Any class D personnel are to stop reading this article immediately. Further reading with result in immediate termination.
Many of you won’t be familiar with the SCP (Secure, Contain, Protect) Foundation, a wiki dedicated to the cataloging a huge range of fictional paranormal objects. These range from ‘Safe’ level objects, such as an indestructible pizza box capable of instantly creating the opener’s favourite pizza (SCP-458), to ‘Keter’ level objects, extremely dangerous paranormal hazards such as SCP-035, a sentient porcelain drama mask capable of warping the minds of anyone close to it. The wiki alone has kept me occupied for hours, and represents an amazing array of creativity and imagination from the various authors. It is certainly worth your time.
SCP – Containment Breach is a free, independently created game that is currently in its alpha stages, and includes several of the SCP’s found on the wiki. The main SCP is 173, pictured, a Euclid-level ‘object’ — Euclids have unpredictable behaviour, but do not pose the same threat as Keters.
SCP-173 is much like the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who – unable to move when directly observed, but capable of sudden, violent motion when out of line of sight. Its favourite hobby – and likely only hobby – is causing death through neck snapping.
Containment Breach involves just that: SCP-173 escapes its holding cell, and you’re left alone to escape the facility. Problem is, SCP-173 has other plans.
Gameplay is very simple – all you have to do is escape. No weapons, just you. Oh, and a blink meter. That’s right, every 5 seconds or so you have to blink, momentarily closing off your vision. As mentioned above, SCP-173 is fast, and blinking in its presence leads to a very sudden *CRCK* of your neck. Turning your back on it has the pretty much same effect.
Containment Breach is a scary game. As you may remember from a few weeks backs I took a look over at horror, and my gripes with it. For however basic Containment Breach may be, it manages to capture the essence of what is almost universally scary – being stalked in a dark place by a very dangerous, unpredictable assailant. However weird SCP-173 may look, nothing can stop you jumping when it suddenly darts up behind you as you turn around to close a door. It’s the suddenness of attacks and appearances that sets you constantly on edge, the inclusion of the aforementioned blink meter keeping you from relaxing. Trust me when I say there’s nothing in Doom 3 or Dead Space that rivals the tension created as you try to skirt round an immobile SCP-173 before your blink meter runs dry and your neck is snapped like a shard of dry pasta.
Containment Breach isn’t the first game derived from SCP Foundation creations, with two other games, SCP-087 and SCP-087-B, simply involving you walking down a set of darkened, never-ending stairs. Random events, such as noises and moving shadows, are randomly generated, as is what level you ‘finish’ on. Play it to see what I mean, ideally with all the lights out. Wear a nappy if you’re of weaker disposition.
Ultimately, SCP-horror games are not so much games as they are scare experiences, and I admit it is unfair to compare them to mainstream titles, which inevitably have to offer more to sell to a larger audience, sacrificing a large degree of the scare in doing so. Still, SCP-games provide in pill-concentrate form what many horror games lack, and ought not to be passed up simply on the basis of their seemingly basic and low-key nature.