Obscure: The Aftermath Review
Obscure: The Aftermath picks up a few years after the first game comes to a close. This time the surviving former high school students are at college and those pesky plants from the first game have suddenly resurfaced to cause death and frustration once again. The familiar characters from the original Obscure take up arms once again and some new characters join in for the plant monster bashing this time.
Much like the first Obscure, the focus of the game is on a "teenage survival horror" with the option of multiplayer. In the first game, the characters sometimes felt annoying and in this sequel the characters still got on my nerves with their joking attitudes that seem to disregard the situation at hand at times. The characters make the plot seem lighthearted sometimes but the story does have its moments and fans of the first Obscure will enjoy seeing the return of the surviving characters from the first game.
With the updated graphics for this sequel, Obscure has some very impressive atmosphere and environments. You never would think that a college campus could look so creepy, but Obscure does a good job with making dorm hallways and libraries among other locations look unsettling. The beginning portion of the game grabbed my attention very well and seemed much like a Silent Hill opening with its hellish looking sequence. The game takes the player through multiple locations such as a woods area, a hospital and many other areas. At key locations, your characters will take out flashlights and the lighting effects give off a pleasant look that will please survival horror fans that like to scamper around in dim corridors and dark forests. It would have been nice to have a freely available flashlight throughout the whole game for some of those other dark rooms through.
Obscure is presented with a third person view much like other games in its genre. There are plenty of items to collect and puzzles to solve. The puzzles are actually pretty well done. There are a few hacking mini games where you must look through a circular list of letters to form a name - these puzzles appear annoying at first but with the way the game allows you to see which letters are in their correct place through a bit of trial and error what could have been a frustrating puzzle turns into a unique little mini game. Many of the other puzzles are done well also such as the lock picking puzzles.
Each character has a specific skill that will allow you to get past certain obstacles in the game. Some characters can move heavy objects, jump or climb to certain areas, hack devices, piece together puzzles, among other helpful techniques. The game usually forces the player to control two certain characters but there are times where you are free to choose between any of the characters. Even then though, you'll have to choose the characters with specific skills to get past a certain area. Like the first Obscure, you will always have control over two characters in the game. A second player can press start at any time to take control of the partner character.