From the creator of Alone in the Dark, comes the experimental title 2Dark, trying to redefine the horror genre. Note: trying. It somehow manages to unintentionally put its own game into a different genre altogether, failing as a horror but succeeding in adventure.
You begin the game as Detective Smith in the year 1969, enjoying a nice camping holiday in Gloomywood with his wife and kids, until they decide to go on the hunt for supplies. Smith hears a scream so he scrambles into the woods to find out what has happened, only to discover his wife dead – just blood and bones on the floor and his kids are nowhere to be seen. Fast forward to 1976 and Detective Smith finds himself back in Gloomywood to continue the investigation on his missing children, only to find out that his kids aren’t the only children who disappeared that year. In fact, children have been disappearing every single year since that dreadful night, so it’s up to Detective Smith to get to the bottom of the situation.
This is an isometric stealth adventure horror game where the light is your ally. The problem is that your light sources only last for so long whether it’s your lighter or a torch so finding the light switch to the building you’re inside is vital to surviving. Only problem is, not every building has a light switch and thus you may be wandering around aimlessly in the dark, trying to recall your way back through only to be instantaneously killed by something rather mysterious – and let’s face it, you’ll be wondering what the fluff happened for you to die half of the time, causing you to become this vulgar demon just as much as the game produces its unnecessary vulgarity, which seems slightly odd for this type of game.
Nevertheless, the show must go on and you must continue searching for and collecting lost children either by making contact with them, handing out sweeties so they come to you [Little bit creepy that… – Editor] or simply by calling them with a simple press of the button. But the latter can attract enemies – both human and ghostly. Protecting them is probably the most infuriating aspect of the game, especially trawling around the predominantly dark areas with pitiful light all the while, enemies attacking you and the kids. You could attack the enemies close range, but it won’t do nowhere near as much damage as a pistol, but shooting them only attracts more enemies if you’re not careful.
This is an adventure game, so searching for clues and picking up items is key to surviving this terror which is made simple, just by walking up to the object or item you want to search or pick up, however almost everything is searchable so it can be tedious going around for the third time making sure you’ve come into contact with everything in your vicinity just to find that damned book that opens up the secret passage in your house. Saving the game requires you to combine some Gloomywood tobacco and a lighter to save on the spot, only you have an unlimited amount of tobacco so this seems like a pointless method, trying to be somewhat ‘Resident Evil’-like.
For a title that takes pride in calling itself a horror, there were literally no scares, although the characters looked quite humorous with its 3D tint to their heads making it look as though they’re dropouts from a mascot competition. This title really isn’t a walk in the park and the achievements can be quite exhausting if you’re a hunter of the sorts, but for a stealth adventure game, it does the job quite well.
2Dark is available to buy and download now on the Xbox store priced at £23.99.
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Creator Frédérick Raynal of Alone in the Dark fame brings us a 2-Dimensional horror that doesn’t quite fit under that category, but still stands out in its own world as an intriguing adventure filled with lost children, monsters and a detective with a troubled past.