Almost hectically, I let my eyes wander around the room. Just don’t make any noise, just don’t attract any attention. Carefully, cautiously, almost like a snail, I creep forward bit by bit. My heart is beating I hold my breath. Just a few meters more uuuuuuand … I’ve been discovered.
“What are you playing there, porn?” Loud laughter echoes through the open-plan office. I sink into the ground in shame. How did I please not see the curious colleague coming? “I, I have to do this for work!” I mumble, embarrassed, in my beard, while I frantically press the escape key to cover the bare breasts on the screen with the pause menu. Somehow it feels like back then, when Mutti with raised eyebrows wanted to know how the illegally burned DVD of “Pulp Fickschön” ended up in the drive of the family computer *. Games editor is sometimes really not a nice job.
Especially not if you are condemned by the executive suite to test titles like Lust from Beyond – a “game” that is so lousy that it was withheld from German Steam users. Or so. Perhaps it is also because Valve has made it into its head since December 2020 to block all “adult-only” content through a region lock in the in-house store. If the developers of Movie Games, like in the predecessor Lust for Darkness (buy now 3,75 € ) try to conjure up a creepy-awesome gaming experience that mixes elements from the works of HPLovecraft and HR Giger with a good pinch of eroticism, so you won’t find anything about it in this country. Cthulhu in sexy – of course you can’t put that in front of the honest bratwurst Bavarian.
Quelle: PC Games
The game has nothing more to show you than a visit to the city sauna, as much you can confidently anticipate: naked, shiny and misshapen bodies that haunt you into your nightmares. Dead, motionless eyes that stare deep into your soul and ask: Why are you doing this to yourself? With all that, Lust from Beyond has at least the decency to offer you an optional censorship. Then you don’t have to look at Lovecraft-Lümmel or Giger-G-spots in detail, but only get to see blurry pixel pulp. What a blessing.
Why do you have a mask on?
Unfortunately, you still have to endure all the rest unfiltered: After all, Lust from Beyond does not only consist of naked bodies, even if they make up the majority of the gaming experience. On the side they also want to offer you a little history – as it should be for really good porn. Unfortunately, the makers never get above the level of “Why is there straw lying around here?” In addition: You play Victor Holloway, an uptight antiquarian who gets a little too rough during bondage sex with his girlfriend and therefore has to seek psychological treatment. Of course, that only works with the oldest, most dubious head plumber in the most battered town in all of America. And of course our poor hero is drawn into an occult, mask-wearing secret organization that wants to open the gates to Lusst’ghaa through ritual pack boom – the realm of eternal ecstasy.
Wait a minute, eternal ecstasy? Is it finally getting cool now? Nope, of course not! Instead of pimper paradise, Lusst’ghaa is a single nightmare made of slippery mass and disfigured demonic creatures that could have come straight from the trash can of the local fish factory. A real kickstand killer that lets your hand wander out of your pants and back to the keyboard in a flash.
Quelle: PC Games
In a way, you can already compliment the creators here: Yes, Lust from Beyond can even be really disgusting with its meaty, fibrous level design! Only horror unfortunately never really wants to arise, at most frustration and despair. The excursions to Lusst’ghaa playfully awaken traumatic memories of the total failure of Agony. You step through confusing hell labyrinths, press a few switches here and there or solve the simplest puzzles. Why? No idea. It is better not to look for meaning here, just as little for playful variety.
Quelle: PC Games
In general terms, there is very little horror in a self-proclaimed horror game. Neither when you’re sneaking through an abandoned hotel, in which some idiot has scattered broken plates all over the hall, nor when you have to flee from a few topless cult members over the rooftops of the city. It’s a shame, because movie games try so hard! The Polish studio has only built in the very best gameplay and scary mechanics: for example, escape sequences with trial & error that you have to play over and over again. Or a mechanism that reflects your constant slipping into madness by suddenly reversing your keystrokes and making the screen shake and flicker as if you had consumed three per thousand if you were in poor mental health.
It quickly becomes apparent that the gameplay here has more of an alibi function. Accordingly, the occasional collectibles, health boosts or terribly clumsy gun battles are no longer worth mentioning. They only seem to be there to really sell Lust from Beyond as a game, to be able to show interested parties: Hey guys, there are breasts to be seen here! But with us you don’t have to unlock it with a round of poker or breakout, you can even get something “real” to play.
The main selling point is and remains very clear: nudity. And there is more than enough of that in Lust from Beyond. Sometimes it almost seems as if the developers wanted to rub the virtual genitals in your face. If that’s your fetish, okay. Otherwise, the explicit profanity quickly loses its appeal and is just annoying. Within the first few minutes of the game, which take you into an old mansion, you have already seen your fill: the walls are lined with nude pictures, your roommates unabashedly do it on the dining room table and of course there is a pocket pussy in the nightstand. The Lust from Beyond design process must have gone something like this:
Level designer: “How much nudity do you want?”
Executive floor: “Yes!”
Accordingly, in the later course of the game you can look forward to a shepherd’s hour disguised as a quick-time event (a quickie-time event?) And let a wrinkled old man blow you – in many ways a pretty negative climax.
Quelle: PC Games
Especially since Lust From Beyond is not even nice to look at. Animations, character models, and textures all look totally out of date. The poor optimization leads to regular loading times and frame drops even on good PCs. Especially when you turn the camera quickly, the title can turn into a flip book. In addition, there is the English setting, which sometimes sounds worse than my first attempts at walking on the PCGames YouTube channel (here a small sample). The stupid, listlessly presented Cringe dialogues make all the characters completely unsympathetic without exception. But that could also be due to the fact that movie games do not leave out a single cliché in their design and drag every stereotype through the picture from the horny nerd to the femme fatale.
Quelle: PC Games
So what is left after eleven hours of play? The feeling of being really shocked or at least a little aroused? Certainly not. At most the vague feeling of having wasted a lot of life. Sure, in the genre of adult-only games there are far more brazen representatives than Lust from Beyond, which pull a lot more money out of your pocket for a lot less. If you are looking for a well-made game with erotic elements, you will definitely find better things in the depths of the Internet …
(* Author’s note: This scene is of course fictitious and never happened)
Lust from Beyond: Der Erotik-Horror-Mix im Test. [Quelle: Movie Games Lunarium]
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