ECTS 2001: First look: Curse: The Eye of Isis

Wanadoo prepares an action-adventure game that's set in Victorian England and adopts the survival-horror cinematic game style.

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Survival-horror games in the style of Resident Evil haven't been as popular on the PC as on consoles, but it's been a while since such a game has been developed specifically with the PC in mind. UK developer Asylum describes the gameplay in its forthcoming cinematic adventure game, Curse: The Eye of Isis, as a mix of Tomb Raider and Resident Evil Code: Veronica--but the game's distinct Victorian look is all its own. You play as Darien Dane, a sort of 19th-century Indiana Jones who is after a crooked antiques dealer who has stolen invaluable artifacts from the British museum. The game starts off in the famous museum, and you'll quickly find yourself dealing with puzzles and fighting off supernatural foes such as mummies, as well as the henchmen of your enemy.

Asylum is concentrating much of its efforts on developing a unique atmosphere for the game. You'll come across Victorian-style technology that you can use in your quest and have access to a couple of characters who can help you: your assistant Abdullah and a quirky Egyptologist. Not only does Curse: The Eye of Isis borrow the directed third-person perspective that games of this type often use to heighten suspense and give a more cinematic feel, but it also features a more dynamic camera that tracks, zooms, and pans on the action.

Curse looks quite good for being just about six months into development, probably because the designers thought up the fundamentals of the game over a several-year period before starting development in earnest. What we saw of the game was very combat-oriented, but the final gameplay will emphasize puzzles and story development much more than fighting. The game is scheduled for release in the fall of 2002. Wanadoo's US distribution is currently handled by Dreamcatcher.

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