of the Haunting
Scaring up a good
doesnt think you have a ghost of a chance to master their latest
3D action adventure title.
"Realms of the
Haunting" is a first person perspective game (it has a "Doom-like"
interface), in which you have to battle the forces of evil in a nether
world that could have stepped out of an H.P. Lovecraft story.
In this most horrific
of happenings, you play Adam Randall, whos visiting a remote Cornish
village to discover what evil deed caused your fathers death. Once
in Cornwall, and in the spooky old mansion thats your starting point,
youre drawn into Sheol, Hellud, Raquia, and Arqua, realms populated
by all manner ghastly and ghoulish things and of course they want
to send your soul a-packin pronto.
Your goal, besides
not getting done in, is to unite the broken Shrive with the Soulstone
so good can once more reign on Earth. Pretty straightforward, eh?
Of course this is
much easier said than done, and the resulting quest creepily covers four
This game has a real
horror movie feel; its claustrophobic and dark, and you need to
keep your wits about you. Screaming ninnies need not apply. Interplay
makes generous use of video clips as well in fact the opening looks
more like the beginning of a big budget movie than a computer game.
Youll find lots
of clues and weapons to help you on your way, including maps, documents,
weapons, and assorted magical objects - and the package even contains
a special "hints" section to help you stumble through the first
ten chapters. We used it a lot!
As you head off to
rout the rampaging wraiths or be destroyed trying, youll have to
scare up dark stairways, secret panels, and underground passageways
and youll want to keep a gun to hand because it does a surprisingly
efficient job of making undead creatures really dead.
Game play is pretty
straightforward and, while the interface and controls are slightly different
from other first person games, getting up to speed doesnt take long.
pretty sophisticated, technologically, and youll want a robust system.
We ran it on a Pentium 133 with 32 Meg of Ram and a 4 Meg video card and
it was still jerky. You can speed up the action by dumbing down the settings
(theres a plethora of options), or by installing more of the game
onto your hard drive.
The recommended installation
eats up 103 Meg, which we find excessive. We opted for the minimal grab
of 4.5 Meg and lived with the resulting choppiness.
That rubbed us the
wrong way, though: in an age of fast CD-ROM drives, why do game makers
insist on swallowing as much hard drive as many applications while
still requiring the CD-ROM to be in the drive?
Still if you
want to play, thats the price of admission and Realms of
the Haunting is worth playing. Its the spookiest game weve
encountered and, when we get back our nerve, we're returning to finish
the task before its too late.
After all, we cant
let evil win. It would be, well, bad.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think