than he did.
The puzzles are pretty well done too. You’re not given much in the way of hints about what you’re supposed to do a lot of the time. No flashing items or helpful hint-giving companions to hold your hand along the way, you just have to wrack your brain for possible solutions and be very thorough in your searching and meddling. Though some things you might not want to poke too hard…
I won’t get too much into the details, but the situation turns out to be pretty damn fucked up as you continue to find out what unsettling experiments were taking place on this mystery ship and what gruesome deaths most of the crew met while you were napping. You are forced into worse and worse environments and situations as you progress too, including some fun self-surgery!
Anyway…let’s just say this is not a happy story. If you’re into horror games at all, you are sure to love this one too. It has all the horror you could ask for, not lazily relying on just jump scares or gore (though it has plenty of both of those too), but creating a genuinely ominous atmosphere that you really feel the need to escape from. Stasis absolutely lives up to all the hype surrounding it and is one of the most disturbing horror games I’ve ever played.
Oh, are you still here? Want some more? Here, have a video of your happy reunion with your daughter! (SERIOUSLY THOUGH: MASSIVE NEAR-END SPOILER and easily the most fucked up part of the game…so don’t blame me if you watch it anyway!)