As a person fascinated by sex and sexuality in games, and as one who believes the attitude towards sex in games can tell us a lot about our society’s attitudes in general, I was eager to play the Lust from Beyond demo despite being unfamiliar with the series.

Prior entries in the series are Lust for Darkness, and Lust for Agony. I played Lust from Beyond on a PC. It’s only available on PC for Windows.

Lust from Beyond is a first-person adventure horror game from MovieGames and Lunarium that starts in a frightening dream world. The player wakes up on a slab in a blue room, pulsing dark, and fleshy, with the character’s penis inside a long tube that goes up to the ceiling. Gross.

There are creatures that lurk in the darkness of this fleshy hell. Presently, the player comes face to face with an eyeless monstrosity that attacks and then the player wakes up. The main character, nicknamed “the Seeing”, is part of… a sex cult?

The cultists worship the world of Lusst’ghaa, participate in secret potion drinking rituals and, well, casual group sex, and they live together in an old Victorian-style house which isn’t creepy or weird at all. Despite the reassurance of his cheery comrades, the Seeing is clearly disturbed by the dreams he’s having because he’s awoken with a wound given to him by monster in his dreams. How is this possible, he wonders?

Like first-person adventure horror game Amnesia, the player is incapable of fighting back against the evil that lurks in the shadows, though the character won’t go mad in the darkness. In sequences in the world of Lusst’ghaa the camera is shaky, slow, and, when moving, blurry, impeding the player’s vision. There are elements of point and click adventure games; there is one puzzle in the demo and the player has an inventory from which items can be used with elements of the environment or shown to NPCs.

There’s less sex than you might imagine in the Lust from Beyond demo, but it’s not tame (and the full game will probably be more hardcore) but it’s hard to feel sexy when the player is being chased by a giant, flesh-eating creature — horror and sex make strange bedfellows, but the combo is a major draw of many films.

The monster that follows the player out of his dream is definitely not one to be messed around with, especially since there’s no way of fighting back. It leaps and disappears into ceilings and out of windows, loping menacingly towards the player, part lumbering zombie, part horribly fast Alien.

There’s a few good jump scares during the demo and the monster’s appearance is truly disgusting. The chest and stomach are one long horrible gooey, toothy mouth, but we won’t discuss here the implications of the vagina dentata design of this particular feature. Suffice to say, Freud would consider it a good example of man’s fear of castration. Still, it does leave something to be desired. It’s not particularly novel even if it is creepy.

If a gamer is looking for scary, then scary is to be found, and so too is revulsion and all the good icky stuff. But is it sexy?

Well… As far as sex scenes, there are only a few — one where the player is featured and several where the player watches other cultists as they engage in relatively well-animated group sex. I was actually a little surprised at how well-done it is! There’s also a censored version available.

A word of warning to whoever would play Lust, though — there are images of dead people, and particularly a dead woman, in sexual situations. But that’s the territory of erotic horror, I guess? I watched a few videos on YouTube of people (men specifically) playing through Lust and the sexual scenes elicit responses that run the gamut from disgust to arousal, so it really depends on the type of player one is.

The game has also been featured on Pornhub because it certainly qualifies as pornographic, so it should come with a trigger warning. Since the main character is a man, it’s clear that men are the target audience and there’s little exploration (so far) of female pleasure. That said, the dialogue is good, and someone took care to write it, which one can’t say for many games that feature sex as an object of play.

I would not say that I enjoyed Lust From Beyond. I marveled at it because this is not something I had previously known existed, and it’s likely to titillate someone so I’m not trying to ick anybody’s yum!

Lust From Beyond launches in March 2020 and from the Kickstarter page, they’ve made enough money to include player-participatory sex, so that’s something to look forward to!

— Gabriella Santiago-Vancak

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Cool to see gamecritics expanding its repertoire. That said this sounds like it is definitely not for me. I’ve not even finished Alien Isolation because it was too scary.