GTFO: A Breakdown and How to Prevent Yourself From Throwing the Keyboard

Ok, where do I even begin to describe a game like this!? GTFO is a 4-player co-op from 10 Chambers, available on Steam, that puts you into the most extreme situations. I feel with a title that implies you need to get the fuck out, you've got all you need to know about what kind of game this is. If you haven't heard of this game, then let me enlighten you on what you will find in this scary, difficult, break-your-keyboard type game.

To start, I want to state that when playing GTFO I noticed that the atmosphere was so goddamn chilling and made me feel very uneasy. Atmosphere is key with any horror video game, and these devs have nailed it!

GTFO has a heavy focus on PvE and teamwork. To set the context, you play as a prisoner that has to descend down a very big and long hole by a person (or entity?) that GTFO calls "The Warden." Not much is said about The Warden, only that prisoners are forced to do missions that don't really make sense or have much of a purpose.

During the time in early access, you could not solo this game without a team of players helping you. Now, the game has officially been released along with a major update to boot! You will definitely find this game fun, but extremely irritating!

Lobby/Loadout

While GTFO was in early access, playing solo would have been difficult due to the lack of teammates and the intensity of the fights. You could either matchmake, which was still in alpha testing, or you could get your friends together and play. One of the things I noticed right off the bat when starting a lobby and going solo was that the developers had added bots as your teammates. I was blown away by this sudden change because during early access you never had that option. During this new solo run with bots, I found that you can edit their loadout and gear, which turned out to be vital when playing.

Tools

I'll start with what tools I've found that work best for the team. Here's what you can take with you:

I found it best to have 2 people carry turrets (usually 1 Auto and 1 Burst works best for me) and the other 2 carry C-Foam launchers.

Weapons

There are a lot of weapons, so I won't go through them all, but I can give you a little info on the ones I found useful. The game breaks this down into two slots for guns and one slot for melee weapons. For guns, you get one main weapon and one heavy weapon as a backup. Here are some of your choices in each slot:

Main weapons:

Heavy weapons:

Melee weapons: Sledgehammer, Knife, and Spear

I feel that when it comes to choosing weapons, it's really more about preference rather than matching up to what the mission needs. There are a lot of enemies, and some are really big ones, too, which can be tough to take down. However, with the right tools and teamwork, you might just get out alive and not chuck your keyboard out the window.

Boosters

Boosters are a new mechanic in GTFO. On the game's release out of early access, the developers added boosters to help your chances of surviving. You collect boosters throughout the levels when playing GTFO. There are three main boosters: Muted, Bold and Aggressive. Each of these boosters offer unique abilities that can help you get through the rundown a little bit easier (more about the rundown coming up). I won't try to explain this because I'm just starting this game again and I’m just collecting all I can while I figure this out. All I can say is that one booster can help with hacking doors while another can help with damage resistance. You can use all three main boosters in a single loadout. So keep that in mind when going through the rundown.

The Rundown

The rundown is your level selection. You have to start from the top and work your way down. The starting level is labeled "A1," and with each level you complete, you may run into different sectors with higher difficulty. The game breaks this down into "Main Sectors" (basically your storyline, "Secondary Sectors," and "Overload Sectors." I highly recommend that you play with friends, or at least with actual human players, and not bots.

Solo Gameplay

Once I got my team's loadout ready, I began to descend down the rabbit hole of horror. After the descent, and being able to get a good look at the level as I started to play, I found a cool dialogue mechanic where you can both communicate with actual people and direct bots on what to do in certain situations.

Since I was rolling with bots, I found that they are quite useful in different situations. They can take medkits, ammo, and tool refill kits and distribute it out to either me, themselves or to other bots, depending on how low they are. You can also make them carry a key item for an objective while you go on ahead and plan and take down enemies.

Before I go on, I also want to point out that the devs had put out a small update to the game after launch and were able to make the AI teammates smarter! For example, your AI team can drop objective items and help fight. They can also avoid the team's turrets since friendly fire is another heavy component when playing GTFO and players and bots alike have got to have trigger discipline. 

Another important mechanic I found is the computer terminals. If you want to look for more ammo packs, medkits, and so forth, you can use the terminal to locate them. In some instances, you will need to figure out where to find an objective item by using the query function. You can also ping its location, but you would have to be in the same zone in order for that ping to work.

