• Hope Eliza

REVIEW: GYLT – Google Stadia

Updated: Jun 8

It’s our first ever Stadia review!

The world is a pretty scary place right now, a lot of large entertainment companies are helping to do their bit to make the Coronavirus lockdown a little more bearable. This includes Google who are currently (AS OF 8TH APRIL 2020) giving gamers 2 months’ worth of Stadia Pro for free. This meant I finally had the opportunity to play GYLT; a horror, puzzle platformer that I have been dying to play since I first saw the trailer for it last year.

To draw comparisons to other games, I’d describe GYLT as Concrete Genie (2019) meets Little Nightmares (2017). You’ve got the bullying storyline, a young protagonist and a literal nightmare world full of terrifying monsters. GYLT follows the story of Sally, who is searching for her younger cousin Emily who has been missing for over a month. During her search, Sally ends up at her school which is now derelict with monsters patrolling the campus. Sally must now work her way through the school along with other local buildings to save Emily, with only a flashlight and later a fire extinguisher to hand.

To start, I think I’ll summarise my experience playing a game through Google Stadia. Like I said, Google are currently giving away 2 months’ worth of Stadia Pro for free. GYLT is a Stadia exclusive and with no other games on the streaming platform that I wanted to play; I was probably never going to get the chance to play it otherwise. My set up included streaming the game from a laptop, connected to the TV using HDMI and using an Xbox 360 controller via USB to play. This set up worked fine, I had no trouble booting up the game and it worked every time. The only issue I had was lag. When I started the game, it was around 6pm on a Saturday night which would be considered peak time at the best of times let alone when the entire country has to spend all day, every day indoors. Sometimes it would be so bad I would go to take a step forward in game and not only would it take a few seconds to register on screen, but sometimes it would jump ahead and this would be a problem if I am trying to sneak behind monsters and suddenly I’m stepping on their toes because the game couldn’t catch up. This wasn’t always an issue though and sometimes just simply closing the game and re-opening it fixed the lag temporarily. As the game is only around 6 hours long, this issue was endurable.

For the game itself, the only negative thing I can say about it were the lag issues which would be down to internet providers and streaming rather than the actual game. The gameplay was intuitive and when it wasn’t laggy, responsive too. I really enjoyed not just traversing my way through the spooky areas but also collecting items, solving puzzles and unravelling the story of how Emily has been missing all this time. I felt genuinely nervous playing GYLT at times; some of the monsters were seriously frightening (especially the mannequin girls!) and the sweeping sense of anxiety when entering new rooms or hearing strange noises was even overwhelming at times. Which is exactly what you want from a horror game! The game has challenging puzzles that don’t get too frustrating, which is a good thing as there are barely any walkthroughs out there for it. I liked the fact that most puzzles were easily solved with basic real world common sense, which made me feel extra clever when I worked them out!

GYLT boasts a 3D stylistic art direction with some cutscenes displayed as 2D animatics, this along with believable dialogue and a horror film appropriate soundtrack, made this game feel cinematic. Even when there wasn’t a cutscene! The voice acting is also superb; with soon to be Disney alumni Dora Dolphin - who is soon to be known for her upcoming role in Disney’s The A Girl (TBA) and Question Games’ co-op horror game The Blackout Club (2019) - as Sally and Madelyn Grace known for Z Nation (2016) and Bunk’d (2019) as Emily.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing GYLT and recommend any fans of the games mentioned earlier, to sign up for the 2-month free membership and to experience this game first-hand. Although it hasn’t convinced me to switch my usual method of gameplay with the streaming service, it has given me more reason to believe in the system. In fact, if Tequila Works were to produce a sequel to GYLT I would buy into the streaming service just for that. It’s that good!

You can find out more about the 2-month free membership here and watch a trailer for GYLT below! For more reviews from me see what other video games I’ve reviewed on here as well as on my own blog hopeelizab.co.uk!