Remember that 1998 movie, “The Faculty”
with Elijah Wood (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and Robert Patrick (“T2: Judgment Day,” “The X-Files”), where the kids are running around the school after-hours, killing creatures left and right? Take that concept, mix it with Silent Hill
, add a lot of problem-solving, and put it in Sunnydale. Then you have Obscure
You control up to five different kids who find themselves locked in their school after-hours, just after one of their friends disappeared. It is the mission of this group to find out what happened to him. But apparently Leafmore High School isn’t what it seems... especially at night. After dark, creatures start roaming the halls and classrooms. These creatures are deformed, mutated, evil-looking monsters that carry the darkness around with them (literally). As you explore the various buildings of the school, you run into patches of black fog – somewhere in that fog lays the monster(s) that’s creating it. The best weapon you can use against these things is light. If you can break open a window or lead it into the light, the fog dissipates and it makes the creature vulnerable.
You also find clues to what exactly is going on in this school. As you go through old newspapers or other scraps of information, you realize that your friend wasn’t the first person to mysteriously disappear from Leafmore High. Each room and hallway is filled with items you need to find out exactly who is behind all of these problems. But how do you find them all? Each of the five characters has their own “special ability,” each modeled after one of the teen movie (be-it horror or otherwise) stereotypical characters. You have the school newspaper/yearbook kid who notices little clues easier, your “brainiac” who can give you suggestions on what to do next, and the strong-girl who has powerful attacks. The other characters include the poser who can pick locks really quick and the jock who can run fast.
Each kid has his/her strengths and weaknesses. Once one of them dies though, that’s it. They and their benefits are gone. In the end, all you need to do is get one from your team to survive. Another interesting aspect is that even though you can control five characters, there can be only two in your party at any given time: your character and the one following you. This is both good and bad. If you encounter some major enemy and those two characters die, you take control over someone in the remaining group and trek your way to that monster to finish it off – unless they were your last living group members. Thankfully, when you reach the place where a comrade fell, you can pick up all of their weapons in one fell swoop.
One thing I really didn’t like about Obscure was its save method. Instead of giving you preset save points or the ability to save anytime, Obscure has a weird hybrid. Throughout the game, you find CDs. If you have a CD, you can save your game anywhere you want to. But these discs are rare and typically come only after you have made it past some painful part of the game. In theory, it works like Resident Evil’s tape/typewriter system, just without the typewriter. I found this to be a problem because in games where there was some save point, I could generally assume it was safe. You don’t have that kind of security in Obscure. Instead, the game has no problem with you saving while being attacked or otherwise engaged.
Obscure also features a drop in/drop out two-player system. If, and when, you have a second character following you around, a buddy can pick up the second controller and help you out. This is great when going up against some of the bigger creatures because the A.I. for the characters while in battle is less than stellar.