You know those horror movies where the good guys rush blindly into a place of certain death? That’s me. Seriously, it is me, especially in video games. I mean, here is a place that’s called “Death House,” and my first instinct is, “Yeah. Definitely. Let’s do that.”
Welcome back to DDO’s Barovia, which I am totally in love with. I spent about 10 minutes poking around the starting village and soaking up the excellent pseudo-Transylvanian atmosphere. Huge props to SSG for all of this. It’s so well done on the visuals and sounds.
Anyway, let’s rush after a couple of kids who allegedly went into this place! I’m sure nothing bad will come of it!
I get kind of punchy in instances where the developers are clearly trying to unnerve and scare us, so pretty much the whole time I was running through this place, I was cracking jokes and perforating any surface I could with my automatic crossbow. You just know that the monsters in here were kind of regretting putting out the welcome mat for adventurers the day I showed up, all trigger happy.
Again, great atmosphere going on here. Really creepy haunted house, and I admire the devs restraining their hand at any jump scares or throwing tons of mobs at me right away. Instead, they encourage me to explore and let the spookiness of this seemingly abandoned house soak in. The sounds in particular definitely put me on edge.
Anyone getting a Blair Witch vibe right about now?
So what happened to these kids? We kind of find out through letters scattered about that the house was full of cultists trying to impress the vampire Strahd, but those darn kids, well, they were being disruptive.
They had to be locked in the attic.
For a very long time.
Once again I had to laugh at the similarities between this expansion and The Secret World, because this is TOTALLY the Nursery. Dead kids? Blood splatters? Creeptastic dolls? Dollhouses? All that in spades, baby.
Oh yeah, the kids are dead. But they’ve been talking to you the whole time, so it’s probably all good.
Descending into the basement, the quest starts to cut loose with some monster encounters — ghosts, crawling arms, giant spiders, that sort of thing. Pew pew, don’t you regret your life’s decisions now?
When the secret basement of your murder house has a secret shrine to your vampire overlord, perhaps it’s a sign that you’re not to be trusted with babysitting duties.
The lord of the manor! C’mon dude, give me a smile. A little one? Eh? Eh? Fine. Keep scowling like that and it’ll stay that way forever.
The big bad monster in the basement is this muppet-looking trash monster. Honestly, I was kind of let down. He’s cute enough that I was looking for the mission’s gift shop so I could buy a plushie to take home to my kids.
In the end, I laid the kids’ bones to rest in these adorable little side-by-side coffins and pondered why burying kids’ remains makes for a successful miss… oh hey! XP and loot!