Written by  :  MAT (186091)
Written on  :  May 13, 2000
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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A question of sanity

The Good

The battle between the good and the evil that is suited somewhere inside you, will now take the main role of your life. Nothing is as it appears to be. Life... death... not much difference in playing a dream. This game is fan-damn-tastic in every part, from bringing the creepy story inside you and right through your heart, to turning you into questionably insane person. Are you ready to face a dream? To check your subconscious and live by no rule. Are you ready to see the things you could never imagine they stand right beside you. The things that will drive your mind crazy, searching for a prey, and yet be hunted. Hounted you could call that instead. Check youreself inside up, take good care wether you can stand up to the horrible things that can take up your sight. Be prepared to face lunacy, everywhere you look, you're going to feel coldness, yet pathetic sympathy for the characters you cross into. Be prepared to enter the asylum... a place where memories could come to life.

In a role of Oliver Metcalf, a son of last Blackstone Asylum's superintendant, you are doomed to play your father's game until the very end. It appears you had quite a dark past when your father was alive, that you'd rather skip that part of your life for good. Unfortunately, only harder path is open to do the quest. A path of terror and horror. Now, since you are mind-clear, and won't obbey your father's revenging wishes, especially not from your dead father, he took your son, and make you an ultimatum - either you'll get youreself back on track for him, or he'll train your son to do his dirty jobs.

After a quick briefing of seeing asylum from the past, you find youreself in a present day (assuming a present day was in 1998 when the game was made) in the main hall of the Blackstone Asylum. You find it all redecorated, since it only uses now as a museum, a museum from hell that I don't see what's nice to explore in it... huh, you'll be surprised what secrets does it hold inside these darky walls. Unlike to any other adventure game, its atmosphere is at the top level that I hardly believe will be beaten many years after. As much as they fell on Myst and Riven, they arose again with this game's quality. Unfortunately, the story and the graphic, and of course creepy music make this game too real, and too devastating for your nerves, so if you're oriented to heartattacks, don't switch this game to on.

Speaking to the characters (that are mostly inmates, well, all except your father) will reveal you many things about this asylum and their past itself. They speack with such a tone you can almost feel their fear and misery. Although they're not all right-conscious, you can expect to find some of them actually quite comfortable after all. One thing I wouldn't suggest you to do - to let youreself flow as the game does. Once you trap youreself inside your screen, you won't be able to get out long time after. The game posses all the elements to drive you inside itself, but that's why you get to read this warning.

Thinking parts (that every adventure keeps) are all logical, and although they could be almost too logical to realize their meanings, you will be able enough to find all the answers you search. *under some influence* 'I was moving towards the portrait of my father, slower... then faster and faster. Something drove me to that irritating face on the painting, and I could not escape. I had to sacrifice everything to find my son. I felt like the walls are getting closer, it seemed to unreal to be awaken. I was feeling every inch of coldness upon my skin, every heat of fire burning inside my blackheart. I look above at the flashing light on the top, I could see nothing but the whiteness of blitz. Suddenly, my head was not up, but down, and I slowly continued to move it up. The picture was fuzzy, and I was not feeling okay, but dizzy instead. Like I flew through the stargate and back. I regreted my view the moment picture was getting sharper. It was... koff koff, it was horrible... a youn.. ..y wit.o.. an. pa..... aaaargh!!!'

I leave the story to be discovered by you youreself. I was too weak to try it once more. But whatever you do, play it by daylight, the night playing it up to your risk. Sleep tight!

The Bad

No way I could stuck to anything against this game. It was horrible and creepy experience for me, but it was worth it every second of that dreamy adventure. They made this game so desguisting on some parts and excellently and magnificantly real that no thriller or psychic movie could bring you so splendidly great atmosphere and amazingly written sotry like this game did. Now, after playing this game, I trully doubt the book can be better. I know that usually book is always better, but I assure you, not this time. Everything stands for A+, nothing lacks, nothing!!!

The Bottom Line

An adventure from hell. Try your weker spots. Get to know the dark side of human history. Not everything is as it seems. Here's global points to choose wether this game is for you...

    What the game gives you:
  • great and unforgettable adventure
  • story without a match that exceeds the limits of any same-topic book
  • first person gameplay view
  • everything is 3d rendered with smooth animations and perfect graphic
  • perfectly composed music that is different in every room
  • atmosphere like never-seen-so-real before
  • excellent speech with right intense on every word
  • easy to solve real-time puzzles (you get that puzzle when you have all neccessary things to complete it, not before)
  • some things you'd rather wish not to read or see

That's games exact characteristics, everything is as noted above. It's strange how they could put the whole story in just one viciously imagined building and make such a great output. This game deserves gratitude, at least if you're insane. Are you!? Shall we check it out? It will only take a moment... hehe... :)