By CornBREDX 6 Comments
I had considered playing this again when it was discussed Vinny and Dave may actually play it on their random PC game thing they do. They haven't played it yet (being the month of All Hallows Eve, this is a shame) but they may.
In the meantime I myself wanted to play it again as it's a horror game I love and I have always considered to be pretty terrifying.
Installation was no fuss, shouldn't be surprising as the computer I have was built not that long after this game was released. As you can imagine I can play it at Max settings. The only oddity is the in game configuration is kind of weird- it seems they wanted it to auto configure for the most part. If you want to make tweaks you need to use the console in the game or the .ini file in one of the games folders.
That being said, it is really easy to tweak the setting, as the game is actually pretty accepting of any resolution you put in even if in the game settings it doesn't show it there, odds are it will work. It also, unlike most older games, has no problem with dual monitor setups for those interested in knowing.
The first thing most people who haven't played this ask me is "Does it hold up even today? Is it still scary? What are the graphics like?"
The graphics are ok, but a tad muddy in comparison to design of today. The most notable thing you will immediately notice, though, is the animations are really stiff. Be gentle in your judgement, my friends, as this game was built using I believe the first UT engine in early 2001. I do believe it is somewhat excusable as this game came out not long after the first
, so obviously it will show it's age. It's actually amazing it accepts a lot of the modern day resolutions- a lot of people will like that, but as I said above, you may have to tweak it manually. There is a few patches (an official one and some unofficial ones) that you can use to make the graphics less muddy and I recommend using them. For the sake of purity (because I'm crazy like that) I am not using the unofficial patches at the moment. I may install one I found tomorrow, not sure yet.
Anyway, I decided to boot the game up and see what I have not played in a little over 5 years now. After the interesting opening cut scene (if you don't like them by the way the game forgives you and lets you skip them, but you really shouldn't if you never played this as the game is about story and atmosphere. You really shouldn't bother to play this if you don't like games with these intentions) I almost immediately remembered what was so horrifying about this game. Besides the daunting controls (as there is a fair amount you can eventually do, being able to dual wield weapons and magic) the atmosphere and especially sound design is still magnificent and horrifying. Even if the animations and graphics show their age, the game still has an amazing atmosphere and may help you not worry as much about the game being old.
Thunder has a sufficient crack, the pistol has a satisfying bang, and the magic is sufficiently mystifying. There are also times when you will hear voices, and not know where they are from. Sometimes it's like you are hearing voices in your head (I think he is- I cant recall if that's is explained somewhere) that basically tell you when to use your scrye spell (not that directly though, of course). This spell basically lets you see what's really there. There some terrifying things to see underneath the surface. I use it a lot of the time as a light source as it gives you a glow that helps you see a little better in the dark, but when you
use it... you'll know.
I've only scratched the surface, as I only played for an hour today due to setup, but I wanted to share my journey experiencing this again. Is it still scary? Yes, I think it is. The graphics are dated, and there are some weird animations that date it quite a bit, but the sound design more then makes up for it and with the atmosphere continues to frighten me even to this day.
I may write more of these if time permits, and I get the itch to share anything else about it but so far it's just as good as I remember, even if a bit old now. It's worth checking out, even today in my opinion.