Have you at any point while watching a particularly messy death scene in cinema thought to yourself “I’d hate to be the one to clean up that mess”? Or would you be willing to roll up your sleeves and dive in elbow deep through the gooey entrails that may once have a person, scrubbing until it’s clean enough to eat off? If you are the latter, I believe that Viscera Cleanup Detail may just be the game for you.
Viscera Cleanup Detail is a 2015 sci-fi horror simulation video game where players are tasked with cleaning up the bloody aftermath of a successfully repelled alien invasion. The game was developed and published by South Africa-based indie developer studio RuneStorm, known as the developer behind the arena-based, melee combat game Rooks Keep.
The game is especially literal by design, where the player controls a “space janitor” tasked with cleansing a space station after an attempted alien invasion. Assignments include picking up body parts, bullet casings, and other miscellaneous debris, repairing bullet holes, refilling first aid kits as well as cleaning an ungodly amount of blood and bile off all surfaces. But worry not, as this celestial sanitary technician is equipped with the latest in cleaning technology; a mop, a broom, and a bucket of water to aid this task of returning the station to its former glory.
As with real cleaning, it is incredibly effortless to befoul an area that has already been finished. Knocking over a dirty bucket of water, using a filthy mop, or carelessly tracking through an uncleaned patch can undo that strenuous work instantly. Ultimately, a plan of attack is needed so a player can be as efficient as possible and save decontaminating the same areas. Using an incinerator, begin by clearing all biological waste as well as collecting all spent bullet casings and other assorted wreckage. Afterward, mop all walls and ceilings (whilst being careful not to knock that pesky bucket over) and it’s finally time to begin on the floors–only in this way will save both time and effort.
AsViscera Cleanup Detail was created on the Unreal Engine 3, its use of HDRR and dynamic shadows creates some visually stunning levels. Full of detailed surroundings with the beautiful implementation of dynamic per-pixel lighting creating a realistic, natural environment. However, Viscera Cleanup Detail happens to suffer from similar problems to others made on the same engine. Item collision can be an issue at times, where some things as simple as trying to move a crate full of body parts can have unforeseen consequences such as sending limbs hurling at the speed of sound off into the level, leaving gore and carnage in their wake. Though perhaps not intentional, this gameplay element certainly increases the difficulty.
With several pieces of downloadable content as well as two pieces of standalone content, and self-contained titles not requiring the base game to play, there is an unquestionable variety of different levels to enjoy the monotonous act of cleaning. From cleaning up after a rampaging Santa to entering the levels of Shadow Warrior Redux, scrubbing the scene of a mass murder to picking up the pieces of a failed supervillain, Viscera Cleanup Detail unequivocally has something for everyone’s tastes.
Available to play on PC and Mac, Viscera Cleanup Detail is a cathartic experience for a certain type of person. Delivering a sense of satisfaction from a job well done in an enclosed environment, while lacking the consequence or commitment of its real-life counterpart. However, if the plan is to play games to escape those household chores, this may not be an enticing concept. Despite this, Viscera Cleanup Detail is a well-crafted, enjoyable experience, both by oneself or with a group of friends in co-op.
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Hey there, I’m Jim and I’m located in London, UK. I am a Writer and Managing Director here at Grimoire of Horror. A lifelong love of horror and writing has led me down this rabbit hole, allowing me to meet many amazing people and experience some truly original artwork. I specialise in world cinema, manga/graphic novels, and video games but will sometime traverse into the unknown in search of adventure.