Darkwood, the top-down horror game, rolls out with a creepy new gameplay trailer

Last month, Darkwood developer Acid Wizard Studio released out a live-action trailer to announce that the top-down survival-horror game would finally be released on August 17. Joe said at the time that live-action promos for videogames don't really turn his crank, and I agree—but the new trailer released to mark the game's launch is pure gameplay, and it looks fantastic. 

On the surface, Darkwood sounds like a fairly straightforward survival-horror experience. By day, you'll scavenge the open-world forest for materials and supplies, and at night you'll need to hide away from "the horrors that lurk in the dark." But it's the promise of something more sinister underneath it all that really appeals: Making decisions that impact the world and inhabitants of Darkwood, while trying to come to grips with its mysteries. 

The top-down gameplay in the trailer isn't frightening in the way that first-person games typically are—the developers make a point of describing it as "survival horror without jump scares"—but it's undeniably creepy. The lighting is great, and the audio is used to tremendous effect to help drive the trailer to its crescendo. And it's so damn weird—A "wolfman" isn't the most exotic creature ever to appear in a videogame, but one dressed in a hoodie and heavy jacket, with an AK slung over his shoulder? That, you don't see every day. 

Darkwood is available on Steam and GOG for ten percent off its regular $15/£12/€14 price until August 24.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.