Obscure II ReviewCain Dornan
Survival horror games have been around for a while now, with a few successors in series such as Resident Evil, Fatal Frame and Silent Hill. Many others have faded into the mist and left buried in cold blood. Now making its shine in the flashlight is Obscure II, a sequel to the 2004 original which left with average feelings with critics and players. However the creators Hydravision believed with a few new elements implemented, their next run would totally frighten and bedazzle gamers in all new ways, giving them the chilling experience.
The game starts off two years after the end events from the first with Stan Jones, a survivor who tells about how his experience at Leafmore High made him go crazy and end up going to prison. Now out, he's trying to start a new life in a new school in Falls Creek University, hoping to forget his troubled past. However soon he will realize, that trouble has followed him and soon will wake those nightmares once more. Soon learned, the evil that follows are these flowers that float and spread across campus, infecting everything in their wake, turning them into mindless mutants with only massacre killing on their mind. Everyone has been infected, except for a number of characters, which whom you will control to try and save them.
There are eight different characters where you play different though similar story paths to lead towards each other. Two characters are always partnered up on screen where you can switch to each by pressing R2. At first you're forced to follow each couples characters but later on once they all meet, you get the option to choose who you want to use.
The gameplay factor mixes between finding weapons and solving puzzles. To survive you'll need to find weapons to defend and be ready when evil comes for you. Plenty are on offer for your characters to share each but many are limited where you'll need to figure out what to use, and to save for later on. The combat mode is very sketchy, but not broken - it's has an auto-aim lock system for long and short distance weapons with a horrible fixated camera to help. Solving puzzles requires you to think and look out for clues and pieces to help, and you'll be using your characters that have their own abilities to help you along as well.
The innovation in this survival game against all others is the co-op. Throughout the beginning to end, you can play with a second player with the second character and join in anytime for some monster love. It's a welcoming variation however it doesn't go without its bad strings. The horrible camera movement with the tight environments will work your complexity as you can't walk through the other character and therefore be able to get stuck easily.
There isn't particularly anywhere you can say the game visually looks breathtaking, but it's reasonably in good health. The environments have nice shading and lightning with coloring themes that do wonders to make the game dark and terrifying as possible, though by today's standards it's all pretty aged looking. Characters look fairly straight however their animation is terrible at many parts, looking dreadfully jiggered in movements.
Surprisingly the many cutscenes between the game are horrible and can match graphics for a PS1 game. No clue is to why that is, perhaps it's some stylish way or method but all importance, the characters look god awful in them.
The musical score feels quite at home. It's got that atmospheric touch that continuously builds fear until you encounter your next monster lurking in the shadows. It likes to play tricks on you with footsteps, monster cries, and sounds which make you believe something bad is about to happen but it repeats itself quite quickly and deficiently so it may deteriorate your mind over time. The voice acting is quite average, think of a teen horror flick standard and you right on the mark. There's nothing special about the sound effects either.
It isn't too long to complete, with the puzzle solving and running around trying to survive, you can finish it roughly within 8 hours or less with little pleasure to look ahead afterwards. There's nothing to unlock or any reason to play through it again, but your are left satisfied enough just completing it alone. It'sdecent enough to play if you're a fan of the genre, however the annoying faults in gameplay and overall presentation make the game lacking. If you can forgive the choppiness and ordinary structure it's a worthwhile look.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.