Reviews for Clive Barkers Undying in Action for PC-Personal Computer ( PC ) :
Undying is a first person shooter with a horror theme. It has been called Half-Life meets Resident Evil, and this description is quite apt.
Set on the Covenant family estate, your character, Patrick Galloway, adventurer and paranormal-debunker, embarks on a quest to aid Jeremiah Covenant, Patrick's former commanding officer in the Great War. Jeremiah saved Patrick's life during the war, and Patrick is ready to repay that debt through service: solving the curse of the family Covenant.
Weapons, spells, and items are at your disposal. Starting weapons include a pistol and a green gem (which has the ability to knock opponents back), the starting spell is scyre (which illuminates darkness and also allows extra sensory perceptions into the past-it can be damn spooky), and starting items include ammo and health packs. As you progress, more potent weapons, spells, and items become available.
Gameplay is very good. As with any reasonable FPS, you are allowed to map movement controls on the keyboard. The standard fare is included, namely: move forward, move back, step left, step right, duck, and jump. Also included are sneak, weapon action [reload or change preference (for instance, single versus double barrel blasts from the shotgun)], use item, and spell select. Looking is accomplished through moving the mouse. The mouse also controls (unless you wish to change controls) the firing of weapons (left click) and the casting of spells (right click).
As stated, you yield weapons, spells, and items to further your cause. Although it may take a little getting used to, this set-up allows a wide variety of fighting styles. For example, you can ready your pistol, prepare to cast ecoplasm, and ready a stick of dynamite. If the pistol and ecoplasm spell don't do the trick, heave the stick of dynamite and run like hell!
Enemy AI is very, very good, but is not perfect. Monsters sometimes stand waiting to be dispatched, but this is infrequent. It is more usual to have an enemy creature scurry up to you at dizzying speed, ducking, jumping, and slashing. Some enemies dissolves into the floor onlt to surface beside you, while other throw projectiles with uncanny accuracy. In any event, the AI doesn't disappoint; rather, its damn good!
Also of note are all the little things which Undying does right. Small creatures add to realism: rats and bats live in and about the estate, as one might expect. NPCs walk around and offer little tidbits of information and help out by unlocking gates and doors (and be being fodder to over-zealous monsters). The green gem will glow if you encounter a scrye zone (also you may hear an eerie voice say "look" or "scrye");the aware player won't overlook what might be an important detail (or one which may make you shudder). Many other small details add to the excellent gameplay in Undying.
The graphics are extremely good. My system allowed me to set the game to its highest resolution at 32-bit. Oustanding! If your system can't handle it, UPGRADE!
Yet, even at 640x480, this game has great graphics! The eye-candy starts with a look at the gothic mansion, home of the faimily Covenant. From there things keep getting better. One particular scene was stunning (**spoiler alert**): a dimesional portal takes you into the past where you get to see the monastery during a snowstorm. Its amazing...
Needless to say, the Unreal engine really delivers for Undying. The graphics are enough to warrant purchase of this game!
The sound is fantastic! Fro
m creeking floorboards to howling, umm, Howlers, the sound sets the mood for this game. Turn down the lights and crank the volume!
After installing the game, the options screen gets things going. There, on a screen often overlooked in other games, you'll be introduced to some seriously spooky music. In the game itself, sounds are crisp and accurate. 3-D sound is supported, and well-implemented. You'll know when something approaches from behind!
Voice acting is very good; weapons sound like they should; spells have their own unique sounds; and items sound great (dynamite especially). Enemies have distinctive noises, and human enemies offer a bit of sound AI, for example: if you have to reload your pistol, one type of human enemy will announce to its companions that your weapons is jammed or otherwise unavailable for the time being (expect a rush attack).
As with everything else in Undying, sound is done with all the little things in mind. It is excellent.