The horror genre is fairly sparse in the Duck’s household, so as I pondered the topic of my final Spooktober post, I had very few options available to me. It then occurred to me that I have never written about the spooky PC game, SCP: Containment Breach, a truly unique horror experience! So let’s rectify that, shall we?
The problem with the horror genre is not that I dislike it. The problem is…that I actually really like horror. I love stories, movies, and yes, games that involve ghosts and other creepy entities. Heck, my favorite levels in most games are typically the spooky ones, like Donkey Kong Country 2’s Gloomy Gulch and the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time. But I rarely get to experience the kind of horror I enjoy, the kind that doesn’t rely on excessive gore or…beings of the more devilish variety. My kind of horror is just not as common, as far as I can tell.
That is why SCP is right up my alley (most of the time, anyway, as some SCPs are a bit too disturbing for my liking). For a little background info, the SCP Foundation is a fictional organization that collects and contains anomalous objects and creatures. It was actually created before the games on which they are based. And there are literally hundreds of SCPs out there, though I wouldn’t recommend you spend too much time reading up on these things. Unless you enjoy nightmares.
As “Containment Breach” suggests, the game takes place when several SCPs have escaped and are roaming freely about the facility. Think of it as kind of a Warehouse 13 sort of idea, as not all SCPs are sentient. In fact, some are merely inanimate objects, though sometimes no less dangerous….
Though I have never played the original SCP, I have seen others play it on YouTube, and I have dabbled in the Unity remake from time to time when new versions become available. Thus far, the Unity remake is unbeatable, but it’s so much fun simply exploring the facility and discovering the various SCPs along the way. There is a gas mask that, when worn, transports you to a seemingly post-apocalyptic world. There is a bowl of candy that, when you eat too many, will cause your hands to fall off. There is also a mechanical monkey that can make you age the longer it sings “Happy Birthday”, portrayed in-game by your vision going dark.
Along with the thrill of discovering new, and often unsettling, things, you are also hunted by two SCPs, SCP-173 and 106. In the same manner as the terrifying Weeping Angels in Dr. Who (which came after, I’ll have you know), SCP-173 is a statue that only moves when you aren’t looking at it. The game also has a blinking mechanic that you must work around to avoid spending too much time not viewing the statue. SCP-106 appears like a skeletal old man and will randomly come out of walls or floors and stalk you. Earlier versions would kill you on contact, while the version of the game I last played had him damage you whenever he got close enough. (He’s also much faster!) In the original, he could also take you to a really creepy pocket dimension. Gee, I really don’t look forward to the day that gets added to the game.
I also don’t look forward to the day they add SCP-096, a horrifying creature who will stop at nothing to kill the person who views its face. That sure sounds like good times to me.
Being a big fan of TV shows like The X-Files and the aforementioned Warehouse 13, I absolutely love getting to play a game that really feels like it could exist in the same universe as some of my favorite shows. As I said before, the simple exploration is a big part of the fun as you search for new SCPs and discover for yourself what they do. And even though not all SCPs are dangerous, they are often creepy, like the mannequin-like statue who will take on all sorts of threatening poses when you look away, but who otherwise seems utterly harmless. (Harmless or no, I would NOT want to encounter this thing in real life.)
Combine the exploration with two SCPs that are constantly hunting you, SCP: Containment Breach is a unique horror survival game that is as intriguing as it is chilling. What makes it even more fun is the fact that the Unity remake (which looks amazing so far) is still in the early stages, so every once in a while, I get the pleasure of downloading the newest version and spending some time exploring the (randomly generated) facility and looking for new SCPs and other changes.
As usual, please share your thoughts in the comments below, dear readers. Who else is familiar with the SCP universe and played the games? What are your thoughts on the remake thus far? And which SCP do you think is the scariest? I’d love to hear from you! And if you’re interested, we have a few episodes of the SCP: Containment Breach Unity remake on our YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure. More episodes will be added in the future when the game gets more updates!