NEWS - Monday, August 11, 2003

Curse: The Eye of Isis on Xbox

At the heart of Victorian England, Curse immerses the player in a terrifying adventure which will have them rubbing shoulders with the supernatural. Everything is against them... even the most insignificant of objects will come alive to try and eliminate them. A breathtaking suspense game based on horror and terror London, 1890. The Eye of Isis, a priceless Egyptian statue, disappears mysteriously from the Museum of Great Britain. In esoteric circles, it is rumoured that an ancient curse has been cast on the statue, and ’the Curse’ will be unleashed upon whosoever dares to lay a finger on it... there’s not a soul who will escape screaming insanity or a hideous and painful death. The indestructible ’curse’ is said to be a vaporous entity which possesses bodies and objects in its path to reap revenge for the Eye of Isis on those who have desecrated the idol. Darien Dane, a broodingly handsome young engineer, sets out in search of the Eye of Isis in an attempt to return it to the safety of the pyramid it was stolen from, thus breaking the spell. Verity Sutton, his friend and assistant, will do everything in her power to help him. She is a learned scholar of ancient languages and there are those that swear that she has the gift of clairvoyance... They will face many formidable adversaries, from hordes of zombies to mummies possessed by ’the Curse’ to the servants of a certain unscrupulous collector of ancient artefacts named Bupo; Verity will be kidnapped; Darien must confront Omrah, a colossal stone deity; and all sorts of paranormal phenomena will be unleashed during their adventure. The climax of the adventure comes at the very heart of the pyramid, when Darien and Verity attempt to replace the Eye of Isis to its original resting place... The richness of the story is brought to life through breathtaking suspense and the detailed development of the characters and their relationships, sitting on the solid foundations of an epic confrontation between two cultures separated by 5000 years. Action-based gaming style The game unfurls as the ’curse’, this energy which possesses living bodies as well as inanimate objects, evolves, creating a stream of new adversaries (mummies, people, animals etc). Curse is a third person game, but allows phases where the action takes place from the first person viewpoint. The player has seven weapons at their disposal to help them fight: a shotgun, a rifle, a pistol, a truncheon, a crossbow, a flame-thrower and a mortar gun. In specific levels there are also other weapons that can be found and used. Darien Dane, Verity Sutton and Abdul Waheed each have an inventory from which they can exchange items of information to help each other out. Similar to those in Resident Evil 2, the inventories allow objects from each of them to be combined in order to help solve the stream of puzzles that are woven throughout the story. Abdul Waheed, Darien Dane’s accomplice, provides the player with logistical help and brings them regular telegrams which perform the task of saving the game. The game handles very fast, mainly due to the simplicity of the weaponry, which hits the target every time and even offers the option of aiming for specific body parts of your enemy, and due to a hugely intuitive user interface. The player takes the roles of both Darien Dane and Verity Sutton in turn, both of whom have different missions to complete. A true horror movie atmosphere The intention of the game’s developers was to create a convincing horror movie atmosphere. After detailed research, focusing specifically on ancient Egypt and Victorian architecture, they created seven different worlds, with atmospheres which touch both on Victorian and Egyptian styles: the British Museum, the underground tunnels, the London train station, Portsmouth harbour, the cargo ship, the quayside at the Egyptian port, an abandoned fort in the middle of the desert and the pyramid itself. They paid particular attention to the quality of the game’s graphics, taking their inspiration from the Egyptian rooms and artefacts preserved in the British Museum. They painstakingly perfected the lighting and the detailed graphic effects. For example, the quality of the sandstorm in the middle of the desert creates a particularly unnerving atmosphere and gives the player the true sense of isolation one might feel lost in the fog. In addition, the sound effects have been carefully crafted, with the implementation of ’sound triggers’, for example (release of certain sound effects in different zones).

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