Two years and over forty updates after the launch of the Kickstarter, the first part of The Slaughter has finally been released. Developer Brainchild has kept backers in the loop with new information on nearly a monthly basis since the campaign ended and I’m happy to say that after playing the first act that I’m seriously hooked on the title and can’t wait to get my hands on the remaining chapters. For a point and click adventure it may not be for everyone, but for those who love a good murder mystery set in Victorian London you certainly can’t go wrong with this one.
In The Slaughter you play as a down on his luck detective named Sydney Emerson. Relegated to doing odd jobs of finding missing pets and other tasks that he finds demeaning he soon finds himself hired to perform basically a “smash and grab”, minus the smash, in the local mortuary. Little does he know that this unorthodox request will land him in a much more precarious predicament than originally expected.
While Sydney is hot on the trail for a missing dog that he was hired to bring back he comes across the most recent crime scene of The Ripper. Being set in the late nineteenth century I can only assume that this is the infamous Jack the Ripper but beyond his name and that he’s a serial killer little is known beyond his MO. Throughout his journey he’s hounded by his own demons and you can easily spot how he’s slowly falling down the rabbit hole towards madness. His dream sequences alone are surreal and show just how unhinged he’s getting towards the end of the first act.
What had originally captured my interest in backing The Slaughter back when it ran on Kickstarter, aside from the obvious reason that it’s an adventure game, was the more strange and surreal aspect of delving into Sydney’s mind and dreams as well as the noir style murder story set during the era of Sherlock Holmes. A mixture of Lovecraft and Doyle, if you will. The whole murder mystery was just icing on the proverbial cake. And, honestly, I’ve enjoyed what has been released so far.
Despite only being the first act of the game, with roughly four chapters and a prologue, I managed to still spend around three hours in The Slaughter. Considering that this is only a portion of the planned final release that’s actually a pretty good length of time. If there was one problem that I had with my experience it was that I wanted more. How does Sydney escape his current situation? Will the killer catch up to him? What will he do when he’s confronted with his demons, both internal and external? Will he discover a love of wearing women’s clothing (play the game, you’ll see what I mean)? And, frankly if this is my only problem then it’s most certainly worth playing. I just can’t wait for the next installment to be released.