Review by fgfgfsfk

"Awful."

Let me first start by saying that I am not a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft. I've read many of his stories and they all read the same: man finds house with 'weird" architecture, man finds (and ignores) clues that indicate evil beings are out to get him, man messes with things he doesn't understand, man goes crazy from it all. There. That's the short version of every single story HPL ever wrote. However, Lovecraft was a genius when compared to the crap that was thrown onto this game, and he's probably rolling in his grave to see his name attatched to this abomination of a game. Just to be clear: I HATED this game.

Everything about it feels cheap. Graphics, sound, story, gameplay, EVERYTHING. Apparently this game had problems getting developed and it's taken four years to get it to us, the consumer. Now, I can see why. I can honestly say this is the worst game I've purchased in the past year, hands down.

Graphics

The graphics on this game are subpar, and look like they came off your Playstation 1. Truly unacceptable at this day and age. 3/10

Sound

The sound is fine, but it's the voice acting that is incredibly bad. The entire cast who did the voiceovers sound like they are a community theatre group reading from a script for the first time. The "hero" sounds so very, very fake and cheesy, the "fishmen" sound like they have a mouth full of worms and say "garble largle" when they speak, and it's just so bad it's almost laughable. I would laugh at it but I have been stricken with a bad case of buyers remorse for shelling out $30 for this junk. Another example is that you get to meet up with J Edgar Hoover in his pre-crossdressing days when he worked for the FBI. He sounds like a cross between JFK and Al Capone despite the fact he was born and raised in Washington DC. 3/10

gameplay

This game (like it's hero "Jack") has a bad case of schizophrenia. It doesn't know what the hell it's trying to be. It wants to be a survival horror/FPS shooter/Stealth action/puzzle solver game, and it fails in all departments. Rather than trying to perfect one aspect of those gametypes they seemingly decided to give a half-ass attempt at all of them and this game fails on so many levels because of it. It starts out promisingly enough but just goes down hill from there. When the game starts you don't have a weapon and have to rely on stealth. Ok. In fact, you don't get a weapon for the first third of the game. After you start getting armaments, the developers seemingly decided to chuck the "stealth" aspect out the window and make it a fairly straightforward shooter. Meh. 4/10

Story

The "strongest" part of the game is the story, and it isn't much. If you're a fan of Lovecraft you will find many elements of his fiction in the game. If you're not a fan, you may even be intrigued enough to buy some of his works. However, anyone familiar with HPL knows that J Edgar Hoover, the FBI, gun fights, and battling five story slime monsters in gold refineries is NOT in Lovecraft's stories. Let's be honest, Lovecraft is BORING. His work is redundant, his endings are anti-climactic, and as original as they MAY have been at his time, his stories have been ripped off since they started making horror movies. Nothing new here, folks, move along. 5/10

Overall

There are a lot of specific thing in this game that really grate on my nerves. The "dynamic sanity system" being one of them. as you go through the game you start to lose your "sanity" when you see weird and "scary" stuff. Your vision gets blurry, you start to hear things, etc. So, how do you gain your sanity back? By staring at a wall. Or the floor. Yep. Sounds like fun, huh? Staring at a wall for 45 seconds every few minutes is a real hoot. Not being able to save at anytime means going through the same portions of the game over and over and over until you find the exact ways that the game will allow you to procede. Some areas feel big at first, until you realize that it's just looks big, you can't really get lost with a game so incredibly linear. There's only ONE way to go, and don't let the "Bethesda" moniker on the box fool you into thinking it's anything like the Elder Scrolls series in terms of free roaming play. I can't stress to you just how lousy this game is, and I am mystified at how professional reviews laud it with 8's and 9's. This game is a real turkey,


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/05/06


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