The erotic horror film Lust for Darkness from 2018 by the Polish studio Movie Games Lunarium was no blockbuster, but it definitely managed to get the attention of the players. Thanks to the attractive combination of nudity and scare, the developers could not complain about the lack of interest of the audience. Even though the game wasn’t very scary or exciting. The team decided to correct these and many other errors and technical shortcomings in the sequel Lust from Beyond, which is perhaps better than the previous title in all respects. Nevertheless, the result is only a slightly above-average act, which will appeal especially to those who already know in advance that this is something for them.
Lust from Beyond is a psychological horror film with elements of occultism, mysticism and sexual violence, inspired by HP Lovecraft, HR Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński.
Young antique dealer Victor Holloway has a problem. He is haunted by disturbing and at the same time exciting visions of an ominous world where there is no difference between pain and pleasure. However, his fiancée is worried about Victor’s seizures, so he recommends him to a session with a mysterious psychologist. Instead of helping him, however, he gets a season ticket to the land of lust called Lusst’ghaa. Lust from Beyond is a psychological horror film with elements of occultism, mysticism and sexual violence, inspired by HP Lovecraft, HR Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński. After a few demos, a recent beta, and about 10 hours ago, I emerged from a game world that wasn’t bad, but not as good as I had hoped.
The authors have definitely made great progress compared to Lust for Darkness. The novelty looks better, plays better, has more interesting characters, story and mechanisms. I would definitely not call it a walking simulator, as the developers self-critically labeled the first part some time ago. Lust from Beyond has meaningful dialogues, serves choices that have real consequences and different endings, and offers more logical puzzles, sneaks, and actions than the previous game. It’s a real horror adventure. Some puzzles really pleasantly surprised me, especially at the end of the game, which has a good tempo and pleasant gradation in terms of story and gameplay. On the other hand, neither stealth nor action is convincing. In both cases, the game is not mastered perfectly, but shooting and fighting with a knife still amused me a little more than sneaking in the shadows, which has no clear rules or laws. At the end of the game, you will really enjoy the revolver, including boss fights.
In addition to the described mechanisms, from time to time you also flee from some danger or acquire a special supernatural ability in the world of Lusst’gha, thanks to which you can manipulate the environment. However, I do not want to divulge further details. By far the most pleasant surprise for me is, in the end, a story from which I did not promise much. It builds on trial versions, as well as the previous game, and expands the mythology of the world in an interesting way. Lust from Beyond really successfully develops the relatively simple plot of Lust for Darkness, offering several surprises and twists. Although the authors did not avoid some clichés, in the end it was the scenario that gave me the desire to continue and find out how things actually are. The interesting architecture of some locations also deserves praise. In my opinion, the graphics of the environment are among the more successful parts, and I was able to forgive the authors for the fact that the individual scenery is repeatedly recycled, as well as the whole situation from the demo versions, even though other characters performed in a different role.
But even though the developers have improved a lot, they still have a long way to go. The game is bothered by very long loading, ugly faces and generally weaker animations. The technical side deserves more care. Some checkpoints are very poorly distributed and I have repeatedly come across bugs. For example, the one when the character got stuck while pressing a mechanism, and with it the whole game. Another otherwise unfortunate situation was when you were looking for an important person in the enemy’s background. The frustrating moment was created by having to solve several puzzles at the same time, while in the intricate labyrinth of the underground maze you are tirelessly chased by enemies, including one invincible enemy. He always has to run away, make a wheel, go back to the puzzle, break his head with it for a while and watch your eye to see if your nemesis is approaching again.
I was also disappointed by the fact that sex is associated only with a very banal quick-time event, which rather degrades the experience of the situation. Maybe I have the boundaries a little further, but the content of the game did not shock me in any way. Everyone will perceive the combination of eroticism, horror and violence differently. Some may be pleased, others may ignore her, and others may be repulsed. The harsh sexual scenes here do not necessarily provoke the players, I sincerely believe that BDSM practices are closer to the topic than the attempt to graft gentle erotica with loving touches on the scare and fight for life. However, this does not mean that it is a substance for everyone. There is no right and wrong balance between nudity and horror, so everyone has to make a picture of themselves to see if it’s something for them, based on the available samples, including playable ones. And for all cases, there is also the option to turn on the censored mode, which hides the most spicy behind the blurred pixels.
The authors were able to prove that sex and scaring can be put together. Unfortunately, in their performance, the game is not as sexy or as scary as I had hoped. Here, a small team encounters a barrier in the form of technology, experience and budget. But if you’re interested in digital erotica, you probably know that this is one of the few non-traditional alternatives to what exists in this field. Great games with nothing like this will never come, and Lust from Beyond still offers more fun and gameplay than pure pornography from ones and zeros.