TGS 2018: Hands-On with ‘Star Diffusion’, a Top-Down Sci-Fi Survival Horror Game

Horror and science-fiction go together like peanut butter and bananas, something that Hollywood has proven time and time again, and that the game industry proved with Dead Space but then forgot about because there apparently wasn’t enough bang-bang-shootins in it. Well, developer Celad remembers, and they’re proving it with their upcoming title Star Diffusion. It’s a top-down survival horror game, and while you may wonder if it can bring the scares with that kind of bird’s eye view, just put on your head phones and keep a spare change of shorts nearby in case of emergency.

Star Diffusion‘s premise is a familiar one. Some unlucky sucker has arrived late to a killer party on a space station, and now he can’t find a ride home. The lights are off, not a living soul can be found, and the only traces of life are the blood smears that you stumble across early on. You’ve got a flashlight to help you see, but you know how well those illuminate an entire room, especially under video game rules. You need to find out what the heck happened, and try to make it out to tell the story while you’re still breathing, a matter that becomes far more complicated when some… thing jumps out at you while you’re exploring.

Luckily, you’re far from helpless. In addition to that flashlight, you’re also packing a gun, and as long as you can find ammo and only have to deal with one target, you’ll be fine. Ha ha, qualified statements. Just push the second virtual stick in the direction you want to shoot, and boom, you will do a little damage. Repeat until you run out of bullets or the enemy is dead. As you might guess, you can find new weapons along the way, but as you might also guess, ammo will be an issue if you aren’t careful about it.

I only had time to go through the early bits of the game, but from what I played, Star Diffusion is really quite good. Its use of light helps make what could have been a usual twin-stick shooter feeling into something a lot more scary and tense, and I’m an absolute sucker for this sort of premise no matter how many times I’ve seen it. The developer is targeting a Q2 2019 release for the game, but could not confirm if it was going to come out in North America or not. I certainly hope it does, as it would be a shame to make something this interesting and not roll it out to as many countries as possible. We’ll be sure to keep you posted if we hear anything about it.