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Clive Barker's Undying Preview

publisher: EA
developer: Dreamworks Interactive
genre: Shooters

P400, 64MB RAM, 350MB HDD, 16MB 3D accelerator
ESRB rating: M

release date: Feb 01, 01
» All About Clive Barker's Undying on ActionTrip

When it comes to First Person Shooters, Electronic Arts can be referred to as a novice. The company achieved its reputation mainly on sport games, some strategies and a few FRPs. This is the first time (well, besides TWINE) the guys from EA try their hand at FPS genre, and from what we've gathered so far, they are doing well. The first surprise this year was The World Is Not Enough, and then from out of nowhere, a few weeks before the E3 came the news that Dreamworks are developing, and EA will publish a FPS game called Clive Barker's Undying. From these facts, we can assume that EA will start seriously developing FPS games (spending bundles of cash), with plans to pursue such a course in the future. It turned out that Dreamworks has been developing the game for the past nine months before the official announcement, with the secret being well-kept. Initially, the game was developed exclusively by the Dreamworks crowd, but as they ran out of ideas concerning certain parts of the story, they contacted the famous horror writer, Clive Barker. Barker was absolutely delighted with the idea --- hence the PC incarnation of Clive Barke's Undying. It is one of the most pleasant surprises at this year's E3. A good story is the basis for a good game, and hiring a writer of such stature as Clive Barker is a indication of how serious the EA developers approached the task.

The year is 1920, and the country-Ireland. You are Magnus, the magician, who's powers are at its peak. As a great wizard, you haven't had much opportunity to socialize, so you don't have many friends. As a matter of fact, you only have one, but a dear compadre. His name is Jeremiah Weedhaven, and he is an Irish Lord with a serious problem: Jeremiah had four brothers (there is now talk of some sisters thrown into the story), which are dearly departed. However, they didn't stay "departed" for long. They rose from the dead with the intent to kill their only living kin, and destroy their fathers estate, in order to get rid of the curse cast on them by the Undying King. Why did that King curse them? We don't know, he's probably just "b-b-b-bad to the bone"... Your job is, of course, to protect the old friend, but also to find the Undying King and make him a-dying. There is a man involved in this story called Kiesinger, and he is also determined to reach the source of the curse, but only he knows why.

The game will take place in some 10 odd locations; some in the present, and some in the past. At those locations, you will fight weird creatures, defeat dead relatives and who knows what until you reach the end. The locations will, in the words of developers, be very diverse and it was the subject of much attention. The locations will consist of Lord Jeremiah's estate, the mountain regions, caves, ancient monasteries and other. Each will have its own atmosphere and its own set of creatures that lurk behind corners and a dose of horror. The Dreamworks team tried to balance the two sorts of horror most often found in this kind of games. You are on a wide open field lit by dim light of the torches along a path. In the background, you hear the eerie wind blow, the sounds of wild creatures and an occasional human scream. In the next moment, the cries subside, the wind blows stronger and extinguishes the torches. You are left in the dark with your puny flashlight. You walk toward a weak light source, while cold sweat of terror covers you. Finally, you reach an old castle, from which the light was emitted. As you open the door, you thank God that nothing has happened. Safe at last...Relaxed, you go toward the health powerup that you noticed laying in the corner by the barrel. As you walk toward it, suddenly an enormous, screaming creature leaps out of the dark looking to chop off a limb or two at the very best. The game is full of these situations, that will make you jump in your chair, but by God, make you play the game all damn night long.

Even thou there are 20 different creatures in the game after you, your character is well-equipped for the fight. One of the game's many novelties is that your character is ambidextrous. In other words, he can use weapons with both hands. In one hand you have your good-old shotgun, pistol, etc., while you cast spells with the other. A sorcerer with a shotgun...Sounds like loads of fun! There are 16 sorts of magic, and each is upgraded with time. The magic is divided into offensive and defensive. Occasionally, it will prove wiser to use the shield magic and fire your gun, than to simply blast away with some devastating spell. The game will definitely require a more tactical approach in order to defeat the tougher opponents.

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