HitFlesh is an adventure in a haunted MMO server

Come and relive your old MMO nostalgia in this first MMO you’re sure to remember – HitFlesh! What, you never played HitFlesh? Ah, you are lucky that the fans have created a classic game server that is completely free to play. At least that’s the setup for this story-driven adventure game about caving through a classic MMO of the same name. Something has gotten creepy in these fan servers. You can see HitFlesh’s new trailer here while you wait for its next free demo.

HitFlesh is “a single-player narrative game about a weird, ancient MMORPG that’s been brought back online,” explain the developers of Virtual Archaeologist. “Explore and discover the strange legend this game has inside.”

It certainly smacks of MMO nostalgia here in the first half of its trailer – that vaguely fantastic soundtrack melody and font. Characters standing with neon names all wearing the same blue starter tunic. Even if you’ve never played the old RuneScape, this is probably what it looks like in your mind.

Things seem to get a little scary after that. Player characters appear sealed in walls of Matrix-like modules. There are bugs, guts and giant eyeballs and I have no idea what any of that means. There seems to be some kind of dark ritual going on led by a powerful glitch-out character

Beyond all that, HitFlesh has some MMO horrors of the less supernatural genre. They say it’s “a story of violent broken masculinities in online communities”, including a content warning for mentions of harassment, bullying and sexual violence. One of their recent screenshots paints a fairly familiar picture in the fictional game’s global chat box. It looks like HitFlesh’s haunted present may be tied to some of his less savory pasts.

It’s not for nothing, or for shock value, I don’t feel. “We believe that video games and other forms of fiction are necessary to explore cultural and political imaginaries and can participate in dismantling naturalized toxic behaviors and structures,” the developers state. I’m really interested in how and what they have to say about the online spaces I remember from my teenage years.

You can find HitFlesh at on Itchwhere the developers say there will be a demo soon.

HitFlesh was one of many excellent and interesting games featured during the indie horror game Showcase EEK3 last Friday. By the way, I also thought the co-op horror game Eronoctosis (which launched today) looks pretty good.