A beautifully horrifying game of mystery and murder

User Rating: 9.1 | Clive Barker's Undying PC
Clive Barker's: Undying is simply frightening- in a good way that is. From the gruesome Howler's (creature's somewhat resembling man's-best-friend) to the ghosts and gouls around every corner. Covering the game on a rather superficial level, it sounds like the basic horror tale: An old man is struck bedridden and cannot leave his home (which, incidentally, is haunted by the angry spirits of his brothers and sisters. I'd say that would bring down the property value a bit, eh?). He calls upon a man known to fight down the undead. Eventually the house is rid of the spirits, eveyone goes home, drinks their coffee, etc, etc.

Not quite.

Well, up until the "Go home and drink your jo" it's pretty much the same. You play as Patrick Galloway, a fighter of evil, a firm believer in ghosts and a man with hella good aim. Ah, yes, did I mention that he also weilds an emerald green stone (presumably enchanted) that tells him about the darker, more evil sides of the story? I'm sure I didn't. The bedridden man, Jeremiah Covenant, is forced to stay inside his house because of the illness that is eating away at his body (keep in mind that his age is unknown, but he is presumed to be rather old). His four siblings had long ago passed away and seemed to have a fight to pick with Jeremiah. He sees their angry spirits around the house and needs you to rid the house of them. Being long-term buddies, you're the first he's going to call- naturally.

The setting is brilliant. The mansion doesn't even seem to be a mere mansion- rather, a giant, ornate, beautiful castle filled with creaking, groaning wooden doors, beautiful tapestries, and millions of rooms. Not only that, but almost everything is interactable. If there's a mirror, you'd better believe you'll be able to approach it to see your reflection. If there's a door to be opened, you can open it with a click of a button (if the door is for some reason locked, Patrick will grunt out a low, "It's jammed"). The graphics are mind-blowing, considering this was way before the time of Oblivion or all the graphics we've become accustumed. Everything is three-dimensional, the characters movements life-like. The villians don't simply attack with one move but a variety of defenses and offenses. The game is indeed terrifying with the accompanied sound effects. Doors creak when opened, footsteps echo through the long, twisted halls, the monsters scream and gurgle when they approach, and when the magic stoned senses danger, it will whisper in an echoed rasp "Look" or "See" just long enough to break the silence, only to fade away unexpectedly leaving the player feeling frightened- the intended feeling. The game also offers an unsual alternative for all of us sick with following the strick guide-lines of game playing. You can adventure all you want, collect journal entires and, instead of just attacking the main 'boss' of the level head on (which is one of Jeremiah's siblings, each one more deadly and powerful than the last), you twist and turn to search for them while they hunt you down, using their beasts and undead powers.

This game is the kind that will hook you from the moment you play. With a great storyline like this one, even I, a hater of first-person shooters, was pulled into the dark and enchanting world of Clive Barker's: Undying. Perhaps their are no negatives to this game. I certainly can't think of any. But here is a word of advice that you'd be a fool not to take: don't play with the lights out.

Ja Ne,
Gaara