From Refugium Games, Greyhill Incident offers exciting atmospheric sci-fi as you try to survive an alien invasion. However, it still has a bunch of issues that should have been addressed before release.
I was provided with a free review code for Greyhill Incident on Steam/PC. The opinions I have shared are my own.
I was interested in playing Greyhill Incident after I watched the impressive-looking promo a couple of weeks ago. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of first-person gameplay and sci-fi, I’m here for indie titles that bring something exciting to the table. In my opinion, Greyhill Incident did deliver when it came to creating an eerie environment. However, the gameplay mechanics were lacking.
The premise involves a full-on alien invasion occurring on a small farm in the Greyhill neighborhood during the early ’90s. Apparently, occasional abductions have happened before. And that’s why the residents on the farm are paranoid and don’t trust the government at all. They have even created a neighborhood watch to keep them safe.
As a member of the neighborhood watch, you play as a single father named Ryan, who is supposed to be good with a baseball bat. Things change in a dramatic manner when one night Ryan notices his young son getting abducted from their house. The scene where we get to see Ryan’s son being lifted into the spaceship was done well. Again, this game delivers when it comes to the environment.
While trying to come up with a plan to rescue his son, Ryan is tasked with visiting different areas on the farm to complete various objectives while also hiding from little grey aliens. You also get to hear Ryan interact with the few survivors on the farm (face-to-face and on the radio). The most interesting character, for me, is Bob. From what I could understand, Bob had encountered aliens before and, understandably, he acts a bit weird. But hey! At least he knows how to survive.
The objectives are easy to complete… in theory. Ryan needs to collect tin foil, fuel, a secret code, etc. However, things become complicated because there’s no in-game map. I was surprised by such an omission. I get that people won’t have actual maps or a GPS device in real-life during such a story. But considering Ryan’s been living on the farm for a while, he would have a mental map of it, right? And I think said mental map could have been visualized in some kind of manner during the game. Perhaps Ryan could talk to himself about the “direction” he needs to go to complete a certain objective? Hmmm. I don’t know. I just needed some kind of a better “hint” system (other than flickering lamps and lights) as I tried to find the locations the story was pushing me toward.
Also, most of the time you will need to crouch to move near an item you have to collect so as not to alert the aliens moving around on the farm. While I’m okay with crouching during stealth-based portions in a game, the issue is that Ryan moves way too slowly when crouching. And, I don’t know if it was me or not, but hiding behind trees and in bushes while crouching didn’t really work. The aliens can find you instantly. So what’s the use of making Ryan crouch and move slowly in the first place? Your best option would be to hide in a car, a cupboard, or under the bed as you wait for the slow-moving alien to exit the area. Also, remember to close the doors behind you.
The stealth mechanic in Greyhill Incident is unfortunately bare bones. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there was an option for Ryan to throw a rock or something (while hiding) to distract an alien. I get that this is an indie game, but I think players have certain expectations when it comes to stealth mechanics featured in titles being released in 2023.
If you aren’t into hiding, you can try to fight the aliens. Ryan’s baseball bat can be used to knock out an alien. You also end up finding a gun (with limited bullets) to attack aliens. The good news is that it only takes two bullets to kill an alien. However, using your gun can alert other aliens in your vicinity about your location. Also, bullets are very scarce. Which makes no sense considering the area this game takes place in. But oh well.
The aliens are simultaneously funny and creepy. They seem to have toy guns that make weird sounds. The aliens also make weird noises. The creative team could have tried to make the aliens appear more sinister to better fit the impressive environment, but I think their current look was definitely a choice to add to the narrative’s humor.
And while the aliens move slowly, they will fast-walk toward you if they find you. You get a few seconds to break free if they grab you. Otherwise, it’s game over. You can make Ryan run, but his stamina is quite bad.
The voice work isn’t the best, especially when you see it come from a CG human character whose facial expressions aren’t on the same page. I kind of thought a major reveal would be that none of the humans around Ryan were actual humans. But that didn’t happen.
The story is lacking a proper ending. It made me go “That’s it?” after completing the game in about 2 hours. I really thought the next chapter would begin after the cliffhanger, but it never did. Maybe the creative team will release a sequel soon? If they do, I hope they address some of the issues I have talked about.
The highlight of the Greyhill Incident video game is the environment. I felt an enjoyable sense of tension as I made Ryan walk through the tall fields or tried to reach a location without getting caught during the night. Even the recent first-person POV Resident Evil games didn’t make me feel that! It was giving me Alan Wake vibes. I loved it!
So, it’s unfortunate that the overall gameplay didn’t match the impressive visual setting. Sigh!
As of writing this, the creative team has released updates that improve crouch speed, objective hints, and more. So, kudos to the dev team for listening to player feedback and improving the game.
I have my fingers crossed the dev team releases a sequel or something because I want to know what happened to Ryan.
Greyhill Incident was released on PC/Steam on June 9, 2023. It will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox on June 13, 2023.
Have you had the chance to play Greyhill Incident? What did you think of it?
Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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