The makers of 2017's Friday The 13th game are taking another crack at the asymmetrical horror format with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The new game will have a similar format to both Friday the 13th and its popular competitor Dead By Daylight, but developer Gun Interactive is making one big change: instead of a single killer hunting down a group of survivors, Texas Chain Saw Massacre will have three.
In a February 14 blog post (opens in new tab), Gun Interactive CEO Wes Keltner explained the change as a gesture to the original movie that also meaningfully changes the gameplay formula. "We never want to make the same game twice. You either innovate or imitate, and I don’t have to tell you which one makes for a better game. Everyone at Gun prefers to innovate and push the genre forward," he said.
"How do you do this? Well, when it came to the design of Texas we knew that 3 vs. 4 was different. All the mechanics and features are built around this fundamental rethinking of asymmetrical multiplayer. Additionally when you look at the '74 film, you’ll note there’s an entire family to deal with, not just Leatherface. So it felt natural to have three killers chasing victims."
Keltner said designing for three killers has meant a lot of design time spent making balanced levels and killer abilities. "Creating shadows and items to hide behind, mixtures of open rooms to move slowly through, while hallways become natural choke points that players can move quickly through to find the next hiding spot," he said.
Keltner also said having three killers around can be "overwhelming," and having a few dozen hours in Dead By Daylight myself, I can believe it. Just a single killer skulking around a map can be too much to handle, so I'm curious how TCM will tip the scales for the survivors. Maybe survivors will move faster than killers or have more ways to "trap" killers behind them with map features? Maybe, like in DBD, perks earned over time can fill in the power gap for survivors? Questions for another day, since we don't yet know what the survivors will actually have to do to escape this family of killers.
Gun has recently published a few other dev updates that you may find interesting, like this one about the weird custom instruments (opens in new tab) it's using to make the music and sounds of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.