REVIEW | The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

REVIEW | The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre review | As a lifelong fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, I can say that based on my previous playthrough during the beta test a few months back, I have been hyped for this game. Very rarely do games based on films work well, and this goes the same way for films based on games. But Sumo Digital and Gun Media seem to have found a formula that is both addictive and fun. Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film has been a staple in the horror community for decades spanning numerous sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. Based on true events, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes a popular multiplayer formula and gives it its own spin on things by introducing multiple killers in each match.

DeveloperSumo Digital
PublisherGun Media

ℹī¸ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!

What We Liked!

  • Multiplayer Options | The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has three different options to play through. There is The Family, which will assign you a random killer and is based on first come first served. You can ask to swap in the in-game lobby by pressing on the killer and selecting swap. This is where I have spent most of my time. The second option is The Victims, which will have you play as one of the four teenagers trying to escape. The third option is quickplay. This option is a random choice of killer or victim, whatever lobby needs filling the most is where you will end up, but the gameplay doesn’t change.
  • Sound Design | The sound design in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is excellent. If you managed to watch the developer documentaries that Sumo Digital published a few months back, you will know that they did their best at recreating sounds associated with the movie. The killer’s voices, Leatherface’s incoherent mumbling, farm noise ambiance, and most importantly, tracking down the original make and model chainsaw used in the film and recording all of the audio from that to make it sound as authentic as possible. The game does feature some voice lines, but not many. These lines are only delivered by the killers and usually involve them sounding off when they find a victim to chase. They also play at random moments to give the victims a sense of unease if they are hiding. Knowing that a killer is in the same room as you or just around the corner will fill you with dread. The music in the game is also similar to that from the movie. The main menu track is a slow, dark simulation of a heartbeat that grows louder when you select options from the menu. The chase music is on point with dark synth and low repetitive beats that gets faster. It’s an anxiety-fueled moment when being chased, and exciting when doing the chasing.
  • Animations | I rarely talk about animations in a game, but after reading through some recent reviews by our Editor in Chief, Dae Jim, I decided to bring this up because Sumo Digital did a lot in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by replicating the movements that key characters did in the movies. For example, the chainsaw dance that Leatherface does in the movie is iconic and is the last thing you see when finishing a match. It’s a faithful recreation to the movie and I am all for it. Not only this but at the start of each match Leatherface will also perform a kill by placing a victim on a meat hook and sawing them open. Another iconic recreation from the film. It is very evident that the team has done a great job at going through these moments and having them recreated for the game.

  • Gameplay | The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has 3 maps to choose from. The Family House, The Slaughter House, and Gas Station. Each area can be played at night or day which does also change things. Usually, day maps are easier for killers, with night maps being easier for the victims. At the start of each map, your chosen killer must make their way throughout the area looking for survivors who have escaped the Leatherface lair. Once you find them you can attack with the left trigger which will sipe your weapon. This uses up stamina and using it too much will cause you to stun for a short moment while you catch your breath. This gives the victims time to escape. Once you have dealt enough damage, you will automatically perform an execution animation removing that player from the match. Throughout the map, there are also blood bags that you can fill up your trusty vial with. Feed the blood to Grandpa wherever he is perched on the map, and the killers will gain additional buffs that help them catch the victims. The perks allow you to see victims through walls for 5 seconds when activated and also reduce its cooldown when used again. However, the victims can disable Grandpa if they want to which removes all buffs from the killers. Victims on the other hand all start in the lair of Leatherface and must work together to unlock the doors, proceed upstairs and look to escape. There are ways to unlock special doors downstairs and escape this way too. As victims, you can stun the killers for a few seconds by throwing objects at them and also hiding to elude capture.

  • Performance | A quick note on performance. Series X players will have the option of playing at 4K 30 fps or 1080p 60fps, while surprisingly, Series S users will get the one option which is dynamic 4K 30fps. Across both consoles, I found that the performance was incredibly stable with no frame drops, and visually it held up well. The dynamic 4K option on series S rarely fell below 1440p so it maintained visual fidelity most of the time. I had no server issues while playing either. Once I was in a game, there were no disconnects and each match played well from start to finish.

  • Perks & Abilities | After a few matches you will start to unlock perks and ability points that you can use to level up your victim or killer. These can really change the dynamic of the match depending on how you play. For me, I have spent most of my time as Leatherface, and actually ended up maxing out his ability points. The way that this is done is by going to your skill tree and using these points to select nodes that unlock new abilities and perk points. That’s right, there are three different types. Ability points are awarded when you successfully complete or lose a match. Based on your performance you gain experience. After levelling up you get an ability point. You use these on your skill tree to unlock new abilities as well as unlocking perk points. The abilities speak for themselves, and just give your victim or killer new abilities. The perk points however let you assign extra increases to your stamina, savegry, blood collection, and stun capabilities. It is here that you can really push the boundaries on stamina. My Leatherface build had full stamina and in one match almost right from the start, I was able to hit a victim multiple times without them getting away resulting in an execution.

Mixed Feelings

  • Balance | Ultimately this will come down to a skill issue, but from the 12+ hours I have already put into this game, it is very apparent that the victims have a much tougher time than the killers do. The victims do get perks just like the killers, but they are usually slower by default, have very little means of fighting back, and must contend with many traps and locks throughout the property. It feels as though almost everything is against you and if one member of your team separates or doesn’t pull their weight, you are at an even greater disadvantage.

What we Disliked

  • Game Lobby Must Be Full | The only hard criticism I have for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at this moment in time, (because I hope they address this) is that the entire seven-person lobby must be filled otherwise the game won’t start. That is three family members and four victims. The countdown timer will continue to tick downward in anticipation for the match, but unless seven members fully join then the game will throw an error message and state that there are not enough players. It is incredibly frustrating because the default timer is 5 minutes before each match starts to give players enough time to do their perks, level up and finally confirm they are ready. If after that time passes, it needs to start from scratch again. Other asymmetrical horror games like Dead By Daylight, Lunch Lady, and others, don’t do this. If you have fewer people, then the game starts and you just have to play. Forcing a mandatory amount of seven people adds unnecessary time to the wait list when you could just as well start the game, and have a different experience every time.

How long to beat the story | There is no story
How long to achieve 1000G | 20+ hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Dead by Daylight, Devour, Lunch Lady


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has quickly become my favorite multiplayer game this year, and one of my favorite horror games too. As a lifelong fan of the franchise, it is good to see a game that finally does it right when it comes to using movie licenses as its inspiration. You will have countless hours of fun, chasing, sawing, and escaping the family home and surrounding areas in Kingsland Texas.

Gameplay 🎮

The gameplay is fun and addictive. Whether you are a family member chasing down a victim or trying to escape the infamous villains, you will need to keep your wits about yourself and work together in order to win. Perks play an important role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and can help turn the tides right at the last minute.

Visuals 🎨

Visually, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is really impressive. The attention to detail in the lighting especially grabs your attention. Leatherface’s lair is definitely the highlight of each map, as it is filled with corpses, bones, blood bags, and places to hide. The family home however is also graphically impressive.

Sound đŸŽĩ

The sound design in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is perfect. After watching the developer documentaries, it was shown that they went to extreme lengths to match the sound to the films. This involved tracking down the same make and model chainsaw used in the film. The voice acting is great as is the dark synth tracks used in the films.

Story 📃

Unfortunately, there is no story to experience in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but for those of you who have not seen the movie, it revolves around some friends taking a tour of their old family house, and they see a bunch of crazed people living next door and are attacked one by one by Leatherface.

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