With recent real-life events, the internet has been abuzz with talks of Aliens, UFOS (UAPs) and the unexplained slowly coming into the limelight of mainstream media, giving titles like The Greyhill Incident the perfect window for release.
Sadly, even if you’re a die-hard fan of the unexplained or alien culture, The Greyhill Incident is a disappointing and short glimpse into a game that clearly needed more time to gestate. Set in the early 1990s, The Grehill Incident puts players into the shoes of a man named Ryan, a resident of the titular Greyhill. The sleepy little, rural farmers’ town, as the name may suggest, is, of course, overrun with grey aliens hellbent on probing and kidnapping the town’s residents.
Things quickly go from bad to worse after Ryan’s son is taken into one of the UFOs in an admittedly strikingly cinematic scene, which does a good job of setting up the rest of the game. In fact, when not actually playing The Greyhill Incident, the game’s atmosphere and world feel well-polished, exuding moments of brilliance reminiscent of imagery found in films such as Signs and even Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Unfortunately, things take a hit when playing The Greyhill Incident, primarily from a clunky and uninteresting gameplay loop that never introduces any fun or engaging mechanics. Instead, The Greyhill Incident grants Ryan a baseball bat and a revolver, with the former feeling inept and only useful for selectively breaking obstacles in the environment due to having limited stamina.
“…The Greyhill Incident’s lack of a map, coupled with slow controls and vague objectives, make circumnavigating the game world feel like a chore…”
On paper, low stamina makes sense as you’re not playing as a military badass or videogame hero. Instead, you’re just an ordinary father trying to make sense of his increasingly hostile situation. However, The Greyhill Incident’s bland and repetitive environments feel like an absolute slog to navigate with Ryan’s base speed, which feels like he’s walking around with cement shoes on.
The revolver players acquire early on is The Greyhill Incident’s only saving grace, complete with limited ammo that incentivizes the risk and reward of exploring the alien-infested neighbourhood. Encounters with the grey aliens usually mean running away, hoping to find a closet, garbage bin, or parked car to hide in, while having two shots from the revolver can also save the player from getting abducted (The Greyhill Incident‘s version of a game over).
Getting caught by an alien isn’t an instant game over, as players can mash the E button on the keyboard to escape. However, if caught repeatedly in short succession, the game will end and force the player to continue from the last checkpoint.
“Despite repetitive and slow gameplay, janky voice acting, and an overall lack of polish, I still found some charm during my time with The Greyhill Incident.”
Despite checkpoints being semi-frequent and most tasks required to proceed to be in relative proximity to one another, The Greyhill Incident’s lack of a map, coupled with slow controls and vague objectives, make circumnavigating the game world feel like a chore and an artificial way of squeezing out the game’s already short runtime, which took me just over the 5-hour mark to complete.
The Greyhill Incident also suffers from some weird voice acting choices, with many voices sounding flat and robotic, with the one exception being that of the player character, Ryan Baker, who sounds fantastic and really carries the otherwise uneven narrative experience of the game.
Despite repetitive and slow gameplay, janky voice acting, and an overall lack of polish, I still found some charm during my time with The Greyhill Incident. Still, sadly, just when the game seemed to be alluding to something more, it abruptly ended, leaving me feeling like this invasion was better off being ignored.