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The Gaming Garbage Man Reviews: Carrion

TheGarbageManJul 31, 2020, 6:59:15 PM


It’s what makes us. It’s what nourishes us. Meat is the forbidden fruit, the flesh of what is and was alive. But what happens when the meal bites back? When you stare down the end of your fork and see nothing but your own body, consuming itself? 

While we might be close to breaking down physically and mentally, there is one thing we’ll never not be: Hungry. Now one more question remains: Does Devolver Digital’s newest 2d side-scroller Carrion fill us up or leave us wanting more? 

Let’s dig in.

Having experience with being a gelatinous pile of flesh myself, I was looking forward to flaying and ripping people apart all while escaping a science lab, or in my case, the ever-descending feeling of doom and self-destruction. Carrion does allow those feels, exfoliating satisfaction as you watch your digital meat pile crawl and climb, utilizing oozing bleeding appendages. Long lines of toothy mouths leaving trails of blood and bile behind. It has a sickly sweet design to it, like a moving human centipede of love.

Carrion is pixelated art, flowing and stark, and enhances the gameplay without distracting from it. A game like this should be a mess, but Carrion takes itself seriously enough to give a damn about the little details. Computers flicker and then explode when slammed into. The spawning pools drip upwards and tentacles throb and pulse with delicate timing. This game is beautiful, yet ugly. Brightly colored, yet dark. It’s a playable contradiction, something that adds to its charm.

To play Carrion, you must first use a controller, or keyboard and mouse if you’re handicapped, and then use it to move, grasp, shoot webs and spikes, smash through obstacles and even control the bodies of lowly human meat bags. A fairly simple, yet efficient combination of abilities and control style, used to solve a couple of puzzles and combat the enemies thrown throughout this mazely complex.

Is it enemies or good guys that you fight? Well all robots are evil, even Jesus knows that, but most of the scientists or contract workers scream and run from the meatly appendages grasping towards them. They act like victims or at least regretful minor-offensive criminals. 

But do I feel bad when I eats them in two bites? 


All are guilty in Carrion, for you are just an innocent yourself, as explained in three slow-moving flashback sequences in which you play as a normal dude. I’m trying to avoid spoilers here, so let’s just say that the monster in Carrion could actually be the monster in any of us. Feels, feels all around.

Being a long, girthy slab of meat makes me sad that this is at max, a 5 hour game. I’m sure there’ll be speedrunners trying to beat Carrion in 3 minutes, but you will not need to return after those 5 hours. You’ll have all the upgrades and all the flashbacks. You’ll have seen all the sights and you‘ll have eaten all the meat. I wanted a 64oz. Sirloin and all I got was a quarter-pounder with no cheese.

Final Score: 3 out of 5. 

 Carrion is fun though short. Imaginative, but shallow. Flavorful, yet slim. It needs to be fattened up, like all you can eat at a cream corn factory fattened up. The ending gives you an idea how this could have been done, but I don’t think the developers were willing to put that much work in. They had a great idea but just kept it as that, an idea.

Given a bigger world to destroy and consume, Carrion would easily be a perfect game. But when you hamstring a blob of meat that eats people into a single enclosed location, you make your game more of a concept rather than a full imagining. I loves it like I loves a small animal: enough to care for and feed it, but not enough to let it be free. 

Perhaps Carrion can be expanded upon in a sequel or DLC, but for now it’s a short distraction, like 3lbs of ground beef eaten in a single sitting. I'd recommend Carrion for fans of The Thing, Metroid, and Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Now excuse me, I’m going to go swallow another game.

This was the Carnivorous Gaming Garbage Man! Until the game, keep that mouth stuffed!