This year’s seen no shortage of blockbuster releases. And still, I can always count on a new project coming along and immediately grabbing me out of nowhere. That’s what Holstin did, both with its general concept and then in-game, as I fled zombies in the demo of this perspective-swapping survival horror.
Holstin is a survival horror game set in a Polish town in the ’90s, overtaken by a mysterious infestation. There’s something like undersea coral emerging in the darkness, and it looks to have turned all the denizens into monstrosities. So it’s up to our lone hero to explore, find answers, and try to survive.
A two-part demo for Holstin is out now on Steam, with the first largely focusing on the atmosphere and exploration, and the second on the more action-y parts of survival horror. They’re both worth your time, but I want to draw some immediate attention to the perspective-switching you’ll see a lot of in the second demo, once you’ve got your hands on a handgun. You can see some of it in the new trailer below:
The second I saw the camera go from this rotating, isometric view to the Resident Evil 4 over-the-shoulder view, I was in. And it works smoothly, too. The way it immediately zooms in and gives you this “objects in mirror may be closer than they appear” with the zombies all around you? It’s fantastic.
New views of horror
A lot of Holstin‘s demo is what you’d also expect from a classically inspired survival horror. You can combine items in your inventory, manage the battery of a flashlight, and carefully count bullets as you fire. Sneaking is sometime a better option than going loud, but if things get messy, you can target body parts to take out heads, arms, or legs.
I also found Holstin to be a bit more challenging than most, thanks to its stamina meter. When you get hit, it doesn’t just affect your health, but your maximum stamina, which doles out your dodge and aim-down-sights time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed fast. Mixing the ambient, tense horror of exploration with these frenzied, chaotic firefights is a really intriguing combination, and I’m curious to see how the two halves make a whole.
That said, if you’re someone who dug the classics or recent revival efforts like Signalis, this seems like one to keep on your radar. Holstin doesn’t have a release window target at this time, but I’m putting it on my wishlist and keeping an eye out for more.