Thursday, May 10, 2012

Game Review - Clive Barker's Undying

Game Review - Clive Barker's Undying
Score +5/-3


Clive Barker's Undying is by today's standards, a pretty primitive first-person shooter. The consultation with master of horror fiction Clive Barker produced a game that was strong in the beginning but quickly became boring. Only unravelling the story would drive you on, and if you lose that, you will probably give it up.
+ There's a story here, which is typically more than can be said for most shooters. Lots of background information to find, but it appears to be quite optional. Still, it fleshes out the game experience and the "why you are there".
+ Interesting combination of spells and firearms expand tactical choices.
+ Interesting vignettes to uncover using the Scrye spell, some of which are quite unexpected and startling. Sometimes they are also useful in finding out what you can do or need to do next. You get more out of what is in most games, even nowadays, an underused utility spell if it appears at all.
+ Boring creatures, but interesting bosses.
+ Good use of cutscenes to enhance the storytelling.
- The graphics are obviously dated nowadays. On the up side, you can run it with all the graphical bells and whistles you can enable through your video card and still expect smooth gameplay.
- Initial suspense/horror factor is good -- there is more anticipation/dread before the appearance of a monster. This is sadly replaced by more typicical FPS run-and-gun not long into the game.
- The level designs are overly large and largely empty, leading to a lot of running around doing nothing.

SPOILER WARNING: The YouTubes below show the boss fights.

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