Review by dGalloway

"A creepy shooter. Really."

Clive Barker's Undying is one of those games that leaves you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will await you behind that next turn. It tries to seperate itself from the pack of PC FPS games with moderately good graphics, an awesome plot, and a nice variety of gameplay features. However, they obviously forgot to tune a few finer areas, which makes this game one that will appeal only to true fans of horror.

Graphics: The graphics are...pretty good. They aren't even close to perfect, though, even on a high-powered graphics machine. Enemy design looks pretty cool, but often, it's either too dark to notice the look, or you're being too swamped by enemies to even care. Also, some of the areas look downright bizzare, which adds to the feeling, but also leaves you wondering about if you're supposed to jump there. I died many a time because of that. (7/10)

Music: There isn't any, really. It only plays at important points, such as boss battles, important mob fights, and cutscenes. What's in there is pretty impressive, though. (9/10)

Sound: The sound really adds to the game. Windows crash as enemies leap into a room, followed by the blood-curling screams of the unfortunate people that were inside the said room. It can be heard clearly, and sounds GREAT! Unfortunately, I'd rather not listen to the Tibetan War Cannon again; that one gets on my nerves FAST. (9/10)

Plot: Now THIS is where the game REALLY shines. You control Patrick Galloway, who returns to 1920's Ireland to meet with his old friend, Jeremiah Covenant. It turns out that Patrick has power over the supernatural, due to a run-in with a fanatical cult-like army, and Jeremiah's family suffers from a curse, as his four dead siblings haunt his manor grounds. As Patrick goes on, though, things get much more complicated than that; people die, secrets are revealed, and there is much shooting and filling with lead. (10/10)

Gameplay: First, the good. The game combines Patrick's control over magic to his gunplay; he can quickly cast spells while also firing off his sawed-off with no difficulty. Also, the Scrye spell can reveal tiny pieces of plot in the form of ghosts, hidden surprises, and even a few secret areas. Now, the bad. The game still suffers from standard FPS gameplay. You shoot bad guy, you get key, you shoot other bad guy, you open door and get other key, you shoot twenty bad guys, you open door and push switch, etc. Also, the game is STRICTLY linear, in that doors magically ''jam'' themselves to keep you from coming back. (7/10)

Replay Value: Almost none. Once the plot is discovered, the game has no redeemable values. You might come back once a while, but it's highly unlikely. (1/10)

Overall: Clive Barker's Undying tries to be a good game, and does make for an interesting experience, but doesn't last long enough to really take hold. Play the game, see the story, then leave it alone.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/03


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