When the US coast guard, responding to an SOS, checks out a seemingly abandoned whaler, only Sven Hansen(isn't that just the most American name you've ever heard?) survives this initial search and rescue. The reason for the carnage is a being that seems to have come from the bottom of the sea, and that must not be allowed to come back to civilization. These can infest and take over people(especially the dead ones) and then mutate them, so you face... well, zombies reanimated by plant or fish things(the designs on them aren't *that* nice... it is nifty that they can climb the walls and attack with those same tentacles), and more or less humanoid creatures that move fast or slow, and are strong or hide well. The similarities to System Shock 2 have to be addressed; this doesn't reach the level of that by a long shot, and it's not because of the lack of RPG elements or freedom(this is entirely linear). It's because that one is thoroughly worked through, you can delve deep into it and it all works out, the physiology of the foes is carefully thought out and the plot is unforgettable(the way backstory is delivered, logs, is about the same... if this is only text, and not audio; and this one contains clichés). This game isn't bad; it's a quickie(it can't lead to any real life), fast-food(it won't fill you up), you won't really be satisfied, at least not fully. The creepy atmosphere is nicely built up and maintained... there isn't constantly someone to fight, yet it'll feel like it, and they could crawl over a railing(you can grab hold of those, by the way, to remain still... it can also be used to keep from falling over the side. Unfortunately, this clever and unique feature isn't used anywhere near enough) or break through a door or the ceiling. You spend the entirety of this either on the ship or a nearby oil rig, and the isolation of this original location is effective, not to mention the fact that these are incredibly dangerous(if not as much as they should be), the outside constantly rocking back and forth, as this takes place during a violent storm out on the sea, and this situation is emulated nicely. This is effectively scary and exciting, and the music isn't bad. You get into it quickly, and I can't deny that it's quite addictive. I played this a lot from when I started... thing is, it didn't take me long to get through. It's so short... I mean, we're talking Max Payne length(in fact, less, I'd say). Below ten hours. And other than four difficulty settings and 17 minutes worth(I wish I was kidding) of unlockable animated galleries(art, production ones and promotional ones) that you'll get gradually get as you complete it(nothing you really have to do to get it), there is no replayability to this, at all. No multi-player. The ending is meh. There's only one boss fight, and it's OK at best, if the climax is a cool... idea. This has checkpoint saving, and they are appropriately frequent, so you want to keep alive without having to replay a ton when you do die. The plot is basic, but we get plenty of cut-scenes done in gorgeous CGI telling them. Blood and raindrops get on the lens of the camera, that moves oddly much of the time unless you right-click, in which case it's an over-the-shoulder 3rd person view(why can you draw the weapon other than that? It's the only way to aim), that sometimes obscures the killer right in front of you, particularly on stairs. Movement control out of that(in it, it's standard FPS) is awkward, you go in the direction you press on the arrow keys, and that can change suddenly when you go to a new area(think Silent Hill 4: The Room). Whenever you go through a door it loads the new area... that's one way to deal with that. When you take out the regular opponents(the walking dead, usually carrying a wrench or a kitchen knife, occasionally an SMG; you also combat the soldiers who used to be the security for this boat), you have to remove their head(that's where the leach-like thing is), with the projectiles or by stepping on their head by walking up to them and pressing Action. It works like a charm(and it's something I would love to see in other VG's, like vampire ones, a Blade one... yes, that's a hint), except for when there are several bodies near each other(they will get up if you don't do it in time!), something that happens all the time, as you'll check them for ammo(something you have to conserve as you can never carry much and you may run out(!)), wasting time and annoying you. You use a pistol, an MP5, a shotgun, an AK47, a grenade launcher, a spear gun(it'll attract them), and a flamethrower. There are things that can be used to your advantage, like steam valves and explosive barrels. The AI is fine, and some of the tougher ones will "chase" you, somewhat. This has fantastic graphics, and a true cinematic feel. You find yourself believing that you are where this tries to make you think that you are. The voice acting is passable, it could maybe be better if the characters were interesting and not essentially stereotypes(the hero who has a past, the dominating woman who does need rescuing(...mainly because she can't use a weapon... why is that, again?), and the sleazy CIA agent). Ubisoft gives us something that delivers and will be remembered(at least parts of it), as usual(do they ever do less than above average?). There is a lot of bloody, gory violence and a little strong language in this. I recommend this to any fan of horror and action; just keep in mind that it won't last long, when you're looking at the price(I got this for free from a friend. Find a sale y'know?). 7/10
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