|System: Wii, PC, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hydravision||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ignition Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The teamwork element is very satisfying. Another player can join in at anytime and assume control of one of the characters midstream. They work well together mechanically even though they both share the same camera perspective. The camera will highlight the character that is performing the main action, but still allows the secondary character the ability to move around and perform other activities such as exploring or defending themselves from attack. It's not perfect, but it beats a split screen. In each stage, the rest of the cast will be located in a central area where you can swap them around for characters more suited to the upcoming challenges.
Overall the game is short and sweet. You can expect to get through it in a day or two with little problem. It's linear, which tends to speed things up as opposed to having you get lost and waste time figuring out where to go. And speaking of filler, there isn't a lot of backtracking, which also keeps things on an even pace. There could have been a better checkpoint system. They are few and far between. Weapons, ammo, and health are typically in good supply. The puzzles are not very taxing, but they are satisfying and actually relate to the concept of the game. The targeting system is tight and responsive, regardless of what weapon you may be yielding. It's great to actually be able to fight the monsters and not the gameplay mechanics, but there are some collision detection problems which will frustrate you in some aspects. Once again, it's not perfect.
This game isn't a looker. It gets the job done. Function over form seems to be the developers' mantra. Since the majority of the gameplay revolves around exploring and puzzle solving, the developers downplayed the ambience that would have undoubtedly plunged us into dreary darkness, making things difficult to see. Thankfully we aren't forced to explore the environments through the limited radius of a flashlight. They are well lit and easy to navigate. The ambient soundtrack does a good job of maintaining the creepy vibe. Orchestral and gothic choir washes remind me of Alan Parson's Tales of Mystery and Imagination. That's a good thing in case you didn't get the reference.
The Aftermath is not a great game, but it's a good game. It's not perfect, but it does offer some solid entertainment value despite some flaws.
CCC Senior Writer