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Slender: The Arrival is a video game developed and published by Blue Isle Studios and distributed by Parsec Productions as a sequel to Slender: The Eight Pages. It was released on Microsoft Windows and OS X on March 26, 2013. A Steam release was released on October 28, 2013. The game is also planned to be released on unspecified consoles in early 2014.[3] Like its predecessor, the game is based on the Something Awful forums' creation, the Slender Man.[4]

Gameplay

The majority of the game takes place in abandoned areas (house, defunct mine, etc.), each with different objectives. Slender: The Arrival uses similar mechanics to its predecessor, The Eight Pages. The character is armed only with a flashlight. This limited defense forces a sense of helplessness, as the best way to survive in the game is to run whenever in danger. The Slender Man's behavior changes slightly between levels. In level one, it is seen at most, once. In level two, it most often teleports off-screen or just out of the character's line of sight, but is capable of appearing directly in front of the player. It is observed that its motion centers around following the player, but consists largely of jumping from place to place, the inconvenience of which is increased as each of the eight pages are collected. Its behavior is much the same as this in level four, except more actively. In level three, it pursues much less aggressively, serving less as the main antagonist of the level and more as a scare tactic, though one capable of teleporting directly in front of the player and ending the game. In this level, the main antagonist is a girl who chases the player (most often following her path directly, but has been seen teleporting. It is unknown whether this is a glitch or an in-game mechanic). The only way of subduing her is by focusing the flashlight (on its second setting) on her. While looking at the Slender Man, the camera succumbs to electronic distortions such as static, blurring, color spots, audio distortion, etc., which obstructs the players vision unless facing away, and far enough from it. When caught, the death screen is also different; while in Slender: The Eight Pages, the player saw a white static background with Slender Man's faceless head, the one for Slender: The Arrival is black, with an overhead-lit and color-distorted hue.[5] There are also new choices in difficulty (which must first be unlocked by completing the game once) being easy, normal, and hardcore. The differences being that hardcore allows the flashlight to run out, enemies are more aggressive and the player's stamina runs out quickly. Easy has infinite flashlight, a great deal of stamina, and the enemies are not very aggressive.

Plot

Chapter 1: "Prologue"

The game starts with Lauren visiting her friend Kate's house after she went missing. After parking her car at the head of the driveway, she walks down a path to Kate's home but finds the house left open. Kate is nowhere to be found, and there are drawings and wall-scratchings hinting at the Slender Man. When Lauren finds Kate's room, a drawn-out scream is heard from the back gate. The scream came from none other than Kate, who had fled the house a bit before Lauren showed up but was caught by the Slender Man. After looking through the pages saying things like "Go to the forest." and "Can you see it?" Lauren decides to look for her at the radio tower as depicted in multiple drawings. Taking a flashlight with her, Lauren leaves the building to investigate.

Chapter 2: "The Eight Pages"

Lauren explores the nearby Oakside Park, collecting 8 pages which are clues to Kate's disappearance. As she collects them, the Slender Man begins to pursue her aggressively. When she collects all 8 pages she encounters the Slender Man. The Slender Man grabs her, but she breaks free and starts to sprint away as fast as she can, but she mysteriously blacks out.

Chapter 3: "Into the Abyss"

Lauren awakes in a field close to the Kullman Mining Facility. As she explores the closed valley, she finds that she must enter a dark tunnel into a mountain that, as is alluded to in a collectible newspaper article, was created by Kullman Mining Co. after purchasing mineral rights from the owners of Oakside Park. As she enters, Lauren sees a sign that instructs that in the event of a power-outage, six generators must be activated in order to power the emergency lift and escape. As she powers the generators, she realizes that she is being chased by a figure in a white hood and a mask, later revealed to be Kate, transformed into Slender Man's proxy. As all six generators are activated, Lauren activates the lift and is risen to the top of the mining shaft, transitioning to Chapter 4.

On Hardcore difficulty, Lauren has to collect gas canisters before activating the generators.

