Obscure - Box

Ages: Mature

This survival horror game takes its inspiration from the high school slasher flicks. Its darkness and suspense are not unlike Fatal Frame. The youthful gang of five, each with his or her own special skill will eventually be decimated -- so don't get too attached to them. Who you pick to be your teammate: Kenny, the sprinter; Shannon, MS Information; Ashley, good with a bat and a gun; Stanley, good at picking locks and Josh Carter, skilled a finding and picking up items, will make a big difference in the viability factor. You select or change your teammate by going to one of the "gathering places". Changing the main character between the active teammates is easily done with two button presses.

The weapons at your disposal are spare, some guns, baseball bats and a laser gun. Ammunition is scarce and the laser gun should be saved for the final boss fight. Light, from any source -- flashlights, broken windows -- serves to weaken the monsters.

Paraphrasing Alfred Hitchcock, suspense builds when you know what will happen but not when. The beginning is especially creepy when the main and strongest character is running around the school by himself and the feeling is of mounting horror as he encounters locked door after locked door, forcing him into the bowels of the school. If he doesn't survive I would suggest that you start the game over. You need this character in the end. With all the AI involved with the game, I would have liked it if they had the characters react to the screams and howls and other sounds, instead of going on as usual.

I found the game a little obscure at first, and a lot of hard work by the end. But it certainly held my attention.

Reviewed by: Editor - 06/05

  • Obscure
  • © DreamCatcher/Microids2
  • PS2
  • To Order: PS2 http://www.amazon.com/ $20.95