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Review: ObsCure: The Aftermath

Survival horror games just aren't as big as they were several years ago. The genre has been fairly rote and formulaic since then; all the games are different but they feel very much the same: limited inventory, bad camera angles, every door is locked, a lack of common sense from everybody involved in the incident, puzzles that don't actually make sense if they existed in the real world, secret cults/organizations/scientists, etc. Dozens of Resident Evil and Silent Hill imitators came onto the scene, and with very few exceptions (the Fatal Frame series comes to mind), they are all forgettable. ObsCure: The Aftermath unfortunately doesn't break from this horrible stereotype, but it sure tries.

As you can hopefully gather from the the title, ObsCure: The Aftermath takes place after a tragic event, specifically the first ObsCure, released in 2005. In short, some students at a high school found out that other students are being experimented on and survival horror-itis took over. In the sequel, the surviving kids are now in college, and strangely enough, another set of horrible events takes place and once again the kids are thrust into an adventure of dangerous proportions.

Aaaaaaaaand, that's about it. If you've played any survival horror video game in the last decade, you know what to expect, because it's the same as every other survival horror game. The combat's not very intuitive, being on the PSP and all, so they stuck you with an auto-lock so that your wild swinging of various weapons will actually hit the enemies. The puzzles in the game are somewhat tricky, but if you've got a piece of paper to take notes down you'll be fine. Navigation isn't very difficult, either, because the game follows a very linear structure: You enter a hallway with a locked door at the end, and a few rooms. You go in the rooms, find the magic switch, then go into the next hallway, where there is another locked door.

One interesting feature of ObsCure: The Aftermath is the various characters you can play. Each person has different abilities that will help them through their adventure; one is strong, one is smart with electronics, one is acrobatic so he can grab ledges that the other ones can't, and a few other personalities. The game always has two characters together, so it's possible to play the game entirely in co-op with another person. Playing with a friend will generally lessen the suck factor of any game, and this is no different. For starters, it makes taking enemies down much easier.

ObsCure: The Aftermath is a fairly average survival horror game. Being on the PSP, however, bumps it up a few notches since the "survival horror on the go" genre is severely lacking. If you're looking for a horror game on your PSP and you've beaten Silent Hill: Origins, give ObsCure a try.

Players:1-2 players




ESRB:M for Mature