An Obscure Journey
May 25, 2007 – Horror movies can invoke varied feelings in an audience – more so than any other film genre. They can remind you that the night is not the safest time of day. They can also remind you what it was like when you where young when you discovered your fear of clowns. However, probably the most unexpected reaction that a horror films can cause is gleeful laughing. This type of horror film is usually reserved for the days you want to see a lot of bloody gore and laugh at it at the same time. If you are a fan of Bruce Campbell and have seen the Evil Dead movies, then you know exactly what I talking about. These movies are lovingly sub-genred as B-horror films. Whenever there is a new one coming, you know what to expect before it happens and enjoy every minute of it.
The same can be said about video games. We have our strictly creepy survival horror games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil and then we have our laugh-out-loud horror games. The first example to spring to mind is Splatterhouse, followed by Obscure. Now we have a sequel to the Obscure set to premier later this year on your television screen, and we can guarantee that our favorite teen slasher flick requirements will be saturated in the blood of our would be heroes.
The students of Fallcreek University have discovered a new potent hallucinogenic in a mysterious flower that they crush up and stick up their nostrils. However, the things they see, mutilated corpses and things that make the night extra “bumpy,” are not exactly what most people would expect from a mind-bending trip. Apparently, the kids of Fallcreek never watch Return of the Living Dead. The lesson in that film – do not do stupid things that others are doing just because. The mysterious flower gives us the first of the required B-horror film elements for classic entertainment gold. Slowly, but surely the hallucinations start to become reality and the game sends us gallivanting through hospitals and sewers to reach safety.
There will be a few features that will return from the first title. For example, and probably the most appealing, the co-operative gameplay. The first game made it very simple for your buddies to jump in and out whenever, thanks in large part to the story of the first actually containing several chapters that told the story of two characters. However, this time around the system has been tweaked slightly. There will actually be more emphasis on tag teaming the abominations of the flesh. Each of our characters will have their own unique abilities to aide and assist the situations at hand. Corey, the messy-haired skater, dabbles in the magical art of what the hilariously inept translation describes as “Acrobacy.” That is, clambering onto ledges and shimmying across improbable gaps to you and me. Not only can he scurry to out-of-reach places, he can help his less acrobatic-inclined comrades out of trouble too with a lift up. Elsewhere, Mei is such a stupendously good hacker, security systems crumble at her touch – usually by solving anagrams. Then there is muscle bound heartthrob of the first installment, Kenny, who is so strong he can push heavy objects, and “genuine blonde and Miss Wet T-shirt” Amy, who specializes in decrypting. With Amy, we have the over-the-top sexuality that is present in B-horror films. Therefore, that is the second element that ensures an instant classic.
So as to not just have the ability of other playable characters limited solely to the co-op play modes, there will be several points in the game that a situation will require the use of another character’s ability to get past. The simplicity of just the touch of a button and the fact that there probably won’t be a situation that you will be scratching your head over trying to figure out who needs to do what are just two of the joys of the different character involvement sections. In fact, more often than not, certain characters will say something to the affect of, “This should be handled by ______.” Thank you Hydravision for keeping it simple and ensuring that the third part needed to make it a classic B-horror classic is present.
Will Obscure: The Aftermath make us be on the edge of our seats like other survival horror games? Probably not, but it does appear that it will keep us in the trenches of splatter-fests we all know and love. It has all of the elements of a classic just waiting to unfold in front of our horror deprived eyes. I, for one, cannot wait. We will have more on Obscure: The Aftermath as more obscure details materialize.