I had been looking forward to playing Greyhill Incident, especially with its unique alien-themed take on the first-person horror genre, but my time with it has been nothing short of frustrating. It does have some cool ideas, but they’re few and far between when compared to the game’s more tedious moments.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Greyhill Incident puts players in the role of Ryan Baker, a conspiracy theorist who finds himself in the midst of an alien invasion in his hometown of Greyhill. Yep, little grey men are running rampant, and when they abduct his son, it’s up to Ryan to try and find a way to bring a stop to them. This means exploring Greyhill, helping out the other residents, and evading the alien invaders yourself, with violence not ALWAYS the answer when dealing with extraterrestrials (thought having your baseball bat handy does help).
The storytelling is very corny and predictable, with it borrowing all of the tropes you’d expect to see on some random conspiracy theory website about aliens online. At the same time, there’s something I really liked about it. Sure, the writing is poor and the voice acting is bad (don’t get me started on the local weirdo Bob), but there’s something charming about it all that made me want to see how it all unfolded. It never gets as interesting or intricate as some of the better alien invasion stories out there, but there’s something about Greyhill Incident that’ll definitely keep players interested. Just be warned: it all ends very abruptly, so you might not be satisfied with the ending.
When it comes to the gameplay, Greyhill Incident feels like your typical first-person horror title. You’ll work through a variety of dark and eerie locales, use a light source that has to be recharged, and are better off hiding from the alien threat rather than taking them on, with ammo in short supply and your baseball bat not that effective when facing off against groups of enemies. It’s the same sort of thing you’d have seen in plenty of other horror titles, so if you’re familiar with the genre, you’ll know what to expect.
“It doesn’t make for an enjoyable gameplay loop, and whilst Greyhill Incident does have some set-pieces that stand out, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it’s just not that fun to play.”
Unfortunately, Greyhill Incident doesn’t do a good job in making the gameplay enjoyable. For one, the open environments can make it hard to know where you need to go next to progress. Whilst there are lights that you can follow to reach objectives, they’re often difficult to track – especially when exploring a busy area like a cornfield. Now this might not typically be a big problem, but when combined with evading aliens at the same time, it can be really frustrating.
This is mainly due to the fact that the stealth mechanics of the game can be really unpredictable and annoying. Not only are the aliens seemingly hyper aware of your position and able to find you with ease, but your limited stamina means its tough as nails to actually get away from them. They also have a faster movement speed than Ryan, so if they do get you stuck in a corner? You’re in trouble. As mentioned, you can fight them off, with the gun the best option, but with ammo limited, you’ve really got to pick and choose when to use it. You can use your bat to beat up the aliens too, but the unresponsive controls and heavy stamina use can make it feel inefficient, meaning you’ll find yourself facing plenty of ‘game over’ screens if the aliens become aware of your position.
It doesn’t make for an enjoyable gameplay loop, and whilst Greyhill Incident does have some set-pieces that stand out, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it’s just not that fun to play. For better or worse, it’s over very quickly too, with my playtime lasting under three hours – there’s nothing on offer that’ll encourage players to come back for more either, with the game very much feeling like a ‘one and done’ experience. It’s a real shame, especially since there was a lot of potential for the game to be one of the more interesting first-person horror titles out there.
Check out some screenshots down below:
It’s not particularly pretty either, though I wouldn’t say it’s the worst looking game that I’ve played. Sure, some of the characters look a little odd and there’s an intentional simplicity found in the aliens, but there was something atmospheric and believable about the world design that helped it fit the tone of the game. It can be a little too dark in places, but what else would you expect from a horror game? Technically, it ran well on the PlayStation 5, whilst playing in the ‘Found Footage’ mode (which is DLC that is included in the game’s ‘Abducted’ edition) actually complemented the experience.
Greyhill Incident Review
Greyhill Incident has an interesting concept, but its poorly executed gameplay mechanics can make for a tedious and dull experience. The lack of signposting can make exploration a chore, whilst the frustrating stealth mechanics and aggressive enemy AI can make encounters with the aliens a real pain – especially with your low stamina that makes it hard to get away.
There are things I liked about the game and the story is cool (in that ‘so bad it’s good’ kinda way), but it’s really hard to recommend Greyhill Incident. Refugium Games are working on some patches to improve the experience which is good to see, but as it stands? You’ll probably want to steer clear of this alien invasion.
Developer: Refugium Games
Publisher: Refugium Games, Perp Games
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), Xbox Series X|S, PC