living in Jolly Old England has its advantages.
I don't get enough sunlight, most of my friends
teeth ARE bad and I've had enough of the Royal
Family for a lifetime, BUT I did get to play
this ace game before my mates in North America.
here by Ubi Soft, Obscure is pure Americana
- 5 teenagers trying to solve a mystery in a
high school infested with monsters - but here's
the arse up: It was developed in France.
start the game as Kenny, star basketball player.
The poor bloke's bag gets stolen and he'll be
off trying to retrieve it. I don't want to say
much, but you won't be playing as Kenny for
too long. You'll then take control of the 5
other playable characters (3 guys and 2 girls)
who are worried that Kenny didn't show up for
school the next day, so they do the Scooby Doo
thing and decide to look for him.
you imagine a crossover between the Buffy and
Resident Evil games with a dash of Silent Hill,
you'll be very close. Obscure pays homage to
the games in the survival horror genre without
ever falling into pure imitation and even goes
so far to advance the genre a bit. One example
of this is the complete absence of a health
meter. You will only have the beating of the
vibration in your controller to warn of you
impending death (if you so desire you can hunt
for the health meter buried in the inventory
menu). Another is the teammate aspect. You will
travel in pairs on your adventure and you can
switch at anytime. However the AI of your CPU
controlled partner is almost always excellent
and won't be getting hung up on doors, waltzing
into your line of fire and will always help
you when danger is imminent. Each character
has their own strengths and weaknesses and the
spare ones (still left alive) will be available
at certain checkpoints so you can switch between
them. As an added extra two players can play
the game at the same time shortening progress
time so you'll breeze even faster through the
of the enemies you will encounter can be blown
away with the large amounts of weapons and ammo
you'll find hidden around the school (remember,
this is an American school we're talking about!)
but in a very cool twist, most enemies can be
harmed by contact with direct sunlight so you
will want to shoot out windows to make cleansing
the school of beasties that much easier. I love
a game that allows you to save at any point
and Obscure offers this service, which enhanced
my enjoyment of this game a thousandfold.
Obscure falls a little flat is when it forces
players to hunt for keys and other items which
will feel overly familiar. It's part of the
genres trappings I understand, but it's no longer
welcome as far as I'm concerned. The puzzles
in the game aren't difficult and most require
manipulation of the two characters which is
a nice change.
screenshots I provided below look much better
than the actual game, although it's really no
slouch in graphics. I found Obscure to be one
of the best looking PS2 games to date, save
Splinter Cell. The drawback to this high level
of polish are the numerous load times you will
have to sit through when entering any door.
The load times aren't very long but there are
a LOT of doors. If that doesn't bother you,
you will surely be intoxicated by the sparkling
level of presentation in Obscure. Unfortunately
the artistic brilliance doens't quite carry
over to the various monsters you'll encounter,
which seem oddly uninspired. Let's put it another
way. The imagination scarring demons from Silent
Hill won't be making an appearance in this game.
The character design seems to be a slight step
away from the Scooby Doo movies.
not sure when Obscure will be appearing in North
America but I will say that this game very definitely
blows away the Resident Evil Outbreak series
on the PS2. It's a scream of a good time and
even though it's not perfect, it manages to
entertain almost every step of the way Get into
the school "spirit" and enrol for
some obscure classes later this year..... bwahahahahahaha!.