Chapter 4: "Flashback"

After making her way out of the mine, Lauren explores the beautiful landscape as she continues to collect evidence relating to Kate. As she traverses, she finds a small building, inside which there is a TV with a girl scribbling on a sheet of paper. The video is of Kate, and shows what happened to her. In the flashback, Kate has to secure her home by closing 8 windows and/or doors from the Slender Man. During this process, she sees the Slender Man and tries to hide in her room. Confronted by the Slender Man, she crashes out the bedroom window and escapes to the nearby park, ending Chapter 4 and the video recording simultaneously.

However, some video game players on the internet found out that this level CAN cause a crash if the player DOES NOT collect the 8 pages that CR left behind before. This crash can be noticed if Kate doesn't jump out of the window.It can also crashed if the player don't closed the 8 doors and windows before Slender man gets here.

Chapter 5: "The Arrival"

After the flashback ends, Lauren makes her way up the mountain and through a cave, where she realizes the surrounding forest has been set on fire. She charges toward the radio tower that she thinks will save her from the Slender Man. Along the way she dodges flames, falling trees, and a very aggressive Slender Man. Once inside the radio tower building, Lauren discovers a locked door, where a key must be found to unlock it. After finding it, footsteps can be heard and Lauren is forced to proceed to a dead-end hallway. The leading door slams behind her, and as she reads the writing etched on the wall, she discovers a dead body of who is presumably CR (a friend of Kate's heavily mentioned in the game's collectable items), as well as the body's video camera. Once the camera is played, there are multiple knocks on the door behind Lauren. The screen flashes violently as the game ends.

Normal ending

Lauren walks to the end of the hall and finds the corpse of a man, presumably Kate's friend CR, lying next to a video camera. As she plays the audio on the camera, she hears Kate and CR screaming. The audio ends suddenly. The fire near the door where Lauren entered is blown out, and the door can be heard being violently knocked upon. Lauren's camera, near dead, begins to flash of incoherent shapes and loud noises as the game comes to an abrupt end.

Hardcore ending

If the player beats the game, a Hardcore difficulty mode will unlock. Completing Chapter 5 on this difficulty will result in a slightly altered ending from Normal or Easy mode. Directly following where the game ends on both other modes, it shows Lauren falling from the top of the radio tower, she then crashes into the earth. Her camera's batteries then presumably die. This is meant to imply that she died attempting a plan that has already failed once.

Steam ending

The Steam version of the game features an extended ending - after the knocking on the door, a skeletal figure runs towards Lauren, with the screen flashing violently before cutting to black. Lauren wakes up in an old basement, where the skeletal figure is perched on the stairs, attacking Lauren if she attempts to escape. After exploring the basement, and finding more notes, the player is able to climb up the stairs (albeit with the sound of a crying woman). Lauren finds herself in the ruins of an old house that was burned down. After exploring, Lauren finds the woman crying in the corner - the woman attacks her, revealed to be Kate. The camera flashes out, but turns back on again to show Lauren being dragged off screen.

Extra Level: "Genesis"

An extra level is introduced in v.1.3, and takes place before Chapter 4. In it, Kate is wandering around a park at night, when she finds a page with disturbing images and text on it. The Slender Man begins to stalk her. When Kate finds all of the Eight pages scattered around the park, Slender Man catches up to her. But, rather than abducting her, he simply says (probably through telepathy) "I have plans for you, Kate".

This level serves as a mostly unaltered remake of Slender: The Eight Pages; some of the landmarks from the original have been re-rendered using higher quality graphics.

Secret level

Charlie Matheson Jr. missing poster

Poster of Charlie Matheson Jr.

There is a secret level in Stage 1, which is accessible through the player satisfying obscure but simple conditions. While many players have speculated on how to unlock the stage, talking of conditions such as turning on the radio inside the house or walking past the swing set, all that is required is that the player collects the missing child poster of Charlie Matheson Jr. stuck to a tree outside the house three times within one gameplay session (not closing the game window). After satisfying these conditions, static will appear and bring the player to the main menu. When they click "Start game", the secret level will begin.

