Visage landed on Greenlight a few months back with a fantastic trailer and didn’t last a week before getting approved. That was Step 1 of the plan, with Step 2 being to launch a Kickstarter campaign once the Greenlight had done its job of building awareness for the game. Life is messy and plans sometimes don’t go as anticipated, but the Kickstarter is finally ready to go as of today, complete with a brand-new trailer showing off not just new gameplay details, but also how some of the stranger settings will fit in to a game where the psychological horror is contrasted with one of the most normal-looking settings possible.
The house where everything takes place looks properly lived-in, with great care taken to make it not a videogame setting but like an actual home. Or at least it does on the surface, on a room-by-room basis, but it only takes watching either this video or the Greenlight trailer to realize the layout is all kinds of wrong. If the name is anything to go by, in fact, Visage would appear to be driven by a surface that’s normal but the deeper you go, the more wrong it gets, with the normality of the moment-to-moment experience making the weird and scary that much more effective. Horror works best in contrast, after all, and once you’ve fought (Scary Monster) in (Dark & Spooky Setting) for a few hours you get used to it. “Oh hey, (Scary Monster), haven’t seen you in a bit, how’s the wife and kids? Isn’t the fog particularly thick today? That moisture can’t be doing this rusty metal walkway any good. Anyway, I’ve got a new fire axe so let’s get to it. Ooh, nice new trick with the snakes popping out of your sockets in a shower of eyeball goo!”
Admitted, there’s no promise the shadowy specters of Visage won’t meet the same fate, but there’s enough going on in the design to make it look like it might avoid that problem. Take the sudden noise at 0:43 in the trailer below, for example. More than just a jump-scare, the sound makes you look at a painting that wasn’t there when you walked by. The slamming door at 9:20 wasn’t that color when you walked in the room, either. It’s an assumption that the player will notice the details, rather than needing a glowing outline thrown around them, that speaks well of the thought being put into the game’s design. The strange house is filled with mysteries, scares, and a terrible black history, and it’s all hidden just below Visage’s deceptively normal surface.
-Update- And now the Kickstarter is live, so here’s the link.