Clive Barker's Undying
Clive Barker's appetite for horror is boundless. With more than a dozen novels and 13 films to his name, Britain's answer to Stephen King should be satisfied. But, hell no. The twisted mind behind fright-flicks such as Hellraiser and Candyman has teamed up with DreamWorks Interactive for what could be one of the best horror games ever to hit the PC.
Clive Barker's: Undying is the story of Patrick Galaway, a kind of mystical Indiana Jones who ventures to a remote estate in Ireland in order to destroy a family of powerful immortals who are obsessed with creatures from other dimensions. As well as the estate, players get to explore a destroyed monastery, the cursed city of Oneiros, the Pirate's Cove, the Eternal Autumn and the Neolithic Caves.
Lead designer Dellekamp Siefert describes Undying as a "first-person perspective spellcaster". The rest of us can expect a first-person shooter with a fireball or two thrown in for good measure. So we've seen this kind of thing before with Rage Of Mages and countless other wizard shoot 'em ups, but it has never been done on the scale of Undying. Here, there are 16 different spells available, all of which can be amplified up to five times. But spells aren't the only way to destroy the immortal troublemakers, and the more traditional weapons include dynamite, Molotov cocktails, scythes, shotguns and more.
The great thing about Undying is you can choose which spells to focus on, giving the game that extra RPG appeal. For example, cautious players may be inclined to invest in Defensive Shield magic, whereas aggressive players are more likely to build up their Fireball or Mindshatter spells. It's a system that also bodes well for highly strategic multiplayer action, especially with a modified version of the Unreal Tournament engine under the hood.
Aesthetically, Undying is faultless. There are ultra-creepy effects such as elongated shadows flitting quickly across walls and cobwebs that flutter in a real-time variable wind. Sound has also been cleverly used - a specific sound matrix has been created so that footsteps on grass, rock, wood etc all have unique characteristics. The same goes for the sound of a blade embedding itself in wood, stone, mud or flesh, of course. Different objects also react to certain surfaces. Bullets, for example, are more likely to ricochet off a stone wall than they are a wooden door.
Other highlights include superb enemy AI that features novel attributes such as creatures jumping in a pool of water when they're on fire. There are also plenty of stealth elements such as hiding in shadows and walking around noisy surfaces like twigs and gravel. Clive Barker's: Undying really does promise to be a horror game of the highest calibre. Look out for the review some time after Christmas.
Download Clive Barker's Undying
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-12-29 Clive Barker's Undying game added.