Like a low-budget, fan-made sequel to a classic movie, Greyhill Incident eagerly incorporates all the worst parts of the genuine article, neglects all of the best parts, and has nothing original to say of its own. This lifeless horror game is so barebones that it manages to make something as exciting as an alien invasion feel more like a visit from the in-laws, with all of the same wasted time and low-stakes hiding under beds. With a story and voice performances that are laughably bad, stealth gameplay that’s determined to disrespect your time as much as possible, bland environments, and all manner of weird bugs gunking up an already unenjoyable sequence of chores, Greyhill Incident offers very few reasons to recommend it. Even when it’s so bad it comes dangerously close to being hilarious, no amount of chuckling or facepalms can save this dud of a game.
Greyhill Incident attempts to tell a classic alien invasion story, putting you in the conspiratorial, government-hating boots of Ryan: a single father who wields a baseball bat and is always extremely angry about everything. Our emotionally unstable protagonist springs into action when small gray aliens invade his rural town and begin abducting the population…but he does this by roaming around collecting tin foil as protection and helping his even more paranoid neighbors free themselves from the safes they’ve locked themselves inside.
The story that follows is meandering and utter nonsense, and has you completing an unbroken chain of silly errands around town that have only vague objectives like “find Rachel.” They offer no waypoints of any kind, leaving you to wander until you find the door key or a gas tank you need to progress. There’s nothing surprising or funny, just chores. All that drudgery concludes with a complete non-ending just three hours later, which feels like it should be the end of the first act, not the whole story. At least it graciously concludes this misadventure, which paradoxically lasts way too long and is also far too short.
The dialogue is, without question, some of the most gobsmackingly painful stuff it has ever been my displeasure to listen to. I simply cannot, under any circumstances, be convinced it was not primarily written and performed by an AI chat bot – and not one of the good ones, either. Stilted delivery sounds like it’s being read off a cue card by someone sentenced to do so as a bizarre form of court-mandated community service, and the result is woefully cringe-inducing. Lines like, “I know how to shoot because of the Vietnam War,” and, “Dad, we need to get out of this cursed place, I hate this neighborhood hole” will likely live rent-free in my head until my twilight years. It’s truly harrowing stuff.
In fact, the dialogue and the overall janky vibe of Greyhill Incident are so appallingly bad that at times I considered if it might’ve been intentional – an ironically made “horror” game intended to amuse. But even if it is, the occasional amusingly awful voice acting or bad joke sandwiched in between much longer stretches of terrible gameplay doesn’t do much to positively impact one’s enjoyment, regardless of whether it's viewed as comedy or horror. And even if it were trying to be funny, and at least some of the time I believe it is, the jokes largely fall flat aside from the infrequent shocked guffaw when something so incredibly stupid happens it becomes impossible not to react. That said, those occasions were legitimately some of Greyhill Incident’s best moments, even if they don’t come close to being at all worth the squeeze.
The real tragedy of Greyhill Incident, though, is in what it asks you to do: walk around extremely slowly and hide from unintimidating gray aliens armed with toy guns for its entire duration. This is a stealth game seemingly determined to prove that stealth mechanics aren’t fun, with some of the most unconscionable design decisions I’ve seen in a long time. Chief among those failures is how slow you move while crouching or walking, which draws even the smallest tasks out for far too long. Crouching is necessary to avoid the attention of the aliens that move to abduct you on sight, but even if you could get away with sprinting through each area, you still have a stamina meter that takes absolute eons to restore itself, evidently meant to serve as a punishment to those who fail at stealth.
The actual stealth mechanics to aid you in not getting groped to death are almost nonexistent: you can hide in trash cans and cars as you find them in the world, and… that’s literally the end of the list. Hiding, as is often the case in stealth games, is not particularly fun on its own, and you should expect to spend interminable minutes on end doing literally nothing other than peering out of an outhouse as you wait for your slow-moving pursuers to pass by. Crouching in bushes or taking to the cover of dark does nothing to conceal you; aliens see right through it – maybe they have super-vision, but Greyhill Incident doesn’t gasp that easy opportunity to write out its failures. You don’t have any bricks or bottles to throw, or any other ways to distract the enemy; in fact, there are no ways to spice up stealth even a little. You just keep your distance, crouch, and don’t turn on your very loud, hand-cranked flashlight – which of course makes that item entirely pointless. That’s all there is to it, and it’s exactly as dull as it sounds.
Let’s talk about the aliens that hunt you, because they are perhaps the least interesting horror monsters ever created. They’re small, gray, dim, and make cartoon noises as if to accentuate their non-threatening nature. Don’t get me wrong: they can kill you. In fact, they got me good a fair number of times during my playthrough. When they see you, they speed-walk toward you and grab you, giving you just a few seconds to break free before the screen fades to black and you’re informed you’ve been abducted – it’s just that none of that is scary, only aggravating. They look silly, can be easily fought off and escaped, and they curl up on the ground like complete wussies when you smack them with a baseball bat. (Not that I would do much better after being smacked with a baseball bat, but I am a mere human who is not trying to terrorize anyone.) If I were actively trying to make inoffensive enemies that scared absolutely no one, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with something that tops these sorry goobers.
The aliens become even more laughable once you realize just how easy it is to just straight-up kill them. You won’t find much ammo for your revolver in Greyhill (which is one of the most unrealistic parts of the setting, since it’s supposed to be a rural American town rife with Old Glory and tractors), but you only need two bullets to kill any alien that’s bothering you so that’s okay. If you’re out of ammo, though, swatting enemies with your baseball bat stuns them long enough to give you a chance to escape, and doing so enough times kills them. It’s still usually less trouble to sneak past them, but armed with the knowledge that they’re basically just stubby gray losers makes the whole experience even more low-stakes.
Finally, there’s the bugs – and boy oh boy does Greyhill Incident have some doozies. First, there’s performance issues, which to be fair weren’t all that common, but when they did hit were really bad. One time the framerate dropped to unendurable levels until I quit and relaunched. Sometimes parts of objects in the world just disappear, like one area where the top of a fireplace popped out of existence to create the appearance of a homemade people-smoker. The biggest one, though, is that voice lines constantly overlap; in fact, I feel like my character had more instances where he’d talk over his own dialogue than times where he didn’t. Listening to one line of terrible dialogue is bad enough as it is, but two terrible lines of dialogue at the same time is where I draw the line, good sir!