Developed by Sumo Digital, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an asymmetrical 3v4 multiplayer game, based on the notorious horror film franchise. Like other games based on spooky movies, namely Friday the 13th and Evil Dead: The Game, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre puts you in the shoes of either the killer or the victim in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Released on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC during a summer drought of new games, many players are wondering if The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is worth playing. If you’re a member of Xbox Game Pass, you can try it out for no extra charge, but in my opinion, many will bounce off after a few matches. For those interested in what The Texas Chain Saw Massacre brings to the table, let’s dig in.
The Basics of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Game
If you’ve played Dead by Daylight or any of the other aforementioned games that were inspired by slasher movies, you should know exactly what to expect from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. There is no single-player or cooperative campaign, only endless rounds of multiplayer. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game only has 3 maps: the House, Gas Station, and Slaughterhouse, each with a day/dusk/night variant to shake things up. There are a few tutorials to help you understand the basics of the game, but these are video tutorials only, so it’s better just to learn on the fly.
There are two teams in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: the Victims and the Family. In each match, 4 victims must escape by finding key items and unlocking doors, while 3 invincible family members hunt them down. There are 5 playable Victims and 5 playable Family members, each with their own stats and special abilities. For example, Leland is a strong Victim that can stun Family members with his shoulder charge, while Connie is best at unlocking doors in a pinch.
It’s intense and anxiety-inducing to play as the victims at first, but as usual with these kinds of games, it’s far more exciting to play as the killer. Revving up your chainsaw as Leatherface or tracking the victim’s footsteps with Johnny is much more engaging from a gameplay perspective, whereas the victim gameplay almost exclusively revolves around sneaking around and using lock picks on doors.
Feeding Grandpa, and Other Gameplay Twists
That said, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre introduces a few new ideas, including a blood-hungry Grandpa and branching skill trees. If you’re playing as the Family, you can collect blood for Grandpa by damaging victims or scavenging the map, and then feed it to the chair-bound geriatric to ping the location of victims. As you feed more and more blood to Grandpa, his pinging becomes more frequent, until there’s nowhere for the victims to run. This ensures that games don’t drag out too long, and it’s consistently funny to tell your team “Okay, I’m going to go feed Grandpa real quick”.
The skill trees are basic but help add some replayability to the game, offering minor passive bonuses to victims and family members alike. You can also earn attribute points to increase core stats like stealth, toughness, and endurance. While it’s fun to make progress with characters, points are earned through your account rather than individual characters, which discourages experimentation. Additionally, the level cap in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is 10 for each character, so you won’t be leveling them up for long.
In short, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is fun, but unless you’re a super fan of the movies or asymmetrical multiplayer games, it’s only fun for a weekend or so. If you can cobble together a group of 3 or 4 friends, working together against the other team can be rewarding, but only for a while. After you win a few rounds, upgrade some characters, and play all the maps, there’s not much else to do. If anything, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre plays things safe, resulting in a so-so slaughter/sneaking simulator that could use more maps, modes, and an extra helping of massacre.