Moments of stealth are among the worst sequences in the game, thanks to a nasty yellow-coated bad guy able to slice your head off with one swipe if he wanders into you. You're told to stand still if he notices you (he's blind you see), but if you're in his path he'll find you regardless. More pleasing, at least to the sick horror fans amongst us, is the selection of grim weapons - the chainsaw makes for some especially messy deaths.
Perhaps as a way to get even more casual players into Rise of Nightmares the developers have included a way to make the whole thing play on rails (simply hold your right hand in the air and to the right), with the game ferrying you around from location to location. This is fine, but it's not very much use when you need to find something to open a door, as the game refuses to move you from said locked door. Cue some mindless wandering about without the game holding your hand.
What SEGA could have done to make up for the simple yet aggravating controls is deliver a visually impressive title - something you'd think would be possible given the fairly basic level design. Sadly Rise of Nightmares looks cheap, and not in a cheesy B-movie way, but in a "is this a Wii game?" kind of way. There is a fairly menacing soundtrack to accompany you, but the voice acting is universally terrible, no doubt hindered by an abysmal script.
There's the odd funny moment, but make no mistake, this isn't near the laugh out loud humour on offer in SEGA's excellent House of the Dead: Overkill. The appearance of the man dog I mentioned right at the start is about Rise of Nightmare's level, and to be honest these moments feel at odds with what feels like a fairly serious game most of the time.
So, Rise of Nightmares isn't a good game, but at the same time it's a novelty you might want to give a look. If you're still on the fence about Kinect being a step forward for video games, this won't really convince you to go either way. On the one hand it's a bold attempt at creating a real action adventure game using your body as a controller, but on the other it's an awkward, ugly mess that doesn't use its horror setting nearly as well as it should.
VideoGamer.com Score4 Score out of 10
- Ambitious use of Kinect
- Terrible script
- Looks ugly
- Controls frustrate