Mad scientists often have the dangerous habit of combining things that don't naturally belong together, in an attempt to create new forms of life. So it is with Viktor, the disturbed doctor who fuses corpses and machines to create creatures that cause you no small amount of trouble in Rise of Nightmares. Rise of Nightmares itself is an uneasy combination of elements, awkwardly fusing grisly zombie-slashing gameplay with the Kinect's motion controls. The result is not unlike one of Viktor's shambling creations; it works, more or less, but it feels unnatural.
6332601NoneYou'd have to be incredibly clumsy to walk into that wall of spikes. Luckily for the mad doctor, Josh is.
You play as Josh, a young husband traveling with his wife, Kate, through Eastern Europe. Josh's drinking problem has long been a wedge between the couple, and Kate's frustration with Josh's behavior is boiling over. But the two soon have much bigger problems to deal with, when the train they're traveling on is derailed and Kate is abducted by the local mad scientist. As Josh, you must fight your way through legions of Viktor's combinations of flesh and metal in an attempt to save Kate and escape with your own life. The story is standard stuff, but Viktor's remorseless eagerness to butcher anyone who crosses his path makes him a villain you want to put a stop to. Rise of Nightmares is rarely scary, but the visuals create a convincingly creepy atmosphere; the dungeons you must travel through look so dank you can almost feel the foul moisture in the air, and the torture devices, human remains and bloodstains that decorate the halls create an unsettling sense of the horrors that have occurred there.
You use your body to navigate the corridors and courtyards of Viktor's estate. Turning your torso left and right makes Josh do the same, and walking is a simple matter of putting one foot forward. You feel more like you're steering a cumbersome vehicle than moving naturally through these places, but the controls are adequate in most environments, where precise movements aren't required. However, a few rooms and hallways of Viktor's mansion are outfitted with deadly spikes that shoot out of the floors, blades that periodically drop down from the ceiling, and other deadly traps. In moments like this, Rise of Nightmares' full body control is too limiting and too clumsy, making avoiding these hazards much harder than it should be. By putting your foot farther forward, you can make Josh move forward faster, but even in situations when running would be wise, you can't make him move faster than a brisk walk. And although you might want to look up to make sure you're not standing right underneath that guillotine-like blade above you, Josh's gaze is always fixed forward. If you don't feel like steering Josh around yourself, you can usually make him automatically head toward his current destination by holding your right hand up, but when environmental dangers are present, it's up to you to avoid them.
It's a well-known fact that the undead hate giant tongs.