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Reviewed: Nocturne
Author: Chris Kim       Date: November 30th 1999
Page: 2

Many gamers will remember the Alone in the Dark series of games, one of the first games to hit the market the really frightened many gamers in the community. It was acclaimed as one of the most intriguing games with awesome plot, gameplay, and graphics to shot with the experience. Several years have passed since those last games, and Nocturne is now here. Another horror based adventure/action game with a lot of the same qualities that made the Alone in the Dark games so successful. Nocturne is easily one of the most ambitious games in terms of raw technology provided in any one game experience. All the technologies were created in house at the Terminal Reality development studios. That's right, multiple technologies. There are tons of extra game features that provide Nocturne to be one of the most enjoyable experiences in gaming, but the game is not without a few flaws.

Shot Them Dead
Dead Horsie!
Umm... Warm Fire

One hell of a storyline is combined in with the robust gaming system that is included in the game. The game adds in four separate acts or scenarios, each of them can be played in any order, but the first scenario is probably the best place to start as it is chronologically the first event timeline wise. Each of the acts have their own storyline, each of them just as gripping as the last.

Much of the game lies in the combat and adventuring parts of the game. The game has been declared by many to be the Blair Witch Project of games, which it rightfully does deserve the title to be called. The game gives some of the most bone chilling experiences with the most realistic graphics and sound reproduction ever seen to create this cyber environment. The game has a ton of variety in the gameplay providing challenging puzzles and adventuring elements. A majority of the puzzles in the game don't involve a lot of critical thinking, but will require some hunt and search missions along with a few obscure jumping puzzles. For the most part, however, the jumping puzzles are not overly complicated. Mainly consisting of conversing with fellow NPC characters, tons of information about the town/city/location of such artifacts and tidbits will be uncovered and learned by the player he travels deeper and grows more into each of the missions. Players will converse with just about every NPC character in the missions to uncover more important facts and tidbits to progress the mission along. Without talking to each of the NPC characters, crucial parts of the game such as weapons, ammo, or other key items might be left out leaving the later part of the mission unbeatable.

One very large flaw of Nocturne, however, is the fact that tons of scavenger hunts will follow on several missions, just looking for ammo, new weapons, or doctors kits. But for the most part, the game maintains a very fair feeling on how the game is played. The action is intense at times, and other times the action is less intense. One of the jumping puzzles involves jumping on a bridge that is nearly all shattered and broken up. The major problem with this part is that the game is a guessing game and multiple reloads and starting over is required to get it right, which can get to be quite frustrating considering the loading times are horrible.

Brawl to the Death!
Traps!
Sungod Weapon

Combat is an excellent in Nocturne, rather than running mindless circles and just shooting at everything on the screen, the Stranger (the main character), will need to carefully use the bullets to their maximum ability. There are a ton of different weapons at the hands of the Stranger, some with very unique abilities and most of them have different type of ammo for nearly all weapons. The basic weapon for the Stranger is the .45mm pistol, with various types of ammo. The standard issue, silver bullets, aqua vampira, and mercury, each of them have various affect and effectiveness against the various types of fiends and monsters in Nocturne. There are also shotguns, sunguns, flamethrowers, and tons of melee weapons at the disposal of the player. Each of the weapons have their own unique abilities. One of the coolest features about most of the guns are either the lantern or laser site eyes equipped on the barrels of the guns for precision shooting. The triggers also have an eye site that detects from either monster or human not allowing the trigger to be pulled on allies, a great feature in times of trouble.

A really cool part of the game is the enemies and bad guys that the Stranger will face in the game. From the various missions, many different foes will be met. On the first missions, vampires, sentinels (gargoyle type things), and werewolves will be met. On the second mission tons of werewolves as the mission is centered on the revenge of a werewolf tribe with a leader named Alpha. On the third mission, mainly undead and freaky brought back to life vile are brought into the world from the mob. And on the last mission, an intricate mix of monsters is tossed in. The baddies add a lot of flare and excitement to the game with very scary looking monsters and hunters.

Yuri Dude
Some Jump
Check the Lighting Effects

Spread across four missions, Nocturne takes place over a course of eight years. With four missions in the bag, Nocturne offers a huge array of gameplay and time consuming absorption into the world of Nocturne. The first mission puts the Stranger in the world of Germany where a village is being taunted by a vampire. The count is taking no mercy on the town sending sentinels to harass the town villagers. The stranger must save the town and venture into the neck of the woods crawling deep with puzzles, traps, and werewolves. The player will then escape out into the castle and must defeat the count with lots of tricks and use of weapons.

The second mission involves Stranger on a train at first discussing with Hiram, then he is taken by a werewolf. The mission evolves totally around the werewolf tribe and the revenge they have plotted. As the level progresses down, there are towns and then the underground, which involves a lurking evil.

In the third mission, Stranger has to venture out to Chicago, thug land. Gangsters have been raised from the dead, a doctor must be stopped from creating an unstoppable army of undead mobsters before the fate of the world falls. As the story progresses along, lots of secrets and enjoyable parts of the game are revealed.

The last mission involves an old time friend of Spookhouse (the underground government agency Stranger works for), calls for help in dealing with the undead troubles. Later in the mission, it's noted that Stranger gets locked in a mansion maze in which puzzles galore are in. This mission is probably the most fun one to play.

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Added:  Tuesday, November 30, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 2/5

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