Thursday, June 27, 2019

Nightbreed - The Interactive Movie

I remember watching Nightbreed back in the day and absolutely loved it. Okay, it was a little cheesy but I'm a fan of most horror genres and Clive Barker never disappoints. It had such a different twist to its style and atmosphere and I loved the idea of Midian and its freaks being the good guys. Something I didn't expect at the time.

Being the weirdo that I am, I would have loved to see Midian for myself one dark night - of course, armed with nothing more than a flashlight!! Alas, it was never meant to be... well... until now that is!! Thanks to Ocean, and their amazing dedication to movie tie-ins, I finally have their Nightbreed which tries to follow the original plot best it can as an interactive adventure, umm, with some arcade action thrown in for good measure.

Don't listen to the bad man... And check out that 90s hairdo (and Aaron's nipples! lol)

The gameplay area is pretty large and feels a lot bigger thanks to the laborious car journey!

We are Aaron Boone and begin our adventure in the doctor's office listening to his lies. Yup, he's trying to trick us into a confession for something we haven't done so our world is collapsing in on itself. After this introduction plays through, we're presented with an overhead map of the area which has many roads. Here you can travel to three possible destinations: the redneck police station, an ever-attractive asylum, and the mysterious Midian Town.

To drive, just use your mouse and click each intersection of any road but watch out for hidden roadblocks which present your first decision: do you smash through like a rebel or turn around to find an alternative route? Keep your eyes on the fuel gauge, I wouldn't like to get stuck on these roads at nighttime...

Deciding where to go is completely up to you but take a look at this map first before you start burning fuel and then think to yourself what would Aaron Boone do? Everything may look the same but each action you make generally has a different outcome: I made my way to the hospital in my first game, but that didn't go very well...

Arghh!! Caught and locked away in a padded cell. Just listen to his howling!! Wow :o

Of course, being the eager adventure, I restarted and headed straight to Midian. Here I was given three options so I chose to enter into Midian itself which is something I was really looking forward too. However, I think this was a bad choice because I was instantly torn to pieces by a Berserker without any possible chance to defend myself!

I never give up and tried again with my foolish venture into Midian but this time I was set upon by something rather vicious. However, this is where I finally got to see Nightbreed's action scenes in full swing as I ran away like a scared chicken. How I hear? Easy, just bang on that mouse button to separate the two sprites at the top of your screen which represents you and the chasing monster. Yes, it's crude but it worked and I escaped. What a shame the cops were outside, waiting, so it wasn't long before I found myself in the morgue. Well, for a short time...

Well, I made the poor decision of turning around and the doctor was there... He brought the cops!

Midian is like the workplace, full of freaks... but I gotta admire the artwork and a dodgy game of chase!!

Visually, Nightbreed doesn't fail to impress and features many screens with gorgeous artwork. I love the eerie tones that make use of some great palette choices to honour the movie's creepy atmosphere nicely. However, the animations are pretty lame and I dare you not to laugh when being chased... but it's here that I thought Aaron looked like David Boreanaz [remember the vamp Angel] as he wobbles back 'n' forth. Or is it just me?

Audio is also excellent. Okay, I'd have liked more and with greater variety but, what we have, is sampled and pretty darn awesome. Easily my favourite sound effect is when we're captured and held captive in the asylum: this is probably one of the scariest samples I've ever heard in any game. It's incredible. Listen to it!!

Well, I never expected that to happen... this is turning into an old Hammer House of Horror movie!!

I've enjoyed Nightbreed which has aesthetics I'm sure Clive Barker would have loved it. The game is big and offers a fantastic challenge but I was also left a little disappointed. Considering this is an interactive adventure, I'd have imagined a lot more actual interaction. Also, it felt like I was blindly forced into following a predetermined plot - so one wrong move and you're dead. Which isn't brilliant for what is supposed to be an adventure.

Don't get me wrong, this is no Dragon's Lair and I'm sure fans will get something from this interactive movie tie-in. I loved the ability to venture into Midian for myself but I simply feel more could have been done to exploit the amazing storyline with its wide variety of monsters Midian has to offer. Not a bad game, just not a great one either.

Download Nightbreed for floppy or hard drive and head into Midian to make some new freaky friends!

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