Cavalcade of Holiday Horror: ObsCure

I don’t know what it is about Christmas time that gets me in the horror mood. Maybe it’s all the joy? For some reason, December is the month where I bust out the horror movies, whip out a scary novel, or throw in a good horror game. So in honor of that strange tradition, I will be making at least one horror related post for the month of December, starting…now.

Don’t stay out too late

I don’t know how familiar most people are with ObsCure. I didn’t know about it until I was looking for games to review. It’s a fairly old game, and it apparently sold well enough to warrant a sequel, so needless to say, I was kinda surprised I never heard of it. I read a little about it, found out that Steam had it and sharing it with you is the most important thing in the world right now!

Premise

The premise of ObsCure is a simple one. A high school jock stays after hours to shoot some hoops. He gets kidnapped and it’s up to his sister, girlfriend, and two other doofs to find him and escape. On top of that, the kids run into horrible mutants running around campus and stumble upon a conspiracy, perpetrated by certain members of the faculty, to turn students into plant monsters in a desperate search to discover eternal life, or some shit like that. Not so simple now, is it?

Game play

You play as one of the four remaining kids (or two of them, because like all great games, it has local co-op) each with their own unique abilities. One picks locks easier, one fights better, one runs faster, that sort of thing. You run around the school looking for clues that help you access other locked off parts of the map, all while slowly uncovering what’s really going on. The game play is reminiscent of the original Resident Evils, with fixed camera angles that add to the horror at times. It reminds me of those point-and-click adventure games that used to be all the rage years ago.

You have a few weapons at your disposal. Mostly pistols and shotguns, enough to get the job done. The combat is simple (a little too much so). When an enemy appears you just fire your weapon until the threat has been neutralized. You also have a flashlight that kinda weakens enemies, but I felt this was underutilized and a bit of an afterthought. The short comings of the combat also add to the horror. You can’t move while reloading, so you are vulnerable at times and it can get slightly intense. Also, if you or your partner gets killed, they stay dead and you have to play as one of the other characters who are still alive.

Why I love this game

I haven’t even told you the best part! This game is like being in a late 90’s, early 00’s horror movie and it’s AWESOME! It’s reminiscent of the movie The Faculty, and follows tropes from other teen horror movies as well, like Scream, I Know What you Did Last Summer, and Urban Legend. It even has a radical pop-punk intro. The game is self aware, but not too much so. It hits that nice butter zone of so-bad-it’s-good, without crossing over into outright parody. It’s an entertaining game and I’m really glad I stumbled upon it. It’s nothing to write home about, but I got a ton of enjoyment out of the little money I paid.

Final thoughts

Is ObsCure scary? Well…no. However, I would be lying if I said none of the jump scares got to me or that I wasn’t at least a little uneasy when walking into an unexplored room. Is it worth your time? For me, it definitely was! The game play was somewhat generic, but passable and the story was both engaging and cheesy enough for me to see it through to the end. It was a nice mix that at times had some mild scares and some funny moments (though mostly unintentionally funny). Also, for $7.00 there are worse ways to spend your money!

That about wraps things up! If you are fan of classic Resident Evil and any of the movies I mentioned above, give this game a play through. I had a really good time with it. On that note, I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday (no matter what you are celebrating)! Get out there and play some games with your family and friends!

The Marshall

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