The first part of the secret level takes place in the same house from Stage 1, as well as the immediate surroundings. The difference is that it's always day time and the ground outside isn't rendered. It's unknown if the player is still playing as Lauren, due to the events of the level seeming to be separate from Lauren's journey. But it's possible that the player plays as CR due to the flames that burned him. Text appears on the screen prompting the player to "play a game" and "find" whoever the speaker is. Pausing the game is not possible in this stage. Upon entering the house, the player will find that trying to go through a door results in them being teleported to another part of the house. Trying to enter a locked room will result in the player being captured. Text will then state "I like you" and that the player's captor intends to play with them.

After this part of the stage, the player is then back to the main menu. The stage selection screen now has the image for every stage replaced with Charlie's missing poster, with varying levels of light exposure on each. Progressing to the next part of the level brings the player back in front of the house, now at night. Text states that the captor will now find the player instead. While wandering through the house in this part, growls and shouts similar to those of the masked figure in stage 3 begin to become audible, although the masked person themselves doesn't make an appearance, only the Slender Man. Once the player has been caught, they're teleported outside, unable to move and set aflame. Slender Man will start advancing towards you and eventually the screen cuts to a shot of the missing child poster overlaid with Slender Man, which then cuts to text stating "You are dead". After returning to the main menu, there is only the option to start the game or exit. Starting the game will simply have the player looking up at the sky, immobile and unable to look around, until the shot of the missing child poster and Slender Man comes up again, followed by a return to the main menu. This seems to be the only possible outcome from starting the game at this point. Exiting and reopening the game will bring the menu back to its usual state and the main game can be played as normal once more.

Characters

  • Lauren - the game's protagonist and playable character. She is visiting Kate's house after disappearance to look for clues on her absence.
  • Kate - friend of Lauren, she becomes the secondary antagonist for most of the game, but is also playable in "Chapter 4". Her mother has recently died and she has decided to sell the house, prompting Lauren's visit, but disappears. Prior to the events of the game, she had visions of the 'Slender Man' who she shared with her friend CR. The night before the events of the game, she was attacked in her home but managed to escape, as revealed in "Chapter 4". She was subsequently turned to serve as his "proxy", or an assistant of sorts.
  • CR - friend of Kate, with whom he shared her visions of the Slender Man. He and Kate would play in the woods together as children, but when Kate's Mom found out he stopped visiting. Despite asking Kate to keep his existence a secret from Lauren, he advised Kate to call her when her Mom died. CR is found at the end of the game, his charred corpse next to a camcorder.
  • The Slender Man - the faceless antagonist of the game. Facing him causes the camera to glitch and distort, intensifying as the player gets closer. In the game, it is also shown that it can turn its victims into "proxies", or assistants of sorts.
  • Charlie Matheson Jr. - The missing child. The missing poster can be found outside Kate's house near the woods. In the secret level, the Slender Man catches Charlie which shows a pop-up of Slender Man's face and the missing poster in front of his face. The Steam ending suggests CR and Kate were looking for him at the request of Matheson's father.

Development and release

Template:Video game requirements

Slender: The Arrival is developed by Parsec Productions and Blue Isle Studios for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac.[1][6] The developers are also considering a release for the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3, Nintendo eShop for the Wii U, Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360, as well as mobile devices and Linux computers. Blue Isle Studios are currently working with indie game publisher Midnight City to help develop the game for other platforms.[2]

Eight screenshots were released on the official Slender: The Arrival website, followed by four on the Blue Isle Studio website.[7] A trailer was released for the game on December 23, 2012.[8]

On December 1, 2012, Blue Isle Studios announced its partnership with the Marble Hornets team, a YouTube channel known for its horror videos which heavily featured Slender Man, and helped to shape the modern version of the Slender Man. Joseph DeLage, Tim Sutton and Troy Wagner wrote the script for the final version of the game.[9]

In the end credits, Eric "Victor Surge" Knudsen, the original creator of the Slender Man, is credited as an executive producer.

On February 9, 2013, Slender: The Arrival was opened to the public for beta testing. If one pre-ordered the game, they were entitled to a free demo of the game. Pre-orders were $5 each, but once the game was released, it would be $10.[10]

The game was released March 26, 2013 exactly at midnight.

