When Microsoft’s motion control system Kinect was first announced hardcore gamers were curious to see if Kinect could deliver core experiences. SEGA has released Rise of Nightmares in an attempt to quell the hardcore fan-base. Does Rise of Nightmares deliver, or is a wasted opportunity?
The game starts off with protagonist Josh and his wife on a train. You’re traveling across Eastern Europe on vacation. Sadly the relationship is on its last leg due to excessive drinking and Josh’s refusal to grow up. Kate storms off after a fight and tells you to meet her in the dinning car. While on your way to meet her you run into a Tarot card reader. She tells you your past, present and future. Your past is a love, your present is the fool, and the future is a card of a strange man.
After turning over your future the Tarot reader begins an ominous warning, that death is coming your way. Soon after you walk into the dinning car and there’s blood everywhere. You look up and see a massive creature walking off with your wife. The creature rips a conductor in half and walks to the next car, as you chase him a mysterious man walks up to the window and has the creepiest laugh as the train derails. Thus begins your adventure.
The mechanics are a mixed bag with things like the camera getting in the way. The camera is a fixed view forward and can make seeing traps from above fairly difficult, but more surprising when they appear. To walk you just place one foot in front of the other, and to go faster you just space your feet farther apart. Unfortunately, you never go faster then a brisk walk. Moving your shoulders left and right are how you turn when moving. This makes it very awkward to move at times because of how sensitive the turning is. There’s a signal to allow auto movement.
All you do is make a 90 degree angle with your right arm up and the game moves for you, but when at critical junctions and traps this ability is unavailable for use. There are moments in the game that are called interactions. These very from watching a cinematic moment, opening a door, swimming, splashing water on your face, or swatting leeches off your arms. It was SEGA’s way of making a more realistic aspect to the game. Though these interactions are well integrated into the game they can be repetitive to do sometimes border on annoying.
The presentation of this game is executed brilliantly. It gives a very dark horror feeling.. You can almost feel the anguish of Josh walking through this nightmare. At times the hair on the back of your neck will stand up due to the excellent atmosphere.
The combat is by far the best part of this game. It’s simple, effective, and has lots of variety. To go into combat mode all you have to do is put your fists up like you want to box. Each combat strike is tied to realistic movements. You can punch, kick, swing and block jut like in real life. There’s also a wide variety of weapons available in Rise of Nightmares. The weapon list includes: brass knuckles, pipes, knives, mental tongs or just your fists for simple fun.
If you want indulge your violent side you can have a chainsaw or combustible vials. As you progress in the game you will find more rare weapons like electric knuckles. The only weapons you can use forever are your fists and feet. Late in the game you will acquire a rather satisfying ability to use, but nothing beats yelling “this is Sparta!” and kicking an enemy into a hole.
In all Rise of Nightmares is the first hardcore game to come to Kinect. It has its positives and negatives like any other game. It may be taxing at times but makes up for it with stellar combat and a great atmosphere. SEGA has included a good start to Kinect’s hardcore libr
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