Rise of Nightmares
The Kinect is riddled with games aimed at children and
more particularly some of the third party games are rather lacklustre
and basic. The Kinect is easily one of the most unique and innovative
control systems of the 21st century, however many developers have failed
to create something engaging and more importantly entertaining with this
control system. There have been a few decent games such as Child of Eden
and Kinectimals which are definitely the standout titles. However as it
goes with controllerless gaming, the launch of the Kinect has been more
of a fizzle then an explosion. Fortunately, SEGA have
come to the rescue with their latest mature orientated game entitled
Rise of Nightmares.
At its core, Rise of Nightmares is a survival horror game
that uses the controllerless capabilities quite well as gamers are
transformed into Josh, protagonist and hero to the story which
forces him to search for his wife who has been kidnapped by a hideous
creature aboard a train in Europe. From an impressive opening, it is up
to the gamer to pick up the pieces and after the derailing of your train
caused by the creature, you and a group of survivors must make your way
to civilization. However when you discover a mysterious mansion nearby,
let's just say that it wasn't the smartest decision for these group of
survivors to make... welcome to Rise of Nightmares!
In terms of controls, the developers have done a brilliant job in
catering for the uniqueness of the Kinect but be warned that this game
is quite physical so if you're looking to lounge around in your couch,
you should probably look elsewhere for your gaming fun. Part of the
charm of Rise of Nightmares is that by being interactive with the game,
physically, you feel more part of this clichéd horror survival story.
Navigating the environment does take a little time
getting use because you use your body, more particularly, your feet to
move. By moving your foot forward, this causes your character to walk
and depending on how far you reach out, this will determine the sp+eed of
how fast you move. The camera angle is also controlled by the player as
it monitors where your shoulders are and depending on which one you are
moving, this will move the camera in that particular angle. Given that
this is a full Kinect game, the controls are not 100% but developers are
slowly coming to terms with the limitations and capabilities of Kinect.
If the movement does become a little annoying, the game
can assist in this process but I was quite surprised at how well the
Kinect worked. You interact with objects by holding your hand out such
as picking up items, accessing doors or climbing ladders. There are some
interesting Kinect Quick Time events that do you require you jump or
dodge and like I said, it’s quite physical. There are even some swimming
areas which require you navigate and some great scare scenes where you
need to cover your ears unless you want to take damage from the hellish
Combat works well and your character has access to all
the stereotypical clichéd horror movie weapons that even includes a
chainsaw. Most weapons are melee that requires you to slash the
imaginary zombies that you face and it should also be noted that there
are some really tough boss battles along the way. When you do see an
enemy, you need to raise your hands like you are about to fight or box
and this then readies your weapon. There is an automated locking system
which allows you to free your arms to fight. Unfortunately you can only
equip one weapon but it still does the job rather well. You can even
target limbs and on the enemies and even the ability to decapitate.
Blocks play another role in the game and fortunately this prospect is
not that difficult as you defend yourself from these zombies. With a
healthy amount of weapons available to the player, the reason why there
is so many is that weapons don’t last forever…
Graphically, Rise of Nightmares is a decent enough
looking game on the 360 and really plays on the horror genre quite well.
Even some of the scares are a little over the top but fortunately the
background environment, characters and special effects are well made.
Voice acting is a little tacky as is the musical score but it suits this
premise perfectly. It’s definitely one of the better looking Kinect
games and does have elements of SEGA’s House of the Dead.
Rise of Nightmares is a fun game that harkens back to the House of the
Dead series and with the controllerless capabilities, it definitely
takes this genre to a new level. This makes it a much more immersive
experience. In terms of originality, the gameplay is not the most
original content of the year but as a Kinect title, it works quite well.
Let’s hope we’ll see some more adult content for the Kinect.