In October 2013, following a Steam Greenlight campaign, Blue Isle Studios announced that the game will be made available on Steam on October 28, 2013 and will include unspecified new content.[3]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 68.18%[11]
Metacritic 66/100[12]
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 8.5/10[13]
GameTrailers 6.1/10[14]
IGN 6.5/10[15]
VideoGamer.com 4/10[16]
CraveOnline 8/10[17]
Digital Spy Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg[18]
GameFront 7.5/10[19]
The Escapist Star fullStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg[20]

Slender: The Arrival received mixed reviews, receiving praise for its soundtrack, tense atmosphere and scares, but also criticism for the shorter than expected campaign length and repetitive gameplay. It received a score of 68.18% on GameRankings[11] and 66/100 on Metacritic.[12]

In a positive review, The Escapist said "you may have mixed feelings about its brevity and the repetitive mechanics, but it's certainly a well-built game that, above all, is scary to play" and gave the game a score of 4.5 stars out of 5.[20] VVGtv gave the game a score of 8.8/10, praising the game's graphics, sound, gameplay (with the exception of a few elements) and mystery element, while criticising the short story, adding that "if you played The Eight Pages and are looking for the next scare to really get your adrenaline pumping and to get you to yell like you did when you first saw Slenderman right behind you, this game will not disappoint".[21] GameSpot gave the game a score of 8.5/10, calling it "one of the most terrifying games in recent memory".[13]

In a negative review, VideoGamer said The Arrival is a "frustrating game, not just because it can be occasionally unfair but because these guys clearly have an idea how to promote fear. Running around playing kiss chase with a trans-dimensional being doesn't really cut it." and gave it a score of 4/10.[16] The Metro also criticized the lack of varied gameplay, stating, "the first game had little real gameplay and this sequel does nothing to expand things, just repeat the experience often enough to rob it of its power." and gave it a score of 6/10.[22]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Slender: The Arrival Official Page status. Facebook (September 24, 2012). Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Official website FAQ. Slender Arrival. Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Samit Sarkar (October 21, 2013). Slender: The Arrival launching Oct. 28 on Steam, consoles in 2014. Polygon. Retrieved on October 25, 2013.
  4. Tom Hatfield (July 5, 2012). Slender Man game released, scare the hell out of yourself for free. PCGamer. Retrieved on July 8, 2012.
  5. Onyett, Charles (September 21, 2012). New Slender Game in Development. IGN. Retrieved on September 22, 2012.
  6. Slender: The Arrival, Official Slender: The Arrival website
  7. Alex (October 18, 2012). New Slender: The Arrival screenshots. Blue Isle Studios. Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
  8. Kyle Hilliard (December 23, 2012). Slender: The Arrival Teaser Trailer. Game Informer. Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
  9. Alex (December 1, 2012). Marble Hornets creators join development of The Arrival. Blue Isle Studios. Retrieved on February 16, 2013.
  10. Jeffrey Matulef (February 11, 2013). Pre-orders for Slender: The Arrival are half-off, come with instant beta access. Eurogamer. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Slender: The Arrival for PC. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2013-04-03.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Slender: The Arrival for PC Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2013-04-03.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Daniel Starkey (April 10, 2013). Slender: The Arrival Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on April 11, 2013.
  14. Slender: The Arrival - Review. Retrieved on June 25, 2013.
  15. Marty Silva (April 3, 2013). Slender: The Arrival Review - IGN. IGN. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Andi Hamilton (April 5, 2013). Slender: The Arrival Review - VideoGamer.com. VideoGamer. Retrieved on April 11, 2013.
  17. Paul Tamburro (April 1, 2013). Review: Slender: The Arrival - CraveOnline. CraveOnline. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  18. Downloadable reviews: Slender, BattleBlock Theater, No-One Has to Die. Digital Spy. Retrieved on June 25, 2013.
  19. Phil Hornshaw (April 3, 2013). Slender: The Arrival Review: Much to Fear, Including Repetition. GameFront. Retrieved on April 4, 2013.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Paul Goodman (April 2, 2013). Escapist Review: Slender: The Arrival. The Escapist Magazine. Retrieved on April 3, 2013.
  21. Kyle Lock (March 28, 2013). Slender: The Arrival Review. VVGtv. Retrieved on March 28, 2013.
  22. Slender: The Arrival review – paranormal activity. Metro (April 5, 2013). Retrieved on May 23, 2013.

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