The Artwork of Sci-Fi Horror Adventure Stasis

Stasis is a Kickstarter 2D isometric horror adventure game that's like Aliens meets Sanitarium.

If you’ve read any of my articles here on Cliqist, you’ll know I love point and click adventure games. Browse my Examiner write-ups, and you’ll discover that I have a soft spot for the sci-fi-horror subgenre. As such, I loved Stasis. Its artwork is something of a video game-cinema conversion.

StasisArt1
Uh oh…someone call Ripley.

A 2D isometric point and click title, Stasis embodies many of my favorite sci-fi classics. The opening sequence features the ominous spaceship Groomlake floating eerily, in a scene seemingly plucked from “Alien” or “Event Horizon.” The long panning shot could easily be mistaken for the Nostromo or the Lewis and Clark.

Stasis

Inside the Groomlake, it’s a neat mix of futuristic tech and everyday objects. The interior of the ship oozes with inspiration from the visionary H.R. Giger. Gargantuan rooms are loaded with surrealist decoration: pipes and tubes cling to the walls in a lifelike, menacing fashion. While each room might not actually be that large, the isometric, top-down view lends the appearance of being in a cavernous setting.

StasisArt2
Groomlake? More like Doomlake…

Separation from the player puts a greater emphasis on horror elements. Unlike Alien: Isolation, which I adored, I never really felt threatened. Rather, atmosphere manifests a persistent creepiness, largely shaped from the physical environment. Almost each room of the Groomlake lies in disrepair, and the derelict condition of the ship is pretty haunting. An abandoned wheelchair in the infirmary or empty crib establish an eerie setting.

StasisArtFeat

The animation walks a pleasant line between realism and cartoonish graphics. However, these aren’t the friendly, goofy cartoons rampant across the airwaves in the 90’s. Don’t expect the Ninja Turtles to go cowabunga-ing across the screen. Rather, Stasis opts to focus on minute details instead of uber-realism. It’s a successful endeavor that actually makes the game more frightening than pure eye candy visuals like Infinity Blade or Ryse: Son of Rome.

StasisArt3
Open the pod bay doors Hal. I mean the stasis pods.

Ultimately, Stasis’ art plays a massive role in fostering a sense of suspense. Spoiler alert: as a point and click adventure game, there aren’t really any moments where you as the player feel in danger. I did die a few times, but my demise arrived in the same fashion of death in games like Broken Sword. Sure there were a few jump scares, one of which sent me a few inches in my computer chair, but much of the actual horror is simply the grotesque, vividly-detailed Groomlake interior. While hovering your mouse over various in-game elements, like blood or decrepit lab equipment yielded Kburickian descriptions, often the not knowing presented more horrific possibilities than monsters and gore. The art in Stasis is gorgeously haunting, and it’s worth playing just for the setting.


STASIS is our Crowdfunded Game of the Month for September 2015, be sure to check out the rest of our special coverage.

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Mitchell Long
Mitchell “Moe” Long is a North Carolina writer with a passion for all things pop culture. Besides gaming, Moe enjoys cult classic films, listening to vinyl, and drinking far too much coffee. In addition to Cliqist, Moe writes about music and movies, and is currently composing what he hopes will one day be a novel about the universally awkward period of life known as high school. Feel free to check out and subscribe to his Examiner page as well as connect with him on Twitter.
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  • NorBdelta

    Has a slight Dead Space feeling from the pictures

    • Moe Long

      Great point. Hate to admit it, but haven’t actually played Dead Space. Got a free copy from Origin a while back, but haven’t started. Might be on deck next, perfect for October. Cheers!

      • NorBdelta

        Dead Space 1 is a must play!

        Back when I didn’t play games as heavily as I do now I could only play it for maybe 20-30 minutes and then take a bread to let the heart relax due to the extreme horror suspense the game built. Coupled with the scarce ammo on harder difficulties it is a terrifyingly good survival experience. Shame that 2 and 3 were stripped of the horror-suspense-survival aspect that the first game pulled off wonderfully.

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