While going through the different expeditions, I found myself being on the defensive quite often, especially when it comes to the security doors. The best way that I found was to utilize the terminals to find more supplies BEFORE activating the security doors. When it comes to the security doors, you will need teamwork to shut down the security system in that area. I don't want to divulge much because part of the game is figuring out what to do, but I will say this: without preparation, you will get swarmed instantly, so prepare when you can before starting each level. Check out my recent gameplay in this video if you want to get a good idea of what I'm talking about.

Multiplayer

When I was playing multiplayer with some friends on GTFO, communication was a key component. I do recommend using a mic if you have one, but if you don't, the dialogue prompts in the game should also suffice. The developers even put in a countdown option so everyone in my team was synced up just in case someone didn't have a mic. Whenever I tried playing with random people, everyone would just bounce out midway into the level, so I can't really give an accurate review on the multiplayer side with random players. If you get your friends to play with you, then that's a different story altogether, one that would either be fun or raging!

With all that said, I highly recommend checking this game out if you are into shooters, horror, and cooperative gameplay. If so, this game is right up your alley! Good luck playing this game, and remember the mantra, "Work Together Or Die Together."

Have you played GTFO? What are your impressions so far? Share your thoughts and any additional recommendations you have in the comments below.

Yes, I Live With A Survival Horror Junkie

The first step is admitting you have a problem. Right? Or does he have a problem? How does this work? 

Suppose you live with a gamer. Maybe it's a family member, a roommate, or even a significant other. And because you live with them, you are exposed to whatever games they like to play. This includes the horrifyingly graphic and disgusting games with copious amounts of blood. Oh my god! The blood! It's the kind of games that they play over and over and over again and on harder difficulty each time. 

If this is you, my friend, you just might live with a survival horror junkie.

 

I have never been a fan of games designed to terrify the living daylights out of me. I prefer to play games that let me escape the horrors of everyday life because, let's be honest, most jobs are a nightmare. But since I moved in with my significant other, I have been exposed to some of the scariest, most intense, and squishy (you know, the sounds that zombies make when they chomp on your face) games I have ever seen. He has actually tried to get me to play some of his favorites, including Resident Evil. The old-school pixelated original version of Resident Evil didn't freak me out (that much- okay, the spiders got me). 

*WARNING: Very salty language in the following clip*

I mean, seriously, I told him there’s never anything good behind red doors. And I was right! 

He also got me to play the re-released version of Resident Evil 2, and that was a giant NOPE for me. I tried. I really did. But when there is a massive blood smear leading under a half-opened door that I have to crawl under, no thank you, I would like to live. I stood there so long that he finally took over the controller. 

I guess you could say that I have a powerful survival instinct. I would rather run away from danger! Not into it! Growling and snarling noises? Go the other way! To me, it’s very simple. Not to a survival horror junkie. They run headlong into the most gruesome and disturbing scenes imaginable and watch as their characters die in incredibly awful ways over and over again. And these are the games they enjoy playing! I get it. It's all about the challenge. I think. 

I have had the incredible privilege (I'm holding up my sarcasm sign) of watching him play through things like The Last of Us, Days Gone, The Evil Within, and a slew of Resident Evil games. This is just a small list. There are many, many more. And sure, today's graphics are incredible, and they can do so many things to make everything look more realistic, but must they? I have seen more realistic-looking entrails and body parts that main characters have to slip and slide through to get away from whatever madness is chasing them than I ever care to (I'm looking at you, Evil Within). Never EVER try to eat ANYTHING when the person you live with decides to start playing one of these games. Just DON’T. 

And why would I want to play games that have literally made him scream? The first time he played Phasmophobia (a ghost hunting game) with his friend, they were both screaming. Like girls. For more on those hilarious shenanigans, you can check out my previous article “When Men Scream Like Girls”.

Shana's creation

As much as these games can make me squeamish and blow my blood pressure through the roof, sometimes funny things can come out of it when I am forced to watch some of these horrifying games. While streaming Evil Within, I had asked my significant other to please turn his "butt light" off (the lantern that hangs from the character’s belt) because it attracts zombies. I thought it was a perfectly reasonable request. It became a hilarious possible t-shirt idea thanks to fellow Replayer and stream watcher Shana Martin. 

I sometimes have an easier time dealing with these types of games if I am co-oping them with him. We played Dead Space 3 together and I was so proud of myself when I had a headshot on the space zombies (or whatever they are), but those bastards kept coming! Headless! Full spine headless space zombie grossness crawling at me was not what I had in mind for a romantic evening of co-op gaming with the man. 

