Review by Rapskallion
"The scariest game I've ever played, but...."
.... but it isn't perfect. Undying is a mixed bag that is really hard to rate on a scale from one to ten; in some ways I want to give it a 10, while in others I think it deserves a 6. There is a lot here to love, and I hope my review doesn't sound negative; I loved Undying, I really did. Looked forward to every minute of it. It really is the best game that I've ever given an 8 to, and is probably the best game I've played this year. Anywho, with that in mind, lets see how it did on Rapskallions Rating System:
Was it really that original? Well, no, I guess not. But what it did do that games rarely ever manage to do was that it was actually SCARY! This game really does freak you out, especially during the beginning. There are some truly awesome moments in the game, and enough plot twists to keep you intrested. The plot itself is a typical horror movie plot; you are summoned to investigate a family curse in the family manor, and of course its haunted. The most original thing, however, was the use of spells and weapons together. I'll get more into that later.
Okay, the graphics were pretty damn good. In fact, they woulda gotten a 10 hands down if it weren't for three things; the sky, the rain, and the system requirements. The sky in this game looks terrible. And I mean terrible. It is almost laughably bad. I think that they did this intentionally to give it a bookish look, but the result was just plain bad. The rain looks decent, but is nothing compared to the weather in other recent games. Rain drops in big clusters and is very unrealistic. Finally, the system requirements are insane. You need a state of the art computer to run these not so state of the art graphics. However, for the most part the graphics are amazing; the monsters look great, the guns look great, the environments look great. Lets just do something about that sky....
Very innovative gameplay. The thing that sets this game apart is the use of spells and weapons. In your left hand you hold your gun, in the right hand you can cast spells such as a shield spell, a spell that casts flaming skulls, or even a spell to raise the dead to fight with you. However, the games biggest plus is also its biggest minus. It is hard to cycle through spells and weapons in the midst of battle. For example, you may want to switch from your shield spell to a more offensive spell such as lightning, and then switch to your haste spell to make you quicker, and by then your shield will go down, so you gotta go back to the shield spell, and oh crap your out of shotgun ammo so u need to switch weapons.... it can be a little overwhelming, especially since some of the creatures attack from all sides in groups of 5 or 6. However, this is just part of the game, and for the most part it works very well.
A+ in the sound department. Floorboards creek. Thunder crashes. You hear something growling to your left... no, its your right, no its your left... then all of the sudden you hear a whispering voice tell you to ''look closer'', hinting for you to use your scyre spell to look into the past for clues. You get the idea. Best use of sound in any game I've ever played, and I've played a lot. Not too much music, but that only helps add to the suspense. When there is music, it is in all of the right places and adds just the right tone. Very well done.
Ouch. No multiplayer?!? Rumor has it there is a patch coming soon, but this game coulda used some multiplayer action...
Replay Value: 3/10
Once you beat it, there is very little reason to go through it again. And you'll beat it before you know it; there is only abot 15 hours of gameplay here for the average gamer, unless you really take your time. No multiplayer either... ack.
The first half of the game is very, very scary, and scary=fun in my book. However, towards the end of the game, the plot sort of seems to vanish and you find yourself in totally random places fighting totally random people. The second half of the game is not only boring and repetitive, its not at all scary. You find yourself playing the game just to finish it. It goes from being an innovative horror adventure to a typical first person shooter. Such a shame, because I know that Clive Barker is capable of better work than this.
I feel bad about posting this review, I really do. I make this game sound so... average. However, I loved this game. If I was reviewing the first half alone, it would have a 10/10 on basicly every category. Undying is an excellent FPS that no horror fan should miss. Despite its shortcomings, this game is right up there with Half-Life on my list of favorite shooters of all time. Now forget all of that negative stuff I said about the game and go buy it, because it is definatley worth the money.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/29/01, Updated 03/29/01
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