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The Eye of Isis
Score: 6.0 / 10
Survival Horror tends to be a hit or miss
genre, and while Curse attempts to be a contender in the genre, it just
falls flat on its face. Curse: The Eye of Isis is Dreamcatcher’s debut
into the world of horror gaming; unfortunately it has not one ounce of
ability to compete with the likes of Resident Evil or even the Silent
Hill series. What we have here is a budget horror title with some of the
most horrific controls ever since Crave’s Kabuki Warriors accident.
Curse: The Eye of Isis follows the cue card from the B-film industry, at
least as far as the generic story line goes. An Egyptian statuette
called “The Eye Of Isis” disappears mysteriously from the museum prison
it had come to call “home.” The statuette is protected by an ageless
curse that will cause madness and violent death to all who come in
contact with it. The curse must have been a fan of 80’s horror films, or
at least of their content, because it takes no time in deciding to
manifest hordes of diabolically disturbing
(boring) mummified undead to extract revenge on the statuette’s
desecraters – and, of course, anyone else who might get in the way. Your
objective is simple: recover the missing statue and return it the heart
of the pyramid from where it was removed. Of course the pyramid is half
way across the world and you will have take a train and board a spooky
steam-ship in order to get there.
The player takes the roll of Darien Dane, who, with his close friend and
associate Verity, is dropped into a heart-pounding-death-is-everywhere
game world where mystery, horror, and evil are around every turn. Did I
just say heart-pounding? Ok, I lied! What we really have here is a great
concept that just doesn’t deliver an ounce of fun due to the alienation
of the unresponsive controls, poor layout, and “Encyclopedia Brown on
crack” puzzles. The player’s main objective is to solve the obvious
puzzle, kill the obvious undead, look for the obvious clues, repeat,
repeat, repeat, then throw through window.
I’m sure everyone reading this has dealt with at least one bad camera
plagued title in his or her life, some of us more than one. To say that
Curse: The Eye of Isis has a bad camera is an understatement; the bad
camera doesn’t even follow the normal rules of conduct, instead it acts
like it’s possessed or more appropriately “cursed.” Let me explain: when
you run down a hallway you are left without any view of what is in front
of your character, so just pray it’s nothing sharp or dangerous because
you will never be able to avoid it. The camera also doesn’t change views
fast enough, and my poor character found himself bouncing around objects
like medieval version of bumper cars.
The combat system within Curse: The Eye of Isis is lackluster and
simple, to put it bluntly. Combat works like this: see the zombie, hit
buttons to kill the zombie, say to yourself “that was it?” and repeat.
The AI is so terrible that Stevie Wonder could whoop its ass with one
hand. Zombies and other animated evil dead come at you like they are on
a production line. Just line up and run circles around them; they don’t
fight back, and they are too stupid to corner you. It’s amusing at first
(and second and third); in fact it seems to only be good for a laugh,
because lets face it, what else can you do but laugh at something so
As you can imagine, replay factor is very limited.
Fortunately, the graphics in the game are better designed than the
flawed gameplay. In fact, I might even have to change the tone I’ve set
forth and admit they are slightly above average. Textures are sharp,
clean, and crisp, and there are some great uses of lighting. Level
design is also pretty neat if you ignore the gameplay aspect of it. The
graphics engine does a tremendous job of making you believe you are
truly in the game world, and that is what it is suppose to do; so kudos
to the graphics team.
Character models are detailed in their unique and spooky sort of way.
Graphic effects, like spurting blood, are very well done (not to mention
downright convincing). I didn’t experience one iota of frame rate
problems as everything runs pretty smooth and proper. The only area that
falls a bit short in the form of graphics, is the very stiff animations,
not to mention some very repetitive, uninspired combat animations. Other
than the few flaws in the animation, the graphics are the best part of
The sound department should also get some kudos because they provide an
excellent soundtrack to fit the backdrop of the game, immersing the
player into a creepy host of audio treats. Voice acting in Curse: The
Eye of Isis is also slightly above average, and the characters fit well
together with their assigned speech. The sound team also made good use
of Dolby Digital 5.1, rear channels come to life when you are running
(unfortunately blindly) down a hall or anywhere else for that matter.
When you turn your back on a sound effect, it echoes in the rear
speakers, making it very pleasing and realistic to the ears.
Curse: Eye of Isis had a lot of potential – graphics are great and the
sound is just as good; however, the terrible controls and camera ruin
any real fun that could be experienced. Even at its $19.99 price tag,
I’d have a hard time recommending this title to anyone, even die-hard
fans of the horror genre.