M (Mature)Release Date:
September 29, 2009 Screenshots: LinkAmazon: Buy Now!Written by:
Horror games have a love/hate relationship with gamers. While some have left a sizeable footprint on the minds and hearts of gamers around the world, many left gamers feeling regret and remorse. In pops Playlogic and the Obscure series in order to revitalize the horror genre, which has gone the way of more action and less horror. With their latest title, Obscure: The Aftermath for the PSP, gamers now have a solid gaming experience for their mighty handheld within the horror genre. Will this title wonít win any Game of the Year awards, itís a gaming experience not to be missed.
For those who have played the first installment, which was released on the PlayStation 2, The Aftermath takes place roughly two years later. While there is no forgetting what happened, the town has return to normal and life has moved on for students at a local college. But like any good horror story, happiness is short lived. It seems that students at the local college have ingesting a new plant that suddenly appeared all over the campus. Instead of tripping out or getting incredibly hungry, students start to transform into some freakish looking ghouls, the likes of which you haven't seen before.
Now we all know anyone in their right mind would get out of the city a.s.a.p, but for the students of Fallcreek University that luxury is no more. Within The Aftermath you will take control of one of a braid roster of characters, each possessing their own unique abilities. These unique abilities don't include wielding a rocket launcher or dual pistols, but being able to hack computers and security doors, pushing heavy objects, spotting clues, and event jumping and grasping high ledges. Here is where you will spot the differences between The Aftermath and the original title. Unlike the first game, everybody's abilities are required in order to progress through the game, thus requiring you to keep everyone on your team alive until the end.
For those who are fans of the buddy system, The Aftermath has you covered. At all times, you will be controlling two characters, which you can switch back and forth between. While for the most part you are able to choose which two members are completing a certain area with, you have to be mindful of which two you select. If you need to hack a computer and that person is not in your two person party, you will be forced to back track to the safe location of the others in order to swap out members. There are also objectives where the game will automatically select the two members that you are to use to complete your given tasks. You can say there is a bit of strategy to the gameplay, an element that some will like and those will be a bit perturbed about.
When it comes to defending oneself from the onslaught of crazy beasts, there are plenty of weapon to choose from. There are your traditional pistols, which will definitely take down an enemy, and then you also have bats, pipes, etc. which are still good at putting an enemy in his/her place. However, if can't get the best of an enemy, make sure you know where your nearest save points are. In a similar fashion to Resident Evil games (except without the ink) you must locate a black, evil looking plant that grows on walls. Simply walking into the plants will bring up a save screen. Just keep in mind that if any of your active party members die in battle, the game will restart you at the last save spot you used.
While the gameplay is sure to give you a run for your money, another strong area to Obscure: The Aftermath is its visual presentation. Character models are well detailed, almost seeming life-like through their body language. The environments are nicely detailed and varied, offering up different atmospheres, all equally giving off a since of danger around each and every corner. Complimenting the visuals is a strong audio presence, especially through the in-game soundtrack. Each and every track is befitting of it's level or action moment. There is not a moment in the game where you wish the audio wasn't implying danger is eminent.
Considering horror games of this nature are usually played on a solo basis, it's nice to see the inclusion of cooperative gameplay with Obscure: The Aftermath. With your WI-FI turned on, someone can hope into your single-player campaign and control the second player, helping you progress you the game at a quicker pace. While I did find this feature very rewarding in getting past difficult situations, it also took the player out of the experience that they were alone, trying to figure out what's going on.
For $29.99 you will not find a better survival horror title for the PSP. This title is packed full of "jumping" moments which will have your adrenaline flowing and people wondering what's wrong with you. With the inclusion of co-op, that just yet another reason to pick this game up. UMD or digital distribution, it's your choice, however it will be a choice that you will enjoy no matter what medium. 7.5/
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