I have also started playing Phasmaphobia with him and friends, but it is seriously scary no matter how many times I have played it. I've been known to stay in the van to “look for orbs” on the cameras. Don’t judge! I live so I get to keep my money and my equipment to help fund future ghost hunting expeditions. That’s my story and I am most assuredly sticking to it. I have also been known to just guess what the ghost is and drive off with the van when we get a particularly nasty ghost that has killed off the rest of the crew—because I am not going in that house!

I’m sure I will continue to get roped into either sitting with him while he plays or attempting to play with him because apparently, my reactions are “funny.” The small bit of satisfaction I get is that many times my reactions to jump scares actually scare him more than the actual game itself. What can I say? I’m jumpy and we get a good laugh out of it, and it makes for some entertaining streams and content. You’re welcome?

As much as I complain about the awfulness that I hear and see emanating from his screen on a daily basis, I don’t think I would have it any other way. It makes him happy, and the fact that he can share something with me that he is passionate about is incredibly important to both of us. I have learned a lot about the franchises and do get interested in the great stories behind things like the Umbrella Corp, for example. Even if I am watching while my hands are covering my eyes.  

 

What games do you get exposed to that you wish you didn’t? Do you or someone you know live with a survival horror junkie?

 

 

The Rumors and Possible Revival of Silent Hill

There are whispers happening in the dark dungeon of games past that Silent Hill, the game that helped define bone-chilling psychological horror in gaming, could rise again. With recent rumors and the latest announcements, fans of the series are getting pretty excited, myself included!

In my restless dreams, I see that town.

 

The rise of the survival horror game genre in the 1990s made it a fun time for horror fans. Games such as Parasite Eve, Alone in the Dark, and Resident Evil were bringing in new ways to be scared and experience horror in the gaming world! But Silent Hill, a relative latecomer to the party, brought something different to the mix: psychological horror

Resident Evil was undoubtedly a favorite of mine growing up, but as a horror game, it didn’t feel particularly scary. Resident Evil, to me, felt more action-based with zombie blasting and giant mutant creatures. It has its jump scares, but it can also be a little campy at times, and that’s okay! It’s part of its charm, and it's a great franchise. Personally, though, I wanted something a little more sinister, and I found that in Silent Hill. 

Up close and personal with terror.

I always felt Silent Hill stood apart from other franchises that were around at the time by focusing on the darker parts of the human psyche, very real human emotions, and relatable themes that are often more terrifying than any mutant monster. I also feel that the action moments in Silent Hill are much more daunting. 

As an example, during battle segments, you sometimes only have a melee weapon at your disposal which forces you to be up close and personal with the terror. Some enemies featured in the game are purely there just to taunt you, and your best option is to run! Silent Hill’s most famous resident, Pyramid Head, shows up periodically throughout the game as a tormentor who can’t be killed but will surely kill you! Pyramid Head is a demon created in James Sunderland’s mind in Silent Hill 2. The demon is a personification of guilt and represents James’s wish to be punished for his wife's death.

This is also just one example of Silent Hill’s iconic psychological storytelling that has stayed with me long after the game has ended. 

Another reason why Silent Hill became a favorite for me is that it takes inspiration from classic horror movies such as Eraserhead and Jacob’s Ladder. Those films were strong influences in the game’s themes of a person's downfall into madness. Writers such as Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz and directors such as David Cronenburg and David Lynch have been cited among others for inspiring such rich horror environments. The creators of the games are big fans of horror and literature, and it shows! For me, it was a joy being able to immerse myself in playable worlds featuring inspirations from these great masters of darkness. I’m a girl with an unhealthy obsession with serial killers; what can I say?!

Pyramid Head

Pyramid Head, the Tormentor.

 

The door that wakes in darkness, opening into nightmares.

 

Unfortunately for the fans, we haven’t seen a new installment in the series since Silent Hill: Downpour in 2012. This was the same year Time magazine named Silent Hill one of the top 100 games of All Time. To me, it feels even more unfortunate that there hasn't been any new Silent Hill content since this accolade. Briefly, in 2014 there was hope...

In 2014 Konami released the P.T. (Playable Teaser) Trailer reigniting the franchise in a big way! The P.T. Trailer was a short demo set in a repeating hallway that became even more sinister as the player progressed through its levels. Those who completed the demo were gifted with a pan-up shot revealing Norman Reedus as our protagonist, standing in a deserted, foggy town right before the Silent Hills titles were unveiled. Finally, after a long wait, we had a new game, and it was even more terrifying than before! But, alas, it was - canceled.

