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Destroy, consume, spread and stop at nothing - CARRION is out now

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CARRION from Phobia Game Studio and Devolver Digital sees you turn into an almost unstoppable force and you're so very hungry for tasty Human flesh. Note: key provided by

A creature of unknown origin, whose body doesn't have any real form. You're just a mess of angry, red tentacles that you use to reach out and destroy with. It's a reverse-horror and a damn good one at that. The kind of setting we don't often get to play in video games and a welcome change. Plenty of gore, screaming and exploration are on the cards here and none of it is boring. I often found myself just destroying everything possible because CARRION makes it feel so good.

This is what makes CARRION so interesting, as you instantly feel powerful. That feeling doesn't always stick though, especially when the soldiers start throwing everything they can at you. It's the mystery of it though that keeps you going, even without realising you're still trying to figure out what's truly going on. As you continue to smash through vents, doors and more to tease and confuse the bags of flesh before you inevitably devour them you're always progressing to unlock more of the game and unlock more of yourself.

Small spaces is what helps keep CARRION so intense. There's not a huge amount going on at any one time but in these limited, often cramped spaces it's got such fantastic design work that there actually is plenty you can do when you stop and think. That's quite hard to do too thanks to the ceaseless craziness, as I just want to storm in and spread red across the screen. I feel like a bad guy.

Check out the launch trailer below:

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CARRION can easily be compared with plenty of horror movies, games that throw in various strange creatures and plenty more as it does clearly borrow some elements. I couldn't help but think of things like, well—The Thing. A familiar beast in some ways then you could say but thoroughly unique in its own right. CARRION is, very much so, a game that your parents would love to have warned you about.

Atmospherically, CARRION is something of a masterpiece. Gorgeous pixel-art with wonderful lighting, bright colours where it's needed and that's backed up by a great musical score to go with it. It all feels so very epic, despite still being quite a cramped experience when moving around, especially as you grow in size.

What impressed me most though is the movement and how utterly brilliant it is. Seeing all my freaky tentacles automatically spread and grab as I move, with all the little wiggly-squiggly sound effects to go along with it. Absolutely brilliant, it's practically hypnotic. I can't think of another experience quite like it. Controlling the creature is amazingly easy too, relying on very simple controls with a few extra buttons for special abilities you gradually unlock.

Check out our preview footage from the demo:

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What you don't get with CARRION is a lot of story. Not that it's much of a problem here. Honestly, I didn't really care. I was far too busy throwing people around and laughing about what a delightful piece horror I had become. It uses a lot of environmental story telling, you need to look out for all the signs. I mean that literally too, there's scrolling LED signs to give you an idea of what's going on and sometimes it's quite amusing to see. It's actually quite a Metroidvania experience I would say too, thanks to everything being so connected together, with areas locked away until you manage to smash through a special container of the good stuff to evolve a little and progress further.

It's good to be bad, a little gross too but CARRION is a game worth your time. Thanks to the awesome pixel-art, you never really feel disgusted with the gore that you so easily could have been with a more realistic style.

CARRION can be played with either a gamepad or mouse / keyboard and it felt stupidly good with both. The Linux version was great, it's not often I really can't fault an experience.

You too can become a tsunami of angry red otherworldly DNA if you buy CARRION from or Steam.

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sub 24 Jul, 2020
Quoting: Ehvis
Quoting: subThe game mechanics look great.

But what is the actual game about?
I play as this monster blob and kill some humans?
I really fail to see the goal of the game from the videos. :D

IIRC from the demo, escape from where you were being held.

Ah right, I should probably just check the demo. ;)
rkfg 24 Jul, 2020
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The Steam version doesn't launch for me, looks like it can't find the libraries in the same directory. I found a workaround which is to patch the binary. Install patchelf from the repository, then do:
patchelf --force-rpath --set-rpath '$ORIGIN' Carrion

I don't know the details but it seems that RUNPATH is the modern header field used to search the libraries and RPATH is the legacy one. For some reason on Debian (at least) this RUNPATH, which is correctly set to $ORIGIN in the game binary, is either ignored or not used properly but RPATH works as intended. $ORIGIN means the directory where the binary is located. Usually, developers make a shell script that sets up LD_LIBRARY_PATH to find the libs but RPATH can also be used. It has its issues with transitive library loading (if some other library needs to load its dependency it might fail if you don't patch it the same way) but overall it's a good alternative. I reported this bug, hope the devs fix it soon.
dpanter 24 Jul, 2020
Quoting: rkfgDebian
Debian sid here, runs out of the box.
rkfg 24 Jul, 2020
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Quoting: dpanter
Quoting: rkfgDebian
Debian sid here, runs out of the box.
Here's the report, I read a bit about RPATH/RUNPATH but currently have no idea why only the former works. I had something in my LD_LIBRARY_PATH related to CUDA but after unsetting it the problem still persists. Pretty weird but I remember having such issues with my own programs I compiled with Meson, I had to patch the binaries later to set RPATH for them to work (but I might be mistaken, it was long ago).

Ok, found the issue, my bad. Described it in the aforementioned report.

Last edited by rkfg on 24 July 2020 at 10:37 pm UTC
dpanter 25 Jul, 2020
Always fun when you break your own system, troubleshoot it for a long time, angrily wonder which idiot broke the system, find the problem and realize who did it... and no, I've never done that. Nope. Not even once. Nuh-uh. Narp. Nyet. Nix. Neveeeerrrr
rkfg 25 Jul, 2020
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I did it to use this utility, it even says in the README that must be available somewhere. Now after fixing my issue I just patched laspad itself with patchelf --set-rpath '$ORIGIN' and put to its directory. In general, when something weird happens the low level tools help most, that is tcpdump and strace. I often don't even waste time with guesses and googling as soon as I see something mildly unusual, just run those bad boys and they instantly tell me what's wrong.
dpanter 25 Jul, 2020
Holy crap, why would someone even suggest this madness... must be available somewhere, where your linker can access it. This could be /usr/lib
rkfg 25 Jul, 2020
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lol yeah, bad idea but I really needed this utility to work. I actually used his next version of the same program written in Rust but it also didn't work without this library present somewhere.

About the game itself: I played for several hours and it's really good! Not challenging at all but rewarding. I only got lost a couple of times, even though it feels like metroidvania (you need to go back sometimes after you get the abilities you need to progress), it's still linear. If you don't know how to get somewhere or solve a puzzle (there are no puzzles, only lacking abilities) just put that part aside and you're guaranteed to return to it later. The most common complaint is that the game is short. For me 5-6 hours is quite good because I can finish the game on the weekend and don't get bored. And considering the polished and satisfying experience the price is justified, too.
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