Carrion is a reverse horror game in which I am a giant mass of goo and teeth, writhing my way through a facility and devouring everything in my path. The game gives me the opportunity to evolve, and I learn how to become even deadlier, snaring my foes and smashing through barriers. But the absolute best button in Carrion is the one that is the least efficient: the one that lets me yell.
Carrion’s roar mechanic doesn’t do a whole lot. It’ll echo-locate save points for you, which is nice, but I found the echolocation visual cue difficult to read. I still hit the roar button approximately every ten seconds. It’s incredibly satisfying. When I roar, scientists stop in their tracks and cower. Distracted researchers stop hunching over their terminals and start running for the nearest exit. (Which doesn’t work out for them at all, because I have so many limbs, and they just have two tiny legs.)
There are times when I’m up against prepared, deadly forces. Some of these squishy humans have electrified shields or flamethrowers. Sometimes, they patrol away from me, with their backs exposed. At this point, it would be easiest for me to sneak up behind them silently. I could slither out of a vent, snatch one of them from behind, and gnaw on his bones before his buddy even notices I’m there. This would provide a clear tactical advantage.
I never do this. I always roar at them. They don’t like this! As soon as I roar, they are on the ready, and as soft and squishy as they are, these soldiers are more than capable of tearing me to shreds. Will I stop warning them? Absolutely not.
Hitting the roar button just feels good, and the more I do it, the more I think back to 2019’s Untitled Goose Game. Carrion and Untitled Goose Game have some pretty stark differences; in one of these games, I am a horrible goose terrorizing some innocent villagers, and in Carrion, I am a squishy, squelchy monster tearing people in two and feasting on their bone marrow.
But they both have a button that lets me YELL. In Untitled Goose Game, I can honk at the villagers. I would spend lots of time circling my poor victims, wings spread, honking at them. In Carrion, I can sit in the shadows, roaring at the poor, terrified scientist that I will eventually consume.
I have absolutely no plans to stop playing Carrion like this, even though it’s actively detrimental towards my success. It’s a reminder that in gaming, sometimes it’s the little things that matter.