Dispatcher is a first-person, atmospheric horror game with RPG elements published/developed by CivilSavages (Studios). Unfortunately there are few details regarding CivilSavages, they are however a new company based in Russia and as such this is their first ever title.
Somewhere in the near future technological advancements enable humanity to explore beyond our own solar system. The first of the brave souls embarking on this grand adventure known as pathfinders, wonders about the discovery of planets with alien lifeforms and the voyage into the unknown. However the unknown has found humanity first.
You are a crewmember on the spaceship Dispatcher, a mysterious accident involving some kind of newly discovered alien life-form has left the ship dead and adrift in space. As you awake you appear to be the only survivor, you set out to discover what exactly happened to the ship.
It quickly becomes apparent that you’re trapped alone on board with several alien entities, the blood stained rooms would indicate they are not friendly. You’re left with the decision of, do you simply escape or should you attempt to find out what happened in order to prevent such mistake from occurring again. In the enclosing darkness you can’t help but wonder “was this a mistake, or was this organism introduced on purpose” what’s worse is that infection is air-born and without the limited supply of on-board medicine (pills) you will slowly succumb to it.
Gameplay wise dispatcher is focused on the environmental horror every bit as much as the more traditional “monster horror”. The dark rooms and corridors mean that even with your trusty flashlight it’s easy to get turned around and completely lost, the ever impending threat of being discovered by the mysterious and monstrous alien entity/s definitely leave you panic stricken.
On your journey there are a few “safe areas” as well a plethora of various items such as batteries, pills, notes and key cards all of which you will primarily require to survive. They will also enable you to hopefully escape the doomed spacecraft. However players will also have to be cautious of chemical spills as well as fragmentation and electro-static (stun) mines left by the other inhabitants of the craft before their brutal demise. Players will also find credits around the spaceship which tie in with RPG elements allowing for players to improve their characters stats. The developer also plans to have some kind of co-op mode and a “play the monster” mode where friends can take turns hunting each other down.
All of the various mechanics of the game go well together to produce an extremely atmospheric horror game. Which is surely to provide even the most hardened of horror genre gamers with a sense of fear and panic. Some of the mechanics are a little on the subtle side which could be better explained with a tutorial however the game is of course in early access.
Graphically speaking the Unreal4 engine is used to great effect to provide realistic feeling atmosphere, and is all suitably metallic and futuristic. As for the soundtrack the hunting background noises and creeks and groans of the ship (at least you hope it’s the ship) all add to the overall atmosphere and aesthetic, the monsters are also suitably horrific sounding.
Overall personally this is actually the first “horror” game I’ve played however I am a fan of horror movies I can safely say that this game is every bit if not more scary than most of the films that I have watched. The game is still quite early in development and there are more features to be added and it should be noted that some of the Russian to English translations are quite right however fluent English speakers shouldn’t have much of an issue comprehending the meanings. As such I am unable to give a score however I am more than happy to recommend it to everyone except for those with a nervous disposition. Now if anyone needs me I’ll be in the cupboard… hiding… wait what was that noise.