The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: Review


This game was reviewed on PC.

Reviewed by:  Nikola Hristov

The asymmetric horror game genre is a gift that keeps on giving with many developers deciding to try and enter the conversations about these games. Horror is usually terrifying, but there's something about playing with friends that makes it fun - scary, true, but also fun. This is how games such as Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th were born, and if you've ever played any of them, then you'll feel right at home with Sumo Digital and Gun Interactive's new installment in the classic horror IP.

Starting off similarly to the movies, everything begins with a bunch of friends going on a weekend trip, before things turn for the worst. Like I already mentioned, this game is yet another entry in the asymmetric multiplayer horror genre, where some players play as victims trying to escape, while other players hunt them down. The major difference this time is that instead of a single murderer hunting 4 victims, you have 3 members of the Slaughter family, available from the 5 playable ones - Leatherface, Johnny, Sissy, The Cook and Hitchhiker. All of them have various abilities, such as poisoning traps, echolocation and of course - revving chainsaws!

As a hunter, this game is completely different from others of the same IP. Despite the Slaughter family being forces to be reckoned with, you are able to play with 3 of them at the same time. They've been balanced so that they're not overpowered by themselves - thus forcing the murderers to communicate between each other, just like the ones they're trying to kill. This makes it a lot more interesting and frankly fun - because playing with friends in DBD would often leave you in 4v1 scenarios, and you would hunt your buddies while they're in a different discord channel, giving you a feeling of isolation. Now that's no longer the case - and you can bring out your sadistic self along with two companions, making it more fun to hunt than ever before!

I cannot say the same for the victims' side however. They didn't necessarily try to change their gameplay enough to make it feel different from other games of the genre. You still have the same start to every game where you're just collecting items, you still have the same generator and lockpick puzzles and the end goal is still to open a door on the map and escape the slaughterhouse. And the skill trees are cool, but present in all the other games too. You have more options to defend yourself from the three hunters though - such as a knife to stab them in the back and wrestling them off to buy yourself some time to run. That being said - the feeling is exactly the same as DBD and FT13th, and overtime feels annoying and samey, instead of being different like it's for the hunters. It also doesn't help that the three maps of the game have very similar layouts and despite the great atmosphere don't feel unique enough to excite me.

I don't often complain about performance, but this time around I have to mention a few things. Namely, the frame drops whenever combat begins and you start slashing around. The animations (especially backstabs) often look janky. Thankfully, these aren't enough to ruin the whole experience, but it does hinder the score of the game on this review. Just like other horror PvP games, The Texas CSM will be updated regularly with new maps and characters, as well as addition to the skill trees, I hope.

Overall, my experience with the game could've been better, but it's not a bad one by any means. I still had lots of fun with friends, especially playing the members of the Slaughter family this time around. The multiple hunters aspect really switches things up for both sides, enough to give the game a feeling of differentiation from other titles of the same genre. But the rather repetitive victim gameplay and performance issues drag the score down a decent amount. If it were up to me, I would wait until the game gets updated and has more content added, before jumping into this chaotic adventure - and make sure you do it with friends!

Reviewed by: Nikola Hristov