60 Second Preview of…
Clive Barker's Undying
The developers at Dreamworks are putting Trespasser behind
them by using the Unreal engine to create a first person horror
game. Undying is set in the 1920s in and around an English
manor, but there are also some strange extradimensional jaunts.
The game is loosely divided into interwoven sections in which
you take on a series of undead siblings haunting the manor,
each with his or her own theme, as well as a necromancer named
Kiesinger. The two-fisted combat involves using weapons on
your left hand/mouse button and spells on your right hand/mouse
button, with an almost Diablo-esque scheme of building and
customizing your magical powers as the game progresses. Clive
Barker was brought in fairly late in the process and has served
as a sort of consultant and creative advisor.
Mark's Comments: The last horror game to sport
an author's name was indeed horrific. Stephen King's F13 from
Blue Byte was a hastily assembled collection of screen savers,
whack-a-rat mini-games, and a story that King apparently couldn't
sell elsewhere. At least Undying looks like a game. What Undying
really looks like is a first-person shooter, which will probably
be as faithful in capturing the feel of Barker's writing as
GTI's Wheel of Time did in representing Robert Jordan's voluminous
work, which is to say, not very.
Tom's Comments: I'm skeptical that horror can
really fit into a first person shooter, especially when it
seems to be as combat-oriented as Undying. The horror setting
in Blood, which was more comedy than horror, worked because
you were one of the monsters (I'm talking of course about
Monolith's first Blood - the words "Blood 2" and "worked"
do not belong in the same sentence). But Undying just looks
like a combat shooter with some imaginative spells as weapons.
Although Clive Barker's name is attached, the kernel of the
game began with Austin Grossman (whose credits include System
Shock and Trespasser, so it kind of evens out) and a relative
newcomer named Dell Siefert. Grossman has since left the project
and Siefert has been left behind as the creative impetus.
The technology looks solid and Barker's name recognition will
undoubtedly sell a few copies, but whether it's a good game
depends on the strength of Siefert's creativity.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Dreamworks Interactive
Genre: First person horror
Release Date: February, 2001