With Halloween just around the corner, we're starting to see an influx of cheesy horror films starring good looking teenagers doing everything they can to make it to the end credits. From The Final Destination to Halloween II to Saw VI, there's no shortage of brainless horror films stinking up your local multiplex. But what if you don't want deal with sky high ticket prices and all of those kids texting during the movie? Playlogic Entertainment hopes that you'll spend the night playing Obscure: The Aftermath for the Sony PSP.
This survival horror sequel picks up two years after the events of the first game. Instead of simply playing one or two characters, the game has a unique narrative that switches from one dumb teenager to another, often teaming them up in pairs. Early on you'll meet Kenny, a jock with big muscles that allows him to move heavy objects around the room. And then there's Mei, a nerdy girl gamer with a big brain that allows her to hack into all kinds of computers and security panels. And let's not forget the half-naked Amy, who will make all of the boys drool with her big, um, deductive skills.
In total there are six playable characters, each with their own stories and skills. It's obvious from the get-go that the levels are designed around each player's set of skills. When you're investigating the spooky frat house you'll see computers you'll have to hack in order to open certain rooms, so clearly you're going to meet up with Mei in the near future. And that puzzle that requires you to move book shelves, obviously you'll need Kenny for this job. Everybody has a job and the level is going to remind you of that.
You play the game in pairs, so you'll always have somebody next to you helping you out. This means that in order to get the most out of the levels you will need to both characters, which is as easy as pushing the switch button. But there's no reason you need to play this game by yourself because Obscure: The Aftermath uses the ad hoc WiFi to support two-player thrills. Unfortunately I was unable to test this mode out in the preview build; however the idea of allowing a friend to jump in at any time excites me.
The preview build allow me to explore several different locations, each dripping in spooky atmosphere. Early on you are exploring schools and frat houses, but soon enough you're making your way through a deadly nature trail and making your way to the local hospital. The story early on offers a lot of horror clichés, such as the frightened girl all alone in the house and the all-too-familiar creepy scientist. But cliches be damned, I'm actually kind of interested to see where this story takes these annoying school kids.