A Love Letter To Twin Peaks in Lake Haven – Chrysalis
When I think about Twin Peaks, which is often, it’s an excellent series for the most part, and in my imagination would fit perfectly into a video game setting. That’s why back in 2010, Deadly Premonition hit so hard for me. Bugs aside, even now, the PC version can be a pain to play. But the way it seemed to nail this sense of horror mystery trying to unmask the Raincoat Killer and mixed in this over-the-top melodrama, with a Jazzy as hell score to boot. It is a fantastic game, and I look forward to it whenever we get titles like it. Just don’t look at Deadly Premonition 2 because, in my opinion, it fails to hit that mark in almost every sense of the imagination.
So when I saw this game, Lake Haven – Chrysalis. I knew I had to spend some time with it. From what I gathered quickly skimming the steam page before playing, it was that Crysalis is a prequel to a to-be-released full game titled Lake Haven. So if you decide to check it out, keep that in mind, but I’ll tell you, if you enjoy Twin Peaks and Silent Hill, this one is worth checking out. The runtime of around one to two hours was excellent and had gripped.
Lake Haven – Chrysalis follows Zeke Reynold, a detective called in to check out a missing persons report. Even from the get-go, you can feel the Twin Peaks stylings come through, with our protagonist inner monologuing about how it sounded like many other cases but how this one felt different in their bones. The camera pans to our detective driving down a long road, but the camera is upside down, slowly rotating itself around as we get a tight shot of the radio. It’s David Lynch as hell, and I love it.
That is one thing that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is precisely what I want. Odd directorial views through the lens and some well-captured camera angles that we don’t see much of, especially the first time we enter the living room. Almost immediately, we are thrust into the weird unknowing world of Lake Haven. After pulling up to the missing person’s house, there is a well-lit with candles and an old rickety ladder leading down. In this space, we get the sense of the Silent Hill vibes, with some stone slab doors blocking us with intricate designs on the tiling with a slot missing. Puzzle door time, as we search for the missing piece and so close to a sacrificial altar with bloodstains? Yes, please, sign me up.
While we eventually find our missing person, it is quickly brushed to the side, as we need to search for more evidence. This leads to one of my favorite aspects of being heavily inspired by games like Alone In The Dark and Resident Evil. As we solve one puzzle, it gives us pieces to another, and almost like a giant Rube Goldberg device, it keeps on going.
The way Lake Haven – Chrysalis presents us with plenty of environmental notes, keys, and puzzles really hit that survival horror trope of the Fatal Frames and Silent Hills we know so well. It really helps set the scene and make us, as the player feel more engrossed in its world. There is a lot to really appreciate in this prologue that has me ecstatic for the whole game of Lake Haven.
There is this turning point in Chrysilis that really pushed the envelope as far as the Twin Peaks styling goes. Needless to say, things get really weird and brutal in a way I was not expecting. Without spoiling too much of it, one of the final things we do in this was incredibly well timed and had me sitting on the edge of my seat, almost in a sweat, thinking that it was indeed over for me.
Lake Haven – Chrysalis is a fantastic homage to the more retro style of horror games while being able to carve out some new space for itself. It will really surprise fans of the series should they decide to check it out. I, for one, am waiting with bated breath for the full release of Lake Haven because if indie developer Felix can keep this level of intrigue for a full game, we will have something exceptional in store for us.