Reviews - Updated on April 4, 2022

Sex in games is becoming more and more. Steam is full of hentai and games about half-naked succubi (remember She Will Punish Them), the authors of Agony are preparing Succubus, very soon a pornographic version of Mass Effect will be released in early access (talking about Subverse, of course). And just recently, Lust from Beyond was released, the continuation of the erotic (to put it mildly) horror Lust for Darkness, which interferes with porn and Cthulhu myths. Naturally, even more sex, lovecraft, gameplay and variety were expected here. Were expectations justified?

pleasure in pain

The story in Lust from Beyond is, to some extent, a direct continuation of the story of Lust for Darkness. Everything still revolves around anxious cultists who opened the way to the other world of lust and pleasure Lust’Gah, and one of the key roles in the story is played by Amanda – the same girl we saved in the first part.

True, the main character is new – the antiquary Victor Holloway, who, because of his sexual visions (and he sees, of course, Lust’Gah), first hurts his beloved girl, then goes to see a doctor, and eventually ends up in hell. Namely, in the lair of cultists who kill and rape those who have a connection with the god of pleasure – and not only them.

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A girl with a guitar… Somewhere we have already seen it.

And this is only the beginning of a great story, in which there will be salvation, and betrayal, and shocking discoveries, and the decision of the fate of the whole world, and much more. Yes, there are the usual clichés here – a hero who is chosen by someone and for something, psycho-cultists, stabs in the back from those from whom you do not expect this at all, and so on.

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Oh, Victor will have a hard time …

But, firstly, from this point of view, in general, all stories in literature and art are about the same thing – about love, death, betrayal and jealousy. Secondly, the main thing is what kind of story is woven from these clichés. And in Lust from Beyond, it turned out to be quite interesting – there are enough unexpected twists and tense scenes to keep a close eye on and wait for how it all ends.

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It will not do without the patches.

When it doesn’t matter

Finally, compared to Lust for Darkness, the sequel’s script has more scale, interesting personalities, diverse locations, direction, and non-linearity. Moreover, more or less secondary characters are also given enough attention. They not only serve as a reference book that provides information about the game world – they are often well-written, living people with their own stories.

And we ourselves determine how these stories will end. Indeed, in addition to the key choice that affects one of the two main endings (and the fate of all mankind!), There are also decisions that change the fate of other characters. Whether to kill the doctor or spare, whether to help a girl who begins to doubt the values ​​of the cult and the intentions of her leader – the consequences of these and other decisions will be told to us in the text already in the epilogue.

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To be honest, it was very difficult not to kill him.

Stylish, porn and perky?

In addition, Lust from Beyond has more style and Lovecraft. Yes, Lust’Gah still resembles a pornographic version of the Cthulhu mythos, which was illustrated by a preoccupied version of Giger (Hans Giger), adding phalluses and vaginas to everything.

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Party at someone else’s house.

On paper, this is more of a disgust, but in the game there is a mixture of disgust and admiration. As the scale of the scenario has increased, the number, quality and variety of otherworldly locations have grown – and in terms of art design, architecture and style, everything is very good there.

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Isn’t it divine and painful at the same time?

But the character models and their animation look worse – as in the average ambitious, but poor indie. Perhaps that’s why Lust from Beyond doesn’t have a lot of actual porn – if we talk specifically about sex scenes, and not just about its depiction in paintings or sculptures. No, there are scenes, but at first there are so few of them that the loud title “pornographic horror”, which was given to the game in advance, seems to be only a bait for the anxious.

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It’s not about sex.

And only closer to the finale, the porn really gets bigger – to the point that we need to personally take part in the orgy, choosing who to sleep with. So if you were expecting an abundance of 18+ scenes from Lust from Beyond, then keep in mind that you will have to wait. And in general, this is, first of all, as the authors themselves correctly write, “a psychological horror with occult and erotic motives”, and only then a game where you can have sex or watch others do it.

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When the hero himself “makes love”, as a rule, a simple mini-game is included.

Not scary but interesting

However, in fairness, I’ll clarify that we are talking more about a psychological thriller – there is frankly little horror in Lust from Beyond. There is enough tension and atmosphere, there are scenes of dismemberment and a lot of body horror in general, but you will hardly startle and be afraid, shouting a good obscenity and grabbing hold of validol.

