Chasing Static is a first-person horror game inspired by 80’s Horror Sci-Fi. Developed by Headware games and published by Ratalaika Games, it is a game coming from the Haunted PS1, which serves as a demo for various developers to share their work with other developers, and fans of horror games to experience their work, so it is great to see the game was able to get a fun release from an amazing community.
In Chasing Static players will be in control of the main character, Chris. After putting his late father to rest, he gets lost on the road and ends up at The Last Stop Diner, where he meets a friendly waitress that informs him that he missed his turn, but she’d be happy to show him to way if he can give her a lift to avoid riding a bicycle in the rain. After a nice little back and forth, things become dark when the lights cut out and Chris’s world is dragged into a horror story.
Players will find a bunker with laboratory equipment and a radio, which they use to talk to a scientist who informs Chris that an experiment has gone wrong and that the response team has gone silent.
Asking for his assistance to make things right and handing him a radio frequency device that picks up FM/AM waves, Chris is able to uncover the dark story that has unfolded in the area while coming into contact with ghosts.
The controls for Chasing Static are fairly basic, and with an inventory system that feels a lot like many other horror games, you will find items scattered around that will have a use in the world, such as bolt cutters and tapes. The look sensitivity is quite high at default, so I turned it down quite a bit so to find a nice feel for myself. Being part of the Haunted PS1 collection, the graphics are meant to be based on a PS1 title, so there are a few textures that pop in and out, and the characters are the good old poly-style animation, so if you are looking for an amazing-looking horror, keep this in mind.
The audio is a key part of the game, as you need to listen out for frequency tuning while holding the device to track down the echos of the past, which are used to tell the story of events that have happened and what went wrong with the experiment, but there is also a static sound which will warn you of any ghosts coming toward you.
Ambience is supplied by constant rain and an eery soundtrack, and while it lacks sounds such as footsteps, I was pleasantly surprised to hear voice actors during character interactions.
The game itself is short, with three main locations to visit. It can be finished in about two hours, and sadly, there isn’t a punishment for getting touched by the ghosts. While there is no way to fail your story, the game does feature different endings which will change the last few dialogue options in the game. There are puzzles to solve, which are not complicated, so if you enter an area you have already explored, it will let you know if there is a key item you have missed by having it written across the screen and make it impossible to ignore.
Chasing Static, being a short story horror game, was enjoyable with easy-to-use controls and a straightforward progression system. I recommend it to horror fans as it is a fun experience, and with no way to fail, it could make for a good entry game for players that have never played a horror puzzle game.
- Easy to play
- Good storytelling
- Old school cosmetic feel
- Great use of audio
- A few textures popping in and out
- Rather short
- Sadly can’t be hurt by ghosts