Preview

Haunted House

Atari's Haunted House Reboot Aims For Mature, Exploration-Based Terror
by Mike Futter on Sep 01, 2014 at 07:17 AM
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Dreampainters
Release: Holiday 2014
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PC



Haunted House is one of Atari's oldest franchises, dating back to 1982 and the Atari 2600. In that game, you played a boy searching the mansion of Zachary Graves for three pieces of an urn. The upcoming reboot from Dreampainters (Anna), updates that basic concept for a new generation.

You play Anya Graves, who has inherited the estate of her deceased relative, Zachary. The old man was into the occult, and his sprawling property is filled with artifacts, locations, and apparitions that have scarred the living world.

Anya must survive the night to inherit the property in a title that is heavily focused on exploration. She isn't without powers, though. Anya has the innate ability to see the spectral realm. This is used to solve puzzles and progress through the mansion.

She can also collect items to use in the crafting of spells. She'll find recipes in the four primal elements: earth, fire, water, air. These are not offensive abilities, rather they provide the player tools for uncovering more of the mystery. Illumination and telekenisis are two that have been mentioned.

Some of the events players will encounter are scripted, but others are entirely random, which will keep players on their toes for additional plays through. We also witnessed an encounter with an aggressive enemy, and while there isn't combat per se, exploration does have perils.

The title is being built in Unreal Engine 4 and looks wonderful. Where the last Haunted House title (released in 2010) went for a more cartoon-inspired look, the upcoming title is intended to frighten. We didn't get hands-on with it this time, but we're eager to poke around the dusty Graves mansion for ourselves before Atari releases the game this holiday.