under twenty bucks, Obscure is certainly worth a shot
in the dark.
is a survival horror game that is designed for both
a decent single-player and two-player co-op experience.
The budget title manifests itself in certain low res
graphics but overall you would be hard pressed to
tell it from other higher priced games. This ain't
no Resident Evil or Silent Hill but it has its appeal.
Where I think it goes wrong is with the story which
just kind of falls to pieces later in the game.
characters are underdeveloped. It wouldn't have cost
a dime more to put a better story together with deeper
characters if this was a major concern at the start.
I've seen a lot better game with less production values
and older technology which goes to show that personality
and imagination are any developers' greatest assets.
starts out with promise degenerates into one of those
terrible teenage horror movies like Sleepaway Camp.
A hidden basement is found under Leafmore High which
brings five students together to investigate. With
a really chilling atmosphere you are enveloped in
darkness and shrouded in mystery. As you come across
clues, things begin to get stranger and more frightening.
The suspense is the best part of the game. When actually
do encounter some monsters it's almost anticlimactic.
of the five characters are teenage-style shallow.
The story begins to resemble a Scooby Doo premise
without Scooby Doo. Fortunately each character has
some unique ability which means that we'll use them
even if we don't really like them.
down the best feature of the game is the co-op mode.
Exploring and shooting your way through the game is
a lot more fun with another person. The game rises
to the challenge by presenting you with more creatures
and puzzles to solve which require two virtual bodies.
The puzzles are straightforward and can be figured
out rather quickly. The only strategy you'll use is
deciding how to execute them. The more you and your
partner become accustomed to each other's strengths
and weaknesses the faster you'll be able to plow through
throughout the levels are health items, weapons, ammo
and of course deadly creatures. Most of the levels
are dark and you'll need a flashlight to illuminate
your path. You can tape the flashlight to your weapon
so that you can see where you're going and what you're
shooting at. It's a handy feature. Light also helps
to keep away viscous spirits that arrive in black
clouds of doom. The quick select menu lets you call
up any weapon from your inventory with minimal fuss.
problem that plagues any co-op mode is that the partners
can get lost offscreen causing some huge delays and
maybe even some unnecessary hits. Obscure addresses
this problem with a feature that allows you to change
the onscreen perspective to the other character in
an effort to let him catch up to the previous leader.
It works fine and keeps the pace of the game steady.
The save-anywhere feature is also a welcome addition
in such circumstances.
textures are fuzzy and some of the animation is stiff
but the creature look like they're right out of Doom
3 - although not as detailed. Unfortunately there
are only a handful of creature character models, and
that goes for bosses. You'd better like these freaky
things because you'll be seeing a lot of them over
and over. The lighting is well done as using the flashlight
creates a claustrophobic atmosphere.
effects are chilling but not as chilling as the cold
delivery of the voiceovers. It's too bad that not
enough attention was paid to the story and the development
of the characters, you almost don't care if they are
eaten by a stray demon.
at under twenty bucks I would still recommend renting
this one for a couple of days. Once you play through
the co-op mode you've experienced the best that Obscure
has to offer.