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#248927 - 12/18/07 09:15 PM Darkness Within, a Member Review :)
Tracy Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 2016
Loc: Colorado, USA
Hi everyone. I haven't been around in a long time because I was obsessed w/ Oblivion on the Darkside and didn't come up for air til recently. The first adventure game I grabbed when I came back to the Lightside was "Darkness Within", and I'm so glad that I did!

I haven't finished the game and am very much still playing it, but I couldn't resist saying a few words about it in case there are some people who want to give it a shot but haven't bought it yet and are wondering what it's like. smile

First of all, it may have taken Lighthouse Interactive a long while to get the game onto the shelves, but the time spent on production was well-worth it. The game is very polished, very professionally done, and the graphics (always my favorite part of a game) are just stunning.

The scenes are beautifully made, depicting offices, victorian home interiors and spooky outdoor shots with loving attention. One of the neat things to me is that this game takes place in 2011, yet the whole tone of it is circa 1930's, so the player feels like he's very much in the past rather than in the future.

On the gamebox are the words, "A chilling horror adventure inpsired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft". And it's easy to see this inspiration from the get-go. The music, the typed-out diary pages, the chill of "something has happened, but what?"...all combine to give any Lovecraft addict a sweet taste of the Master's work. I'm currently re-reading Lovecraft's stories and as I slip from computer game to bedtime books, there is hardly a blip. For me it's as if ol' H. P.'s spirit is living within this game, and that image lends a wonderful richness and depth to the exploration of the games' many settings.

The music and sounds for Darkness Within were well-chosen too, with just enough sublety that they don't get in the way of the exploration, but just enough "umph" that they stir the hairs on the back of your head as you wander about the halls and tunnels that contain Darkness' mysteries. I am very impressed with the sounds in this game, and that's saying alot because in general when I play a computer game, I turn off the sound and dig into the graphics. For this game though, I feel the need to not only turn on the sound, but to also turn off the lights and put on headphones so as to really become absorbed in the audio. (which btw, in the dark w/ headphones is scary! Ack!)

In all of the creepiness, you the player are not only getting the experience of being scared while staring at pretty graphics, which can sometimes happen in other games. In this one you get to put on your thinking cap and play detective. Not only are you on the hunt for missing P.I. Loath Nolder, but in searching for his whereabouts you also become involved with one of Loath's own cases, that of the murdered Clark Field. Why did Nolder leave the country for five years after taking on this case? Was it connected to Field's interest in the occult? And what happened to Loath Nolder once he returned from his escape to Africa and Oceana? Was that too tied to the Clark Field case or was it something more?

As someone who is still near the beginning of this game, I can't say for sure. (and wouldn't even if I knew---that might ruin it for the rest of you guys!) But I can say that as I tip-toe my way through this game, with only my wits and my notes at hand to help me, I can't help feeling like this mystery is not going to be an easy one to solve.

However, there are lots of in-game helps for the amateur detective so you're not totally on your own. Along with hints there is a neat tool (which is a little tricky and one I am still learning how to use) where you can take objects and combine them, then have your character "think" about them and what they mean. Also, when reading through books, diaries, papers, etc. you can underline clues that seem important and thinking about those as well; often adding new topics and new clues to follow up as you go. Sometimes just looking at photos will move you forward. Other times connecting certain books to others will help you leap forward and into the next part of the game...it's all a matter of reading and re-reading items until they've made their hidden clues visible. Not easy, but the challenge is fun; I always enjoy it when a game makes me work for what I want and teases my intellect just enoough to make me feel involved, but not frustrated. This game does this beautifully, IMO, and whenever I log out of it I find myself curled up in bed thinking about what I need to do next; so I'm not just "haunted" by the game's ambience, I'm also haunted in a different way, by those things that still need attention and how I'm going to solve their riddles so that I can move on to the next part of the story.

All in all I have to give this game a 10/10 so far for the way it has completely captured my imagination. I really haven't felt this "into" and excited about an adventure game in a long time and I'm so tickled that it is waiting for me now, even as I type this.

In fact, I fear I must go for now because I sense that something is waiting for me beneath the darkness, something that wants to get me. I don't know what it is, but I think that perhaps it pursed Loath Nolder as well and that is why he disappeared. Perhaps it is also why we have not been able to find him despite his return to our country.

If I find him and figure out the mysteries during my travels, I will let you know. And if I don't...well, then I am either in the local sanitarium (again), or they've found me...

Whoever and whatever "they" might be...

smile

Hope you guys enjoy the game as much as I am!