The P.T. Trailer is unfortunately no longer available to play in its original form; it can only be watched in hilarious reaction videos online. This feels like a big loss for those who weren’t able to experience it on its release, but it is definitely worth checking out some of the playthroughs online. 

 After creative differences, Kojima and Konami separated, and the much anticipated Silent Hills project suffered from the breakup. A new project was released in its place, Death Stranding, that a lot of people loved. To be fair, it is a good game! I wasn't so overjoyed with it, though with so much promise from P.T. and so long waiting for another installment to the Silent Hill series, the release of Death Stranding felt anticlimactic for Silent Hill fans. Our franchise was, again, dead in the fog and abandoned like the town itself. 

 

Now the dream of this life must end, and so, too, must the dreamers within it.

 

There have been ongoing rumors of a Silent Hill franchise revival for years, and, to fans, this has been as psychologically torturous as the games themselves. Rumors often tease at everything from series reboots to new installments coming to the series. Unfortunately, they often amount to nothing but hype. Recently, though, two big rumors have been causing more than a little stir, and these rumors surround Blue Box Studios and Bloober Team.

The first set of rumors piqued the interest of  P.T. fans who have been looking for clues into whether the project will be picked up again: a recent trailer for Abandoned has got fans raising eyebrows. The trailer opens in a foggy forest with a girl's voice talking about being alone with no one to guide her. She speaks about a small community led by a cult and suggests an escape from a place. It does sound a little like Silent Hill. 

Could the name Abandoned be a clue to a Silent Hills revival with the Silent Hills project literally being Abandoned?

It’s a stretch, but this is actually just one of the connections fans are looking into. 

There’s also speculation that Blue Box Studios may not be who they say they are and that they are, in fact, Kojima being devious. Speculation continues with everything from the studio’s Games Director Hasan Karahman secretly being Hideo Kojima, to the studio’s logo looking suspiciously like the PlayStation logo, to cryptic tweets from Blue Box themselves loosely teasing that the game Abandoned’s real name starts with S and ends in L (which they later redacted with an apology for teasing Silent Hill fans). The fans are still convinced that the tweets were intentional to fuel hype. You can follow all the rumors surrounding Abandoned at playstationlifestyle.net

I agree that details surrounding Abandoned do feel a little too convenient to be just a coincidence, but I am cautious with my excitement. I am also aware that Kojima has a reputation for being a little devious with his game promotion, so I can't be entirely skeptical. Perhaps I would have more faith in the hype surrounding Blue Box if it weren't for another set of rumors. 

This second set of rumors involves Bloober Team, the developers behind The Medium, a game heavily inspired by Silent Hill. It has the feel and the story like Silent Hill, and it even has music composed by Silent Hill’s original composer, Akira Yamaoka.

The Medium, a game heavily inspired by Silent Hill.

The similarities in story and gameplay are so strong between the two games that many fans feel The Medium could be a showpiece for a bigger Silent Hill branded game in the future. To reinforce this idea, Bloober later announced that they and Akira are indeed pairing up again on an "existing horror IP from a very famous gaming publisher," which later turned out to be Konami, the studio behind Silent Hill!

Me meeting Silent Hill music master Akira Yamaoka.

Akira Yamaoka was then interviewed by Middle East outlet Al-hub where he confirmed working on a second project with Bloober in addition to The Medium, saying it wasthe one you’ve been hoping to hear about.” That interview was later taken down. Did Akira reveal a little more than he was supposed to?

 

There was a hole here. It’s gone now.

 

Konami, Bloober, and Blue Box Studios have all denied currently working on a Silent Hill project, but that’s not to say that they might not be working on one down the road. Out of the rumors posed, the Bloober Team theories seem the most viable given their survival horror experience, previous work with Akira, and official connections to Konam. If The Medium is the showpiece of their Silent Hill potential, I am excited to see what they could bring to the franchise.

One day, that small foggy town will have a lost wanderer in its streets again, and you can be sure that when Silent Hill does awaken from its purgatory, I’ll be here to share its darkest secrets. 

What are some of the rumors and theories you have heard about a new Silent Hill game? And what do you think about the rumors circling the franchise right now? Let's speculate together in the comments below.