Not for the faint hearted
I have to say that I haven’t played a survival horror game properly since silent hill and resi on the PS1, but I am glad to see that in this game, the genre lives on. Obscure 2 is the second in a series of classically styled survival horror games with a puzzling twist thrown in. It is based around several characters and their quest to escape their college campus with their lives, after zombiefied students overrun it. The characters all have different strengths and weaknesses and you must utilise all of their skills if you want to get out alive.
The game managed to grip me for the whole time that I played it
As the genre indicates, this game is based more around survival than a straight shoot em up, and as such is not completely action based. You will find yourself hacking doors by guessing famous people’s names, guiding a character using security cameras, cracking safe’s and many more puzzles of this type. This makes the gameplay a little more interesting and unpredictable. Anyone who has played a survival horror game in the past should know what to expect.
The storyline is held together quite well throughout, and follows on from a similar storyline in Obscure 1. Videogames don’t tend to scare or shock me, but this certainly isn’t a game for children or anyone who is adverse to the sight of blood and gore. One of the opening scenes sees you navigating your way down a blood-drenched corridor trying to find a way out.
The music in the game is suitably tense and adds to the atmosphere to make for a good all round shock level. The graphics however are not particularly brilliant, but serve their purpose well enough. I don’t know if this is just me, as I play mainly on an Xbox 360, which has far superior graphics, but it is certainly not one of the more graphically stunning ps2 games I have seen.
The game managed to grip me for the whole time that I played it, and I didn’t find myself wandering around aimlessly as I have with some of the other survival horror games I have played. The control system is easy to pick up, and the weapons and items are accessed through an inventory found by pushing the select button. One of the problems I did find was that in order to attack an enemy, I had to hold down the L1 button whilst using the R1 to attack, which isn’t ideal for quick weapon access. Some of the camera angles also annoyed me, as I found the camera jumping from a shot behind to a shot in front of the character and I had to quickly adapt the direction or I would end up running back where I came from.
Obscure 2 is a good classic survival horror game, and although unpolished in terms of graphics, the gameplay should be more than enough to keep you happy. The puzzles are challenging and actually require some thinking rather than just reading the answer somewhere else on the level, and the action is varied and always when you least expect it. This game is well worth a try if you are a fan of the genre.
The Bad: old looking graphics, little character development.