Review – Lust from Beyond
Curiosity got the best of me on this one. There are a few things in life that I never thought would be paired up with sexual content, and Lovecraftian horror is one of them. I was genuinely curious on what Lovecraft monster banging would look like. Tentacle monsters, crazy beasts with massive mouths for heads with multiple rows of razor sharp teeth, and sea monsters aren’t exactly sexy. Is it just going to be tentacle hentai stuff? I can’t be the only one mystified by this. Anyway, adult sexual content isn’t really the type of game I gravitate towards, but Lust from Beyond looked like it also offered plenty of interesting horror elements and designs with it. Did it pique my arousal or leave me blue? Grab some protection because things will get dirty.
in Lust from Beyond you play as Victor Holloway, a super horned up antiquarian who travels to a land of pain and pleasure each time he nuts. When his visions start to harm his love life, Victor decides to seek out a special therapist that claims he can help. While on the trip to the doctor, Victor gets wrapped up in some cult affairs that push the boundaries of worldly pleasures. Victor quickly learns that he is a chosen one and his ability to go to Lusst’ghaa is no accident.
Without revealing too much, it turns out that the two cults are rivals and they want to use your ability for different purposes. The two cults are vastly different in the way they operate, and my interest in both of them are vastly different also. The Scarlet Lodge are a large group who control the Bleakmoore town and throw a massive town orgy party. While that may sound great, these leather clad weirdos aren’t exactly about your pleasure. The Scarlet Lodge is all about sexual torture, murder, rape, dismemberment, and straight up banging corpses.
A large portion of the game is dealing with The Lodge and I just didn’t care for it. Not that I can’t handle my fair share of gore, but a lot of this felt like over the top shock value. Some of it came off as cheesy and I ended up laughing because the developer is obviously trying to make me feel uneasy. It ended up feeling like Hostel: Part Two where there was no moral ambiguity from characters, just over the top murder porn.
The Cult of Ecstasy handle things very differently; actually using consent in their orgies and do so without torturing or murdering. We find out that the realm of Lusst’ghaa has a cancerous infection that is slowly eroding it and turning it evil. The Cult of Ecstasy travels to the realm often to help heal it and enjoy its unique designs. These portions of the game are my favorite. Exploring Lusst’ghaa and its crazy Lovecraft and Giger inspired designs is actually a lot of fun. You’ll encounter creatures, gather powers, and solve puzzles. Unfortunately, things don’t pick up in this realm until the last third of the game.
For the most part I did enjoy the story. There are plenty of twists and turns, the majority may not shock you, but its interesting enough to keep you going. Some parts seemed to drag by very slowly and The Scarlet Lodge parts I just didn’t care for. However, the inclusions of gameplay weapons, tools, and systems did help keep Lust from Beyond from being a walking sim. Yes, you do have the ability to fight enemies in some cases. Armed with a knife and later a pistol, you will be able to take out some enemies. Don’t expect to fight through every situation, however.
There is panic bar similar to Amnesia where looking at especially messed up or scary things will cause you to freak out. If you do not consume pills to bring back your sanity, you can slip away and go mad. Unfortunately, I never felt like there was enough of these situations that I was ever in danger of going mad. You always had plenty of medication to use. There are also upgrades you can find in Lusst’ghaa where you can upgrade your health, sanity, or movement. So upgrading your sanity almost made that system pointless.
Puzzle designs in Lusst’ghaa will evolve as well when you unlock your main ability. I will say that a couple puzzles actually had me think about a solution. However, for the most part, the puzzles are pretty self explanatory or require you to explore and use objects in certain orders. While the main chunk of Lust from Behind is exploration and puzzles, it’s unfortunate that the movement is so clunky.
Okay, if you made it this far you’re probably wondering what’s up with the erotic stuff. I just didn’t want to be premature. Obviously Lust from Beyond is classified as an erotic horror game and there is plenty of banging to go around. Just about everything is steeped in sexual imagery. Random naked statues can be found around the mansion, dildos and pocket pussies in drawers. The beginning of the game keeps it pretty calm when it comes to full on bang scenes. However, by midway you’ll be experiencing full orgies, rape scenes, monster banging, and the whole nine yards. I do mean the whole nine. There is full penetration in these scenes: this isn’t a softcore movie. Most of this came off a cringey, but there were scenes that actually got an uncomfortable response from me.
Visually, for the most part Lust from Beyond is pretty good looking. The majority of the environments, especially in Lusst’ghaa, are well done. There are nice details throughout and fairly good lighting make some scenes stand out. This is very evident in the other realm. Some of the imagery and designs in Lusst’ghaa are impressive and I enjoyed exploring the areas. When areas opened up with massive Lovecraft inspired tombs and then go to Giger inspired pathways, I was visually engaged the entire time. There are some areas, mostly in the real world segments, that had low textured parts and objects, but for the most part the environments are well done. Unfortunately, character models need a lot more polish, which is a shame for the sex scenes.
Sound design is easily Lust from Beyond’s weakest department. Voice acting ranges from extremely bad to just barely passable with stilted performances. The voice acting itself was often the cause of a lot of scene’s cringe factor. General sound effects are there, but don’t really add much to the scenes and are overall low quality. The same goes for the soundtrack. There is something there, it tries to add mystery and suspense to scenes, but it never hooked me the way it should in a horror game. Sound quality, well used effects, and eerie suspenseful music are key elements to a horror game and I felt they all came up short.
I’ll be honest, I actually enjoyed this much more than I was expecting. I know you’re looking at the score and confused by this statement, but I initially thought this was going to be some cheap smut to earn a quick buck off horny gamers. Cough, Agony, Cough. There is actually a decent amount of effort put in here even if it all didn’t land well with me. I did really enjoy the sections with Lusst’ghaa and the erotic sex parts didn’t seem over the top. In fact, the gore sections are what I thought could be toned down on. A lot of those sections felt like forced shock value and that type of horror doesn’t gel with me as well. Lust from Beyond has some good ideas and didn’t stick to only a walking sim or only a full blown erotic game. I wouldn’t recommend it for general audiences, but if you’re into this genre then you’ll likely get some pleasure from it.
The environments are well crafted, despite a few low textured areas, but the character models leave a lot to be desired.
Simplistic game design with minimal combat actions. Movement is clunky which is unfortunate since exploration and environmental puzzles are a big chunk of the gameplay.
Not much quality in this department with wildly ranging voice acting, the average being stiff and awkward. General sound effects and soundtrack are there, but nothing that enhances the experience.
A bit of a mixed bag here as I really enjoyed the Lusst’ghaa Realm aspects. However, too much of the game takes place in the real world murder/rape house stuff that relied too much on shock value.
Final Verdict: 5.5
Lust from Beyond is available now on PC.
Reviewed on PC with an i7-9700k, RTX 2070, and 16gb RAM.
A copy of Lust from Beyond was provided by the publisher.