Time:3 hours 40 minutes
An explanation. As you may know, there are quite a few modern indie and indie-related titles laying claim to being spiritual successors to the games of yore. In recent years it seems like there has been a deluge of these "boomer shooters" taking inspiration from some of the games I've played, and some of the games I'm going to reach. Taking away from my usual chronological look at these games, I've decided to occasionally look at these titles. These aren't necessarily going to be better or even stabler than my usual fair, since I've seen some that are...awful.
Nightmare of Decay is a game that asks, what if Resident Evil was in first-person? There's a little more to it than that. Like what if Blood was a survival horror game? How would a starving man survive in a zombie infested mansion? I should note there are also references to Silent Hill, but I didn't really catch them as I was playing it...probably because I only played Silent Hill 1 years ago.
The game starts with the player looking at a news report. There have been a lot of mysterious disappearances where the victims have been having nightmares. A report we turn off because we've been having nightmares. I should note that every time there's a person talking, you get a weird "wah, wah, wah" sound effect sort of like someone talking, but not really. Its not scary or even creepy, just annoying.
|I wonder if this game was made by someone from Eastern Europe|
|My fridge may be empty, but at least I have eggs|
|If he's regularly doing this, I'm impressed how spotless his microwave is|
|Its dark like you'd expect a coffin to be, but how do you know its a coffin then?|
|Incidentally, this area doesn't actually link up to anything inside the mansion, its just a side place|
|I guess this is just something people reference now, like that James Bond poster and people staring at the camera creepily|
|You're also not limited in how many items you have|
This is somewhat awkward for me to get used to, but nevertheless, it works. However, I feel like the developers took a statement some have about the original Resident Evil, people like the controls because they're bad, and applied it in a different setting. My player character walks like he's slowly dying or taking a casual stroll. If I press Ctrl, I can sprint, which feels like a nice jogging pace, which I can do for about 5 seconds before I become exhausted. Then I have to wait 10-15 seconds before I can sprint again and my walking speed is even slower to boot. This isn't the worst of it. The aim in this game is simply awful.
To start with, you get a crosshair, and should you fire your weapon, walk or get hit, it expands and you won't hit with precision. Fair enough, except that turning doesn't expand the crosshair. I don't like how slow it decreases in size but it didn't really hurt me too much. What's truly awful about it is that I didn't feel like I could hit targets with any precision. I even adjusted the mouse sensitivity to no real boon. This isn't great when I'm just fighting zombies, but later this game includes enemies with ranged weapons of their own.
Its not a simple matter of a game controlling like Quake or Doom to get a full 10, there are various aspects even in normal WASD+mouselook that comes into consideration that some Wolf-clone without mouselook doesn't have to worry about. That said, I feel like this game would be middle-of-the-road difficulty wise if I didn't have to wrestle with it.
|Trying to break a window, and failing|
|Its at this point that I stopped hoping this game would be something special|
|A standard encounter with two zombies|
I should point out the game does the Resident Evil thing of having the zombies hold you while they hurt you. I can see why the author thought it was clever, but in practice it just feels annoying. Shooting or stabbing him in the head doesn't do much more than spitting on him, which increases the feeling that this game is intentionally screwing with you.
|A puzzle, no this isn't really a spoiler, you can solve the puzzle without entering this area anyway|
|There is no reason why anyone would ever do this except out of desperation|
After finding a coin, which you need for a puzzle, he appears. All that buildup and he's really lame. I had more than enough shotgun shells to take him out, but you're not really going to miss him even with the pistol.
There's a really stupid puzzle around this section. All it amounts to is you push around a stepladder. Why couldn't you just move it? I don't know. This is something you have to do, because it has one of the acid ingredients in the room you reach. Only this spawns more zombies in the room you just left for some reason.
|There is no reason why anyone would ever do this except out of desperation|
They're annoying to deal with. I can't really chase after them, because that means I'll get shot and miss when I catch up to them. I can't wait for them, because they're just smart enough to not be in my crosshairs when they appear, so I get shot and I miss. It doesn't feel like I can win with these guys. Thankfully health items are common enough that its not too much of a problem.
|There is nothing you need to find in this room, what you see is what you get|
|At this point some other guy is shown dealing with the cultists, but he bites it|
Then, we come to an obvious boss anteroom. A save book, quite a bit of ammo. Ah, must be the final boss.
|Also, what's with this Final Fantasy crap?|
But we see a black cat walking around...
Everything feels awkward to use and while it works, I didn't necessarily like using them. 3/10
There's a nice variety for such a short game. You've got a small variety of regular enemies then a dozen bosses and unique enemies. If nothing else this gives you plenty to think about. 5/10
A few talking NPCs. 1/10
This pretty much felt like a lower quality Resident Evil, but without the lab area. That said, I liked the level design at first, when you had to search the environment for items, as opposed to later when the game just stops caring about that sort of thing. 4/10
I'm sorry. I thought WASD was supposed to not feel worse than some bizarrely controlling '80s FPS. 1/10
The game more or less spells out whatever it is you have to do in this game, otherwise there's not much environmental factor. You can activate toilets and nothing else. Thanks. 2/10
It tries for a bunch of different horror styles, never quite capturing any of their spirits. Nevertheless, its creepy and does what you expect a horror game should. 5/10
I'm not really impressed by the retro PSX graphics, for obvious reasons. Its mostly good-looking, though I feel like its a bit too plain at times, like the rooms are missing something important they should have. 4/10
Its well-presented, but nothing special. Except that the ending just completely ruins what little the game had. 0/10
Most of the sound effects are nice. Everything sounds like it should be and feels quite effective. I do wish that the sound effect for when the player is exhausted was something else. Ambient sound didn't leave any impressions. 5/10
That's 30. Wow, its been a long time since there were 2 30+ games back to back.
I have mixed feelings on the game. Its nothing special, despite its relatively high rating for this blog. It isn't trying to do something special and it succeeds in doing what it set out to do. There's just not much appeal unless you're part of the segment of survival horror fans desperate for anything related to survival horror. Again, in that regard it does wonderfully. I do think that whatever comes next from this guy will be an interesting project. Assuming he can fix the amateur level mistakes like the controls and the awful ending.
Will I blog about more recent games? I think so, replacing what I was doing in playing random games from the future. Survival horror is always a bit off from the usual fair, but I think its fair even for "regular" games. These people are selling their game based on nostalgia for games I'm covering, so its only fair to compare it to them. Surely someone making a retro game wouldn't be as crass as to make something as good as a Capstone game, would they? All this depends on whether or not I can run it and what I'm playing from period titles.