He’s always right there!
Everything about the Slender Man or Slenderman, however you name it, is creepy and ominous; his silent approach, for he is always there, his tall-looming stance as he stalks his prey from afar. And of course, his ever so loose-fitting suit and tie, worn as if he stole them off the dead body of one of his victims. There is no doubt that you wouldn't ever want to be lost in the woods alone with this creature following you.
This console version of Slender: The Arrival is an update to the 2013 edition of the same name, and now delivers an even creepier version with refined sights and sounds to fit the next-gen format. Visually, all of the scenery is stunning and truly gives a lot of the same feel to its real-to-life counterpart.
You can almost feel the breeze on your neck when trotting through the beautifully sun-soaked, grassy hillsides. When frantically running around heavily-shadowed wooded areas, you will constantly feel Mr. Slender's presence right over your shoulder, waiting for you to take a misstep. The sounds from level to level also help keep you on edge. Right when you feel you're in the clear, a low insidiously strange song or sound will play, putting you right back on your toes.
Now, though the presence of the Slenderman is ever so frightful, more so with the perfectly added music cues, there are a few things that stand in the way of him forever striking fear in all of us—namely, gameplay. Throughout the entirety of the game, the objective of each level is to randomly search open areas for a certain amount of items: paper notes, generators, keys, whatever it may be. But while doing said tasks, you must continuously evade the boogeyman and, in some levels, his evil demon help.
In many instances, you may find yourself just about to find that last item… to then be blindsided by some level-ending asshole. Time and time again you retrace your steps, searching hastefully for what you’ve probably found before, to be taken out yet again. It's frustrating enough to watch something on Netflix instead. If not, then you have amazing patience or you are some bastard who’s able to just fly through it all on a speedrun. Regardless, from beginning to end, the story mode is very short and without few setbacks can be beaten within an hour of two.
Slender: The Arrival has solid qualities, as well as some hit or miss tendencies, leaning towards the miss side. Undoubtedly, this one is under the horror classification and does its job throwing out its scary surprises, and for better or worse, there are still some accidental funny moments that you can’t help but laugh at. (Thanks, Blair Witch Project, for your shaking first-person camera shots, classic.) By yourself, the game can be dull, but with a group of friends, beer in hand, in the right setting, it can be an entertaining short adventure.