sub·jec·tive (suhb-jěk’tĭv) adj. 1. a. Proceeding from or taking place in a person’s mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision. b. Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience. 2. Moodily introspective. 3. Existing only in the mind; illusory. 4. Psychology: Existing only within an individual’s mind.
Most horror-themed video games are extremely subjective in that each person who plays them will generally have a different overall experience. Those that frighten easily will baby-step through their play sessions, saving frequently, checking maps and trying their very best not to to die horribly. The more fearless, bolder gamers accustomed to faster-paced play will blaze forward, taking on all comers in a quest for kill counts while often blissfully unaware of the developer’s intentions in attempting to set a particular mood. This type of player generally never flinches unless the game adds in “jump” scares like those found in hundreds of horror movies or live haunted house experiences in some amusement parks. A third type of gamer takes the middle road, going into every game “cold” in order to fully appreciate every nuance as they let themselves become completely immersed in the game world.
Welcome, dear reader to Deep Silver’s incredible Wii exclusive, Cursed Mountain…
… and I couldn’t be more pleased, although it seems that the kids who want exploding zombie heads every three seconds may be a bit annoyed by the intentionally languid pacing. And the fact that there are NO zombies in the game, only really annoyed ghosts and more pissed off demonic things (that can still kill as quickly, mind you). The game layers on the gloomy mood right away and the overall sense of dread combined with the brilliant score makes for some nicely creepy moments. The game’s general atmosphere has the feeling of the last depressing section of Robert Altman’sMcCabe & Mrs. Miller crossed with a dash of Masaki Kobayashi’s classic K(w)aidan and the lonelier moments of Kubrick’s The Shining. Hopefully, that will help some of you reading this in terms of placing the game’s tone.
With the Wii in desperate need of some quality third-party titles geared toward “core” gamers, Deep Silver’s soon to be released Cursed Mountain comes at exactly the right time. I finally got some hands-on time with this survival horror gem at a the company’s New York City press event and can safely say this is a must-buy for genre fans who crave a great story with their gameplay. It’s not only one of the most innovative games on the console, it just might be one of the best genre games to date thanks to a huge development team dedicated to the project from day one. Martin Filipp, Deep Silver’s Developer Relations Manager proudly took a room packed full of editor-types through a few areas of the game’s early levels showing off the solid visuals, intuitive controls and innovative combat mechanics. Continue reading →