Shivers and hugs,
Cat
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"He once parallel parked a train..."
-The Most Interesting Man in the World Commercial

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#248957 - 12/18/07 10:27 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Tracy]
Marian Online   content
Moderator
Graduate Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 19567
Loc: near Yosemite in California
This was a great read, Cat; your enthusiasm for the game is palpable. smile

It's sitting right here in my to-play pile!! thumbsup

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#249001 - 12/19/07 01:32 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Marian]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Catbelly -- thanks for your impressions of the game -- beautifully written!

I'm very curious to know what you think when you get to the end. scared

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#249071 - 12/19/07 08:06 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Becky]
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42092
Loc: Alabama
thanks Catbelly! A great read and a great recommendation for the game wave
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"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
-Roger Caras

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#249078 - 12/19/07 08:30 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: looney4labs]
Phoebe Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 1541
Loc: Brazil
Catbelly,

Very good review about Darkness, i finished game yesterday and i must to say that i agree it is an excellent adventure for sure one of the best of the year.
I would like to say that i do not agree with a review of Adventure Gamers with rate of 2.5 to Darkness is very unfair to the game.


Edited by Phoebe (12/19/07 08:45 AM)
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Yes,though i go through the valley of deep shade,i will have no fear of evil;for you are with me, your rod and your support are my comfort. Salmo23:4

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#249110 - 12/19/07 09:29 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Phoebe]
old lady Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 582
Loc: cornwall england
Great review Catbelly thanks
Click to reveal..
you will find a suprise at the end as it will give you a score and tell you how many hidden clues you missed


A great reason to play it again

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#249319 - 12/19/07 03:37 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Tracy]
chrissie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 4403
Loc: london uk
Thanks catbelly for a great review - it's certainly caught my interest & imagination! smile

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#249326 - 12/19/07 03:53 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: chrissie]
Tracy Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 2016
Loc: Colorado, USA
Thanks so much you guys. I'm glad ya liked my little take on Darkness Within and I hope you enjoy it as much as I'm enjoying it! smile

Also, I am so surprised that anyone could rate this game so low! What the heck were they thinking? grrrrr

Cat
_________________________
"He once parallel parked a train..."
-The Most Interesting Man in the World Commercial

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#250146 - 12/20/07 11:28 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Tracy]
Melanie1 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Cat, I'm playing this game now too and I agree with you. I'm really enjoying it. This is one of the scariest games I've played. I don't get scared easily by games but this one does the trick. It's really well done and I'm enjoying it immensely. I didn't read the AG's review but can't imagine what their problem was with the game. I think it's one of the best!

Melanie
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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

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#250158 - 12/20/07 11:57 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Melanie1]
Tracy Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 2016
Loc: Colorado, USA
Hi Melanie. I'm so glad that you're enjoying it too! Isn't it fun when you're really wanting to find a great game and one comes along that really just does it for you? I love that!

sigh....

smile Cat
_________________________
"He once parallel parked a train..."
-The Most Interesting Man in the World Commercial

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#250620 - 12/21/07 09:57 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Tracy]
Melanie1 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Sure thing! I just lost my whole game and have to start from scratch though! Everyone, install the patch first!!! There are gamestopping glitches where you can lose inventory and if you are stupid like me and forget to back up your saves, you will lose your game if you go install the patch afterwards. I'm looking for a saved game now so I don't have to go back to the beginning. hardwall

I got lucky and Vista backed up my saves and I didn't have to restart my game. I was able to move them back but I don't know if xp will so beware if you install the patch after starting the game!


Edited by Melanie1 (12/21/07 10:51 PM)
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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

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#250704 - 12/22/07 05:24 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Melanie1]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Melanie -- are you saying that when you install the patch, all previous saves are corrupted?

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#251418 - 12/23/07 11:32 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Becky]
Winfrey Online   content
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 4340
Loc: The Country
I agree- I just finished the game-- I really liked it- looking forward to D2.
Although I must admit-- the thought machine was trying at times- I just did not get the what to I mix up to think about. I found that confusing-- other than that it was great!!
_________________________
Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody
Gibran

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#251695 - 12/24/07 12:51 AM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Winfrey]
Melanie1 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
They weren't corrupted but they were not compatible. Vista made them compatible but I don't know if they will be in XP.
_________________________
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

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#252098 - 12/24/07 06:05 PM Re: Darkness Within, a Member Review :) [Re: Melanie1]
Tracy Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 2016
Loc: Colorado, USA
Hi Winfrey. Just wanted to say that I totally get you about having trouble with the thinking part. It could definitely get frustrating, especially when it would say, "There's nothing to think about!" LOL! And I would be thinking, "Yes there is! I just don't know how to make you do it!" LOL LOL

Ah well, aside from that little quibble I really did love the game. I just wish it wasn't over, darn it!

Cat saying Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night!
_________________________
"He once parallel parked a train..."
-The Most Interesting Man in the World Commercial

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