Greyhill Incident is a stealth horror title developed and published by Refugium Games. In it, you'll step into the shoes of Ryan Baker, who, despite being called an "average man" by the game's description, turns out to be right about the whole alien invasion.
The game starts off in a way that feels very reminiscent of a 90's movie, as you hear the characters talk to each other over a walkie-talkie about aliens. It serves well to set the tone for the game by introducing you to what to expect from the characters and letting you get used to its ridiculous dialogue and humour.
The context is quite simple: Ryan and the neighbourhood watch speak with over the walkie all have a firm belief that aliens exist and have been invading Earth. In fact, one of them claims to have been abducted and even wrote a book on his experiences. Whilst at first it sounds like their beliefs border on paranoia, especially once they begin nagging about not calling the cops because the government is in on it, we quickly find out that everything they believed was true as we witness the invasion's beginning. Oh, and according to a police officer, the government did, in fact, know!
Due to the game's Steam page description, I was caught off guard. I expected a very serious alien horror title; instead, I got a mix of humour, 90's aliens, and terrifying alien invasion-like situations, such as a cat that gets abducted and returned full of weird, glowy technology under its skin. And strangely, I was all for it!
Greyhill Incident tugged and pulled me around between bloody, maimed cow bodies that set a gruesome tone to hilariously tin-foiling the walkie-talkie to make sure they couldn't hear us. There is something jarring about walking through a creepy and dark corn maze but also having characters very seriously say things like, "You have to get as much tin foil as you can — AT LEAST five rolls!".
I've grown fond of humour in horror games; when it's done right, it causes dissonance thanks to ridiculous dialogue during terrifying situations, and despite me not expecting it, the game's satire hit the right spot. The ridiculing of the characters as they put tin foil on everything, cover their walls in pictures of alien sightings, and even reference the Vietnam War casually got a few chuckles out of me but still didn't cause the entire alien invasion to become a joke.
This is where Greyhill Incident excels the most: the developers did such a great job with the setting that I was always terrified. I can't think of many — if any — games that do a better job of making you feel so small and helpless without trapping you inside a house. Despite the spacious area, this is probably some of the most vulnerable and helpless I've felt playing a horror title, and that's coming from someone who got addicted to the Resident Evil franchise.
This is partly thanks to the phenomenally realistic flora surrounding the town; it feels natural, dark, and eerily vast. Paired with the fantastic graphics that accentuate the freaky fog through the moon's light beams and the nearly translucent-white aliens, it makes it nigh impossible not to feel terrified.
That being said, the game isn't without its flaws. While the setting, satire, and creepy aliens are all pretty great, the lack of accessible information and proper world design makes it easy to get stuck and lose time needlessly. Not seeing how much stamina you have left while running, not knowing when the aliens will abduct you, and no HUD elements to show you when you're pointing at something you can interact with all either got me killed or stuck repeatedly. Things got a bit easier when I learned to click ESC and check the menu for what I was supposed to do next, but that was as much indication as I'd get most of the time: I still had to figure out where and how, which was usually not readily obvious.
Additionally, combat was very cumbersome. There is no way to change the key bindings, and the main attack button is the mouse's middle click, which felt uncomfortable. Whilst that alone isn't too bad, the aliens had to be basically within kissing distance for Ryan to be able to hit them with his bat or he'd get grabbed. I don't mind this too much, however, as the game is obviously leaning more towards a stealth horror than survival, but it was still a bit of a bummer, especially when paired up with alright checkpoints.
Truth be told, Greyhill Incident isn't a perfect game, but it's difficult for me not to recommend it to fans of alien horror titles, especially thanks to its style. The '90s aliens may not be as terrifying as a Xenomorph, but they certainly bring freshness to the setting, and they do more than a good job at terrifying the pants off you by appearing out of nowhere in the creepily realistic woods. The last warning I can think of is that the game is quite short, though that isn't a bad thing: sometimes less is more!
Greyhill Incident (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is good, with a few negatives.
If you like stealth horror titles, 90s things, and alien games, you should definitely give Greyhill Incident a shot — just be warned, it runs quite short!