Clive Barker Undying
Genre Action -> Action
Today's Rank 0
Date 2002-06-12
Publisher Aspyr
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
North America Retail 
Box ArtAfter making a name for himself with horror classics such as The Damnation Game novel, The Books of Blood short-story collection, and the feature films Hellraiser and Candyman, Clive Barker has slowly moved away from the horror genre toward more fantasy-centric work. Barker hasn't completely forgotten about his first love, however, and Clive Barker's Undying, a first-person action game from Electronic Arts and DreamWorks Interactive, beautifully captures the type of horrors that populated Barker's earliest works. And not only is this game genuinely frightening, it's also a lot of fun to play. Cast against the backdrop of Ireland in the year 1923, Undying follows Patrick Galloway, an investigator of the paranormal. Galloway has been summoned to Ireland by his old war buddy Jeremiah Covenant to put an end to the strange occurrences at the Covenant family estate. What Galloway finds is a house of horrors that is populated with Jeremiah's dead siblings (and other ghastly creatures), all of whom want to snuff out Jeremiah so they can complete a spell cast when they were children. Graphically, Undying is first rate. The Unreal Tournament graphics engine has been used to great effect and the result is amazing character models and environments. The haunted mansion is suitably dark, with wispy draperies and macabre paintings. The estate's grounds are a mix of lush Irish countryside and crumbling ruins, all set against vivid skies. Pretty pictures aside, the most impressive thing about Undying is its atmosphere--this game is flat-out scary. Every element of the game, be it the gothic architecture, eerie story, great weather effects including rain and lightning, or amazing sound effects, perfectly complement each other. The result is a gameplay experience that rivals the Resident Evil series in terms of generating sheer terror in the player. The great atmosphere isn't Undying's only innovation--it also features a very cool two-handed attack system. Most action games saddle the player with an attack system where one hand controls all the weapons and the other hand does nothing. In Undying, the left hand (and left mouse button) controls the standard weapons, such as the pistol and shotgun, while the right hand (and right mouse button) casts spells. This is a great gameplay device and ensures the action stays at a frantic pace. Of all the spells in the game, the coolest is the Scrye spell. When cast, it lets the player see and hear past events--some of which are quite horrific--and occasionally it shows you how to progress beyond a certain level. This help can come in the form of highlighting certain objects or unveiling a portal, but whatever the method it is a very well-designed gameplay element. The only real complaints with Undying involve the long loading times between levels and the system requirements, but even those aren't enough to derail this excellent--and terrifying--action game. --Kilmic Robbins Pros: Very, very creepy Amazing sound effects Excellent graphics Slick controls Cons: Long loading times Story is a little convoluted
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