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White Noise Online (Xbox 360) artwork

White Noise Online (Xbox 360) review

"White Noise Online has made the original title, which I really enjoyed for the three months of its applicable life span, completely obsolete."

If White Noise was Milkstoneís answer to Slender: The Eight Pages (and it was; it unashamedly was) then White Noise Online is their attempt to branch out a little. Still unashamedly rip that game right off, but at least put some of their own ideas into the mix.

So, this is going to be super easy. Read this:

Original review of White Noise

BUT NOW! You can play online with up to a party of four. There are a handful of new levels to get lost and die grizzly deaths in.

Here are some screens.

White Noise Online asset

White Noise Online asset

More of the same. Off you pop.

Öreally? Not enough? Fine.

While the old game (released all of three months ago, making it virtually decrepit) was a well-made clone, White Noise Online does open the still relatively infant sub-genre up to a whole new experience. If you want to be scared out of your wits, then playing solo is still the way to go; Stalky Licker guyís homicidal rampage certainly has more gravity when youíre the sole target of his rage, and his appearance is undeniably diluted in a party. Unless youíre the first person of the group to spot him, thereís no sour note ringing from your speakers to provide that extra bit of cheap scare. Instead, youíll hear the scream of one of your colleagues, and heíll just kind of be there, almost casually, lounging in the foreground. Escaping becomes somewhat easier, too, not for least that you no longer really have to outrun Licky; just the slowest member of your exploration party.

Still, credit where creditís due, it would be unfair to label White Noise Online as just the exact same game with online options. The inclusion of more maps is appreciated, even if the new ones donít contain the foreboding allure of the first. The surreal statue-ridden original and its newer, more open-plain cousins are given a slight revamp, now containing glowing pillars that will instantly kill you if you stray too near, and throw out meddlesome static to confuse your hunt for cassette tapes. You also now get to pick characters that have perks, like better flashlights or better hearing that give you a slightly better chance at survival.

White Noise Online asset

Being in a gang has its perks, too. Getting likeminded people together armed with headsets has all the potential ingredients of both group-shared horror and hilarity. If youíre the sort of person who sat an unsuspecting chum down to White Noise or Slender, killed all the lights, made them put headphones on and spent the rest of the day laughing your arse off at their abject terror, then hearing a person half a world away having a fit when Licky pounces on them is a day-maker. Online also goes out of its way to punish the unsociable, dooming people who wander off on their own to quick deaths at the hands of the neon monster chasing them.

Death doesnít mean game over. Die (leaving a petrified corpse in your wake to let the rest of your gang know your fate) and you are reincarnated as the ghosts from the previous title. This allows you to wander the plains forlornly, annoying or trying to scare the survivors and maybe helping them find tapes with your enhanced ghostly sight. Itís worth hanging around, because once everyone is dead (which is much more likely than finding all of the eight tape decks you need), youíre shown the routes you took throughout your playthrough, letting you see that youíve spend the last twenty minutes or so running around in a loose circle in the bottom right-hand corner of the area, jumping at shadows and getting hopelessly lost. This is perhaps the simplest addition but, in showcasing how your fears lead to futile searching and awful navigation, itís by far the best.

So, yeah, itís fair to say that White Noise Online is more of the same with a few add-ons, but these new features do lend a lot to the experience. Iím not sure Iíd be happy to big the game up if it was little more than exact same with the option to explore with others, but the character perks, the new maps, the ghostly resurrections and the futile mapping of your aimless wandering gang up to bolster viability. Itís made the original title, which I really enjoyed for the three months of its applicable life span, completely obsolete.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (March 30, 2013)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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