Eyes-on at E3 / Obscure 2 (PSP)

For those that did not play this on the Wii, PC or PS2, PlayLogic will soon be releasing this game on PSP to give you a horror game on the go. For those that have no idea what this game is all about beyond a spooky logo suggesting said horror game, we at the press room at E3 were given a sentence that seemed to accurately describe what we were viewing: “Resident Evil meets I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Faculty.” I fell in the latter category, and that sentence seemed to resonate consistently.

The game begins in a high school, you control different teens throughout the game, but things start to go awry and they all revolve around botanical mad science gone awry. Or did it go awry? Such is the setup that sounds too familiar to horror movie fans… or videogame fans really. Through the shifting points of view, the story unfolds, relationships form and break, and all that good stuff. How things unfold? Well, you’ve either played the game already or you’ll have to play it to find out. The story unfolds via cutscenes and in-game dialog. All of it is badly acted, and it seemed like that was an intent that was gleefully fulfilled.

The gameplay revolves around exploration, survival, and puzzles. Different teens will have different abilities, some even being able to communicate with some of the effects of the mad science on some level or another. Others, like the jocks, are there to bludgeon any ghastly gory creatures that come meaning to inflict harm. Some are more on the practical side, being good at picking locks and the like. You’ll need all these skills to get through the game, and they also seem to have some variety to it all.

However, since this is, essentially, a port of a game that is already out, the real thing that PlayLogic wanted to flaunt was the technical achievements they made with the PSP. They had their unit hooked up to an LCD tv that we were all able to see, but constantly called on us to huddle over the PSP itself as it just wasn’t doing the thing justice. It was quick to see. This game looks damned good on the system. Dark outdoor scenes give off the erriness they want them to, and flashlights in dark hallways behaved very convincingly. It served to me as a friendly reminder that this little machine can be quite powerful when designers really put the time in. Of course, I’d imagine some sacrifices were to be made, but having not played the originals I had no real frame of reference. As someone freshly looking on, though, it was just a solid looker, and it’s very clear why the developers are as proud as they are.

If you have a PSP and need a little cornball teen slasher filling your UMD with some solid visuals, give this one a go some time this fall.