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Obscure II

Suzy Wallace stops to smell the flowers, but gets a bouquet of death

American teenagers: the throwers of crazy college parties, and the prime fodder of today's horror films. The original ObsCure was a school-based, classic take on the teen horror genre, and things have changed little for the sequel.

The story begins with a bunch of kids at a party snorting a flower in order to get their next buzz. Yes, that's right, a flower. Kids today, eh? But things soon start to go wrong, and what was intended to be a good buzz ends up turning into a bloodbath.

The action's pretty standard horror-genre fare, comprising console-y, lock-on combat sections mixed with a sizeable dollop of wandering around in dimly lit environments, trying to figure out what the hell's going on and waiting for the next monster to jump out and rip your face off. It's all pretty daft, but enjoyable in its own leave-your-brain-at-the-door way.

Zoom

If you're the type of person who pukes in their mouth a little every time a show such as The O.C. comes on the telly, you'll probably want to stay clear, as the heroes of the story are a bunch of sickly-sweet, stereotypical American college kids. The drop-in/drop-out co-op play is a highlight, though, making it ideal brainless fun to play through with a mate.

ObsCure II's real problem is that, while it doesn't do anything wrong exactly, it doesn't do anything that well either. It's unfailingly linear, and though the keyboard and mouse controls work surprisingly well, they're hindered by some misleading instructions on screen.

Aside from the odd graphical glitch, most of the game actually looks quite passable, with many of the console-inherited lo-res textures being helpfully disguised by dim lighting. Its worst problem is the save points, which disappear after use, forcing you
to replay sections of the game and killing off any tension that may have built up.

If horror films where the screams are sufficiently high-pitched to get the neighbourhood dogs howling are your kind of thing, then ObsCure II is easy to get into, not too taxing on the brain and just about competent enough to keep you playing for its 15-hour duration. Just remember to stay away from flowers. Flowers are bad... m'kay?

The verdict

Flower power

  • Accessible co-op play
  • Silly but enjoyable
  • Some decent lighting effects
  • Annoying save points kill tension
  • Combat's a bit clunky
  • Very linear
6.4
Format
PC
Developer
Hydravision
Publisher
PlayLogic
Genre
Survival Horror

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