The original game Obscure was pretty darn good but never reached blockbuster status. It begs, borrows, and steals from the current teenage horror movie genre which sees a group of acquaintances get slowly whittled down through various nefarious means. Obscure: The Aftermath is as you can guess, a suspense horror video game. Published by Playlogic in 2004 for PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, and Wii. It was later released for steam in 2014. Let’s find out if this game is worth the money and time.
Obscure: The Aftermath Gameplay
Incorporating elements such as horror survival, puzzle solving, action, combat, and numerous playable characters with different abilities, Obscure: The Aftermath gives us plenty of gameplay diversion and a great deal of fun. It’s not a very long or memorable game, but it definitely has a vibe that will keep players interested.
Taking place a few years after the original, in which a series of teens gets killed one by one, Obscure: The Aftermath stars the group of survivors now entering college. Like a lot of young adults, they enjoy their sex, drugs, and rock and roll. After experimenting with mysterious black hallucinogenic flowers that cause strange LSD-like trips, horrifying visions soon become real. A group of teens are forced to confront these monstrosities in a variety of familiar locations including the hallways of various institutions such as a hospital, school, and college campus.
Obscure: The Aftermath Feels Tame for Horror
Obscure: The Aftermath doesn’t take itself too seriously. As a result, it’s not as terrifying as it could be. It’s as though the developers lacked the confidence in their ability to make this really creepy and decided they would lose “less face” if they were self-deprecating. You can see this in the way the game almost lampoons the very genre it’s attempting to emulate. You’ll see a tip of the hat to the abovementioned Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There isn’t much of a storyline or plot, just a series of things that happen that require your immediate attention. Even when all is discovered and revealed, it’s not very satisfying as very little is actually “wrapped up.” Having said that, the storyline isn’t at all important to the gameplay, but it would have been an added bonus that would have made the game much more memorable.
Lacking Storyline and Character Development
We don’t really develop a relationship with the characters. They are reduced to typical movie freshman stereotypes. The voiceover work does little to endear us to these kids as they sound like they couldn’t be bothered to practice reading their lines.
In RPG fashion, each of the six characters displays different characteristics that correspond to the challenges presented in the gameplay. Players will use different characters to perform specific functions that range from breaking codes to breaking down doors, in addition to skillful acrobatic moves and lock picking. During their sojourns through the various stages, players will have control over two characters at one time.
This lends itself perfectly to the two-player co-op mode which is the highlight of the game. It’s nice to have two characters doing something on screen as opposed to having the un-played A.I. The character stands around and does nothing. But at least that un-played character doesn’t get in the way, and players can toggle between each of them quickly and easily.
While there are some gross scenes in Obscure and its sequel, The Aftermath, the effects are not as frightening as they could be if they were more well-crafted into the plot. The storyline and characters feel underdeveloped which provides little incentive to keep playing the game. The main highlight of this game is the two-player co-op and the fact that the game doesn’t take itself too seriously which can be a nice mindless way to unwind from the day. This game may not deserve an investment however for players looking for something non-challenging Obscure: The Aftermath is worth renting for a weekend.