Obscure - PS2

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Obscure (PS2)
Also for: PC, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Hydravision Soft. Co.: Ubisoft
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 1 Oct 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only
Accessories: Memory Card


With the survival horror genre in the upper echelons of gaming popularity, there's been no better time for a Resident Evil clone or Silent Hill beater. Cue Obscure, a high school horror story from French developer Hydravision that follows the twisted tale of five unfortunate students as they discover the wrongdoings of their 100-year old school and its inhabitants.

With a story not that dissimilar from cult move The Faculty, Obscure begins as a clear-cut survival horror affair complete with mystery and monsters. Your ultimate goal is very much story-driven, and as the adventure pushes forwards, answers are given and further questions are raised.

As one of the five students in question, you'll have to make good use of your character's remarkable intelligence and defensive abilities as you negotiate the secret halls and caverns of the century-old building. Like Resident Evil Outbreak, each of the playable characters have their own advantages and weaknesses. For example, Shannon is good with medicine, Stanley has a penchant for picking locks and Ashley has some skill with martial arts combat.

Furthermore, Obscure takes a step away from single-player gaming, again like Resident Evil Outbreak, instead encouraging a two-player co-operative adventure that sees players partnering with another in order to overcome the obstacles that await them. This helps to make Obscure far more involving than other games in the genre.

But that's not to say the single-player game has been neglected. On the contrary, brave gamers playing alone will find themselves accompanied by a computer controlled character that can follow commands issued to them. Computer AI is adequately smart too, and instances where gameplay suffers as a result of your partner's actions are virtually non-existent.

The game is graphically up to date, and the demonic beings of Obscure are every bit as disturbing as they are challenging. The overall feel and presentation seen in Obscure is very much what you would expect from a game of this type. It's chilling, deeply atmospheric and holds a few heart-stopping tricks up its sleeve. Well worth getting frightened for.