“Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability.” – H.P. Lovecraft
Full Game Details
Developer: Movie Games Lunarium
Platforms: Windows (with plans for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
Available on: Steam
NOTE: Lust from beyond features gore and explicit sexual content, both the game and this article are intended for mature audiences only.
Lust from Beyond is a sequel to the 2018 title Lust for Darkness and began life as a Kickstarter project in April 2019 which was funded within 10 hours. Backers received a demo version of the game which has since been updated and was made available on Steam as a free prologue in October 2019.
In the stand-alone prologue, the player takes on the role of Christopher who, in a bid to discover the truth behind his tormented night visions, becomes a member of the Cult of Ecstacy. He delves into the cult’s lifestyle and custom, giving in to its blasphemous, violent and sexual practices. As worldly pleasures ceased to satiate the cultists, they begin following Christopher’s visions, attempting to travel beyond the borders of this reality and into Lusst’ghaa – the Land of Ecstasy.
The gameplay is a mix of psychological survival-horror with walking-simulator and puzzle game mechanics, all surrounded by explicitly sexual cultish antics. The horror elements are implemented well to build tension and atmosphere rather than relying on jump scares, although there are a few. Christopher’s visions feature enemies most heavily and it is possible to die if they are encountered too often, however, this is not especially punishing and simply places the player at the beginning of the section.
The puzzles are similar to those you might find in a point-and-click game and often rely on finding items and utilising the inventory. Additionally, there is plenty of scope to explore the environment, collect various items and even partake in a number of social interactions with other cult members
Lust from Beyond claims to take inspiration from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, H.R. Giger and Z. Beksinski; this is quickly apparent, especially aesthetically. The Lovecraftian elements of the game include the Victorian-style house in a modern setting, the character’s night visions and the overall narrative. A reiteration of Giger’s distinct style can be seen in the protagonist’s visions and whilst in Lusst’ghaa and finally, the design and feel of the game’s main enemy are highly reminiscent of Beksinskis’s work.
The in-game music is nothing noteworthy, much like the sound effects which were also lack-lustre and included cliché horror noises such as out of tune music boxes and creaking doors. However, both were used, in addition to some atmospheric lighting, at different points throughout the game in order to increase fear levels and anticipation
Overall, the Lust from Beyond Prologue was an unsettling but enjoyable experience that can occupy a player for around 2-4 hours at zero cost. The gameplay is varied and the styling is wonderfully inspired yet the graphic portrayal of extreme sexual acts in a cult environment makes the game difficult to recommend without caution! It is worth noting, however, that the game does have censored mode that can be toggled on and off even during gameplay.