The Park

During October more and more Theme- and Amusement Parks offer a Halloween or otherwise Horror Themed Event. Often these Events offer additional Attractions in the form of Walkthroughs filled with Live Scare Actors and themed to a specific thing like a Mine or Hospital. These Walkthroughs, often called a Maze, are sometimes in Backstage Areas, like i.e. Movie Park Germany has one under the Grandstand for their Stuntshow, or inside otherwise abandoned rides or buildings on or near the Parks property. Walibi Belgium uses a regular house that is just outside the regular Park Area to great Effect for this. As a Horror Fan I love these Events and I try to visit at least the one from Movie Park Germany every year.

As for Media around the topic of Theme Parks and Horror, there isn’t really much. You could make an argument that Kiss meets the Phantom of the Park could be classified as a Horror-Comedy and The Death of Ocean View Park has at least some Supernatural aspects to it, but most famous is probably the opening Sequence from Final Destination 3 which features a pretty insane, and unrealistic at that, crash of a Roller Coaster. For Games I can only come up with parts of Silent Hill 3 and a little Horror Exploration Game called simply The Park.

The Game is centered around Lorraine who is trying to find her son Callum in the small Atlantic Island Park. The whole thing starts out normal enough during the closing time of the Park when Callum notices that his Teddy Bear is missing and Lorraine goes back to the Entrance to ask if the Bear was seen by someone. This is when Callum enters the Park on his own and Lorraine is given permission the re-enter the park herself to try and find her son. During the escalator ride up to the park itself everything suddenly shifts to abandoned, dilapidated version of the place. And from here on out everything goes south. While Atlantic Island Park seems to be abandoned for years, it still has Power and the Rides are, for the most part, still functioning. And they have some special features like a large demon-like Figure or Bumper Cars being on a crash course without a driver. On top of that you find several scenes of Murder and Deadly accidents that happened at Park and Reports about those incidents.

Throughout all of this Lorraine spirals towards Insanity and things get more and more crazy the closer she gets to entering the House of Horror, which is a rather unspectacular Haunted House Walktrhough with cardboard cutout monsters. However, the innocent first impressions are deceiving. After a short while Lorraine finds herself in her own Apartment, and she can’t escape from it. The whole thing Loops multiple times and it get’s more and more twisted and disturbing each time.

While I do like The Park, and I have played it every year since it was released in 2015, I still can’t fully recommend it. For starters, it is short. Very short. You have a hard time needing more than 2 hours on your first Playthrough and it is easily pushed below 1 hour on repeats. However, at least on Steam, it is advertised as being that short (Not sure if this is mentioned in the Digital Stores on consoles) and that in itself isn’t really the major issue at play here. The real Problem that the Park has is being a Spin-Off game for the MMO The Secret World. That in itself still isn’t a issue, if it wasn’t for the whole Plot and many events making no sense what so ever without knowing at least the basic Setup and premise of The Secret World, and even then and to this day it is hard to figure out which events in the Park really did happen and what was just part of Lorraines Imagination.

I kinda feel bad for FunCom that The Park ended up being more a companion piece / better look at a specific location for The Secret World than it being a Tool to get more people interested in the MMO. And it’s a shame too, The Secret World is filled with Lovecraftian Style Events, Locations and Stories and to me it feels like that if The Park had been more successful that we would have seen more of these Spin Offs. As it stands, the full asking price is a bit too high, but during a sale you can give it a try.

Official Website
The Park on Steam

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