Westwood Shadows Beethoven

Prowl through yet another mental asylum in Westwood Shadows

Much like the Layers of Fear series, Westwood Shadows is yet another horror game centred around the thorny subject of mental illness. You play as the broody Peter Bennet, a detective who had been tormented by the loss of his wife and son in a tragic car accident years ago. Burying himself in the drudgery of police work, he came across a startling discovery in a mental asylum that would upend his life–again. My guess? It probably has something to do with the fateful accident that left him as a broken shell of a man.

The game’s free demo quickly tosses you into the fray. You begin with an investigation in a luxurious Victorian mansion, adorned with classical paintings and marble statues of Roman mythology. The couple who live here have been reported missing. The place is dimly lit and surprisingly dingy, but you picked up a flashlight that is conveniently outfitted with a UV light. Scraps of information are strewn in corners that’ll reveal more about the family you’re investigating–and perhaps yours, too. It’s all rather creepy and atmospheric, but the game still recycles plenty of horror tropes that are in plenty of other titles.

It remains to be seen how far Westwood Shadows will steer from typical horror conventions, especially with its portrayal of mental health. Nonetheless I, a certified wuss, have been spooked. Experience all the jitters and anxieties of navigating a creepy old mansion over at the game’s Steam page, if you like.

Westwood Shadows also has a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter planned for the summer, and if all goes well, it should see a release on PC and in nail-biting VR, too.