We played Greyhill Incident, a horror that takes us in the middle of an alien invasion in the 90s.
Between Resident Evil 4 Remake and Layers of Fear, horror fans had a lot of fun in these first months of 2023. And that’s certainly not all, considering that among the productions arriving within the year we also have the reboot of Alone in the Dark and the highly anticipated Alan Wake 2 (by the way, did you read the interview with the developers of Alan Wake 2?).
Among these high-sounding names stands out – unfortunately in the negative – Greyhill Incident, a minor project that from the trailers released in recent months seemed to have all the credentials to hit the mark, at least in terms of atmosphere. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the worst titles we’ve played in recent months (and beyond). So let’s put on a tinfoil hat and venture into the world of designer horror Refugeum Games.
The government lies
Greyhill Incident opens with a very long introductory sequence which, with shots of questionable quality, presents the player with the main locations of the town that gives the game its name.
In the background, dialogues follow one another in which the inhabitants of the neighborhood exchange jokes on the walkie-talkie referring to mysterious happenings who are sowing panic and terror among families. we are inAmerica of the former 90’s and conspiracy theories find fertile ground especially in Greyhill, where some citizens have vanished into thin air under unclear circumstances.
Calling the police is out of the question, as the population believes the government is involved, and therefore calling the authorities to intervene would only make the situation worse.
Given the seriousness of the facts, however, the families of the area have organized themselves to send some members of the community in night shipments with the aim of preventing further unpleasant events from happening. We will take on the role of Ryan Baker, a former baseball player who, during a normal evening, finds himself in the midst of an alien invasion and must roam the streets in search of loved ones in danger. This is the incipit of theadventure with first person view entirely set in the small community of Greyhill, made up of a few houses and related crops, including the ever-present wheat fields. The development of the plot is not alone devoid of any twist or memorable moment, but tends to get boring with uninteresting characters and banal dialogue. We won’t go into too much detail, but we can confirm that even the epilogue of the narrative leaves a bad taste in the mouth and causes the events not to have a satisfactory conclusion.
Fleeing the Greys
Although on paper this is a horror adventure, in our experience the terror has been in hiding for the duration of the game. For most of the story, you’ll find yourself at wandering around the map without too many clues about the objective (the menu is limited to reporting a short sentence containing sometimes unclear indications), pressing the interaction button almost everywhere with the hope that some event will occur designed to advance the plot, and that it is not the yet another collectible positioned with the sole purpose of earning a trophy (Platinum is very simple to unlock).
Found the right element of the scenery, as if by magic, doors or fences will open that until a few seconds before seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle. To complicate things there is also an incredibly woody gameplay, which makes long walks around the map exhausting. The development team has in fact implemented a stamina system linked to running which prevents you from performing a sprint for more than a few seconds: if you consider that sometimes you have to move from one building to another passing through roads or farms, it is easy to understand how much they become even these stages are boring.
The rest of the game offers nothing interesting and close encounters of the third kind are hardly memorable. The aliens, who seem to have been created by thinning the shapes of the ‘human’ models wearing a tight black onesie, not only do not cause concern, but they interact in an almost embarrassing way with the protagonist. The way they grab it and the ways in which you can escape their grip are unpleasant both to see and to play. Without considering the classic hiding places, escape is the main way to counter these shady characters who have come down from flying saucersbut there are also a couple of ways to send them to the other world.
The protagonist is armed with a baseball bat whose blows can stun the aliens for a few moments or, with a little insistence, put them permanently out of action. At some point in the short story, which lasts barely two hoursit also collects a revolvers with a few bullets: in this case the resources useful for firing are very few and the system devised by the developers is extremely rigid, resulting in short being quite uncomfortable, since you need to hold down a key to bring up the gun on the screen and then press another button to put your finger on the trigger.
There is also one in the game torch which requires the controller’s trigger to be pulled at regular intervals in order to continue to function. Not only that feature exploits the DualSense with bad resultsbut it doesn’t increase the tension in any way since staying in low light conditions is not terrifying at all.
An empty and desolate neighborhood
Refugium Games also adds to the slew of flaws that characterize the production a very approximate technical and artistic sector. The help of the Unreal Engine 4 fails to guarantee Greyhill Incident a pleasant visual appearance and not only do the models appear poorly detailed, but also anonymous. In a game centered on the ‘Greys’ we would have appreciated more care in the realization of these invaders from a distant world, who disappoint from every single point of view.
Even the (few) settings they are bare and all look alike. The repetitiveness of the settings is also exacerbated by the particular stylistic choice that makes the title almost monochrome and, consequently, far too flat. We at least found the idea of being able to play the entire title with one nice VHS style filter (the name is in fact ‘Found Footage’): too bad it’s a DLC, reserved only for buyers of the most expensive edition of the game or a package sold separately.
Greyhill IncidentPlayStation 5 Analyzed VersionGreyhill Incident is, by no means, a disaster on all counts. The product packaged by Refugium Games leaks from all sides. From the disappointing technical sector to the cumbersome gameplay, every single aspect of the production leaves a lot to be desired. The poor general quality does not even allow this adventure to be counted among the so-called ‘so bad, it’s good’. Even lovers of trashy games will probably be dissatisfied with it.