Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Review

An asymmetrical PVP experience that leaves a bit to be desired.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Featured Image
Release Date
August 18, 2023
Sumo Digital
Gun Interactive
PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Reviewed On
Review Copy Provided By
Gun Interactive

When I first heard that Texas Chain Saw Massacre the game was being developed, I was both excited and skeptical as to how the game would play out. An asymmetrical horror multiplayer where a group of 3 players hunts down 4 other players sounded like a concept that certainly needs a lot to make work. Although it’s clear that Sumo Digital put a lot of love and thought into the practicality of this concept, it ultimately comes out pretty flawed.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre revolves around the iconic cannibal family and their unfortunate kidnapped victims who are trying to escape the compound. As one of the three members of the family, you’re tasked to hunt down victims and prevent them from escaping. As a victim, survival should be at the forefront of your mind, and then finding a way to escape.

During my time with Texas Chain Saw Massacre, I won’t deny that I had a lot of fun. There were some pretty tense moments especially when I was the last victim standing and the others had either died or already escaped. I also had some sadistic glee while hunting down helpless victims who can do naught but run away when I see them.

Beyond its macabre charm is a tense game of cat and mouse. Victims can’t exactly fight back but they have ways to outsmart the family with the map being designed in their favor. There are tight gaps they can fit through, holes they can crawl through, and items they can scavenge that will help them in their escape.

The victims are going to need this because every other advantage goes to the family. Not only are they unkillable but there are three of them roaming around the map trying to catch their prey. Against a group of well-coordinated and highly skilled killers, the victims stand almost no chance. Which is on par with the film.

I can’t help but think that perhaps having three killers hunting down four is a bit too much. Perhaps two killers would’ve sufficed as having to deal with three is an almost impossible task in and of itself, especially as the number of victims start dwindling.

Time is not on the victims’ side as they’re constantly being drained of their health slowly even at the beginning. As the game goes on, victims will be pressured to take bolder risks to escape the family or risk succumbing to this mechanic. The family also have Grandpa on their side who they can feed blood they’ve collected to further aid in the hunt. Grandpa will periodically track down the victims’ locations of those who aren’t standing still for a short period of time.

Thankfully for the victims, they can incapacitate Grandpa for a short amount of time to have themselves a brief respite. Survival for the victims boils down to careful planning and a lot of luck. Well-coordinated victims who know what to do significantly increase the odds of survival.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre exits cover

Maps in Texas Chain Saw Massacre are a maze. They’re huge sprawling labyrinths with multiple levels. There are gaps, holes, and dark areas that victims can take advantage of to hide from their pursuers. It seems that Sumo Digital did catch on to how unfair it can be for the victims because players who are controlling the family can easily miss dark hiding spots.

You have four types of exits in a match that you can choose to escape to. Since there are only three killers, they can’t guard all of them. Each exit has an unlock condition that requires you to do something first, be it powering a fuse box or twisting a pressure valve before it can unlock. Victims have to work to get any exit open they can but the family can hinder their progress. However, finding the exits themselves is a challenge because of the maze-like setup.

To prevent things from being stale, there are some RPG elements in Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Each victim and member of the family have their own skills, attributes, and abilities. You can upgrade these every before or after a match with the points you’ve earned allowing you to gear yourself towards a specific build that you think can help you escape.

I can’t say that the skill tree for investing points in was game-changing in any way. With the exception of being able to highlight exits and key items for a small period of time, most of the passive skills you can get aren’t very useful.

While this all sounds like it could use a really heavy tutorial, it unfortunately seems that Texas Chain Saw Massacre relies on static videos to tell you what to do. This will often lead new players to be really confused as to how to play and how each mechanic of the game works.

The issue is that Texas Chain Saw Massacre doesn’t do much to make things convenient. For starters, you need all 7 players to start a game when matchmaking. If you’re missing just one, you get booted right back to the main menu. I didn’t see a reason why Sumo Digital couldn’t find a way to just allow the lobby to vote for more time to search. The fact that I had to wait for 5 minutes just to see if someone would join when no one would is a frustrating experience.

There’s also no option to reconnect to the game if you’re disconnected for some reason. I got booted from a few good games because of some problems with connecting to the game; something I do not experience with other multiplayer games. This is a source of frustration that I hope gets remedied in the future.

Playing this on a modest gaming PC, I was able to achieve a stable 60 FPS on medium settings. Even though I had issues with the game connecting me to a match, I only remember the game crashing on me once throughout my entire playthrough.

It’s also very important to note that crossplay features are only available between PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. If you’re playing on PS4 and Xbox One, you won’t have as many players to matchmake with. And considering you need 7 players to start a match, you could end up queueing for a long time.

Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a fun game but it doesn’t feel like it’s going to last long before you tire of it. Unless you have a dedicated group of friends who’ll play with you, it’s not something we recommend a full purchase on. I recommend waiting for it to go on sale or trying it out on Xbox Game Pass first.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Featured Image
Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Review
Score Definition
You better must choose if it’s worth spending your spare cash because it might not be the game for you and it might be for others.
Tensioned filled, horrific fun
Multiple methods of escape keeps core gameplay from being repetitive
Surviving against three killers can sometimes be way too unfair
Lackluster tutorial reliant on static videos
Game's insistence on starting with 7 players can lead to long queue times