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It’s moments like these that really make you feel uncomfortable.

Even such a simple but effective technique as a screamer is rarely used by the authors. Therefore, the warning that it is better to play at night and with headphones looks like a trick, like the rumors that there is someone at every step in front of everyone … This is not bad – the game turned out to be quite tense , with its intrigue and thriller atmosphere. It’s just not necessary to position Lust from Beyond as horror.

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And at times like this, you just want to run away.

With the world on a string

Some believe that the game itself, that is, the gameplay, is not enough here. But in fact, the gameplay, following the plot, has added in scale and variety – when again compared with the first part.

The basis is still the same, taken from Frictional Games adventure games, that is, this is an erotic version of Amnesia: The Dark Descent – we walk, read notes, twist and examine objects, pull something into inventory, put something in place, solve simple puzzles, we are looking for keys to doors that need to be pulled or pushed with handles to open.

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Only items here come across specific.

Puzzles are not very difficult – and, as a rule, there is a visual hint right there. At the same time, as in the first part, there are many repetitions, when we are constantly looking for different stones and artifacts so that they open the passage further.

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A note with hints can be put next to it for convenience.

In place and stealth when we sneak past the monsters (although you can try and run away). The main thing is that the legs obey – the main character, at the sight of scenes of violence, can get nervous and panic. If we do not drink a sedative in time, then we will lose control over the character, and then he will hardly get out of the corner of the room for about five minutes.

It looks like this.

And to all this new mechanics were added. Now we can fight enemies using a knife or a revolver. There are also fights with bosses, “sharpened”, including for action and shooting.

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This headshot boss is hard to beat – you also need to use the environment.

We also learned how to use simple magic to activate crystals with the help of special energy and passes with our hands, deploy bridges and overcome dangerous areas. So, we lure special creatures, and then run after them – they float through the air, illuminate everything around and force aggressive plants to remove their tentacles. Other plants (or what?) from the world of Lust’Gah swell and turn into convenient bridges if one of the monsters is killed next to them.

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The flora and fauna in Lust’Gha are truly unique.

Finally, there are altars where you need to choose what to improve – health, movement speed in stealth mode, or the character’s mental stability.

Whole experience

That is, formally here we have a shooter with shooting and magic, and a quest with puzzles, and an RPG with pumping and moral dilemmas. In many ways, this is true – in this sense, Lust from Beyond has taken a big step forward compared to the first game.

Another question is that if we take all these elements separately, then they are implemented, let’s say, at a not the highest level. There are few interesting puzzles, a lot of repetitions, magic exercises are also of the same type, and the action is rudimentary. Only two boss fights will have to sweat. Yes, and there are two or three altars for pumping for the whole game.

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Here the design is reminiscent of the work of Zdzisław Beksiński.

However, when all these elements, albeit not well implemented individually, are combined in one game, and even supported by an interesting plot and lore, then the impressions change for the better.

In any case, Lust from Beyond is difficult for me to evaluate unambiguously. On the one hand, everything is clear – indie with a claim, but without a special budget; a story about another chosen one; porn trash, in which porn has become less; unsuccessful attempts to stand next to Amnesia; etc. And if in Lust for Darkness such porn trash was enough to surprise and attract attention, now this is not enough.

On the other hand, compared to the first part, the authors have done a great job – both the scale of the story and the variety of mechanics have grown. Finally, there is a third side – a personal impression, and not a dry enumeration of the pros and cons. So, it’s not that I experienced the notorious pleasure, but it was interesting to follow the history of Lust from Beyond. Of course, there is something to criticize the game for, but there is also a rather fascinating plot, a well-balanced style and atmosphere. If this is enough for you (and even more so if you liked Lust for Darkness), then it’s still worth getting acquainted with the new product.

Pluses: in general, an interesting plot, which, compared with the first part, has become more ambitious; the ability to influence the fate of some characters; more diverse gameplay compared to the original, combining elements of different genres; if the character models and animation look average, then the design of the environment leaves positive emotions; good job by the voice actors.

Cons: little horror; many repetitive puzzles and situations; although the level of performance has increased compared to the first part, the game still looks like a typical ambitious indie, whose authors want a lot of things at once, but do not have enough resources.

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