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View Full Version : Clive Barker's Undying - worth a revival on GOG or similar.



mbp
03-06-2011, 03:03 PM
More by chance than design I found myself playing Clive Barker's Undying over the Weekend. This 2001 game worked surprisingly well on Windows XP64. The only hitch is a very long startup time (several minutes) but once the game is up and running it runs very well.

It is a clever atmospheric first person shooter. As protagonist you combine conventional weapons in one hand with magic spell in the other. There is even an minor rpg element as you collect spells and level them up. The weapons and spells are quite varied so it makes a definite change from a traditional shooter. Clive's influence shows through in the spooky settings and weird storyline.

One point to note is that the difficulty level might seem intimidating at first. The game's first battles pit you against fast moving wolf like creatures in dimly hit halls when all you have is a slow firing pistol. Once you gear up a bit and get used to the game though things get easier.

Anyway I was surprised to see that this excellent and enjoyable game isn't available on any of the (legal) download services. A candidate for GoG maybe?

Jockie
03-06-2011, 03:05 PM
I remember being scared silly by this back in the day, it isn't subtle in its shocks, but they're pretty effective. Don't think I ever actually finished the game though.

runonce
03-06-2011, 03:40 PM
I agree, Undying deserves a revival.

Aurelia
03-06-2011, 03:42 PM
Also agree. Really enjoyed this when it came out, much better than that Jericho thing.

Wizlah
03-06-2011, 03:42 PM
I'm pretty sure this is going to be on GOG's EA list - I'd be surprised if it wasn't. Great game. One of the few that my wife was intrigued by, because of the setting and the macarbre family. I particularly liked the very distinct light they had in a couple of the outdoor scenes - just lovely, but unnerving too.

All that plus one of the all time worst irish accents on record. A surefire entry into the top 10.

Seniath
03-06-2011, 03:47 PM
Not so much scary as deeply unsettling. The rats... oh god the rats.

Flint
03-06-2011, 03:56 PM
Yeah, it's a fantastic game, one of the few horror games I can play because the horror isn't about BOO JUMPSCARE moments, it's more in the atmosphere and the really freaky bits are completely your fault for poking your nose into wrong places with the scryer stone. Lackluster ending though - when you're transported to Eternal Autumn the game takes a bit of a nosedive and never really recovers.

Loved the little diary book that came with the box as well.

mbp
03-06-2011, 04:26 PM
Totally agree about the woeful Irish accents Wizlah. I am actually Irish myself and it speaks to the quality of the game that I forgot all about it because I was enjoying the game.

One observation - Barker sets his story in a spooky Irish mansion but there are almost no references to Irish folklore and mythology. Slightly surprising given that the country is chock full of ghost and banshee stories.

SirKicksalot
03-06-2011, 04:49 PM
AFAIK Barker didn't actually have much influence on the story.
Undying is one of my favourite games. I loved how Bioshock 2 played a lot like it.

solipsistnation
03-06-2011, 05:30 PM
Yeah, agreed. Undying is a game I like to revisit every so often... If it's revived on GOG, I'll definitely buy another copy to play on Win7...

I especially like how Clive Barker talked the game developers out of having the protagonist be a hulking bald wizard and convinced them to use Patrick Galloway instead mainly because he wanted a protagonist he'd want to have sex with... (and said as much in an interview).

oceanclub
03-06-2011, 06:07 PM
Great game, alright. I never finished it - even reinstalled there a year ago with the purpose of doing that, but never did. One of those older games where the art style and lighting trumped any low polygon problems; I still remember the eerie feeling of walking across dim lit moors. Yeah, those lolloping were-creatures were fricking scary; I don't know which was worse, when they surprised you, or when you could actually see them galloping towards you.

P.

sendmark
03-06-2011, 08:16 PM
Great suggestion, I remember being really impressed by the game, although I remember the first half of it being much more so than the second half.

winterwolves
03-06-2011, 08:24 PM
Yes good memories, it was one of the scariest game I played, even if I didn't finish it myself either!

Hensler
03-06-2011, 08:46 PM
I wish I had never finished it. Good game, sharp writing, horrible ending.

wahwah
03-06-2011, 09:58 PM
I remember playing the demo of this and thinking "this is pretty good, I should really play the full game". I never did though :(

Rinox
04-06-2011, 01:54 AM
I loved Undying, so I agree wholeheartedly.

Some of the best moments came from the "scrye" spell/mechanic. Seeing monks and their abbey as they were back in the middle ages amidst the rubble of the abbey in present day, or overhearing heated conversations between characters in certain rooms, or even seeing a ton of bloody scribblings on seemingly ordinary walls. Oh and the family painting of course!

Normal: http://downloads.khinsider.com/wallpaper/1024x768/560-clive-barkers-undying-1-owpgo.jpg
When scrying: http://www.virtualreality.ca/images/Undying-2_800x600.jpg

Basilicus
04-06-2011, 03:50 AM
One of the best things about Undying is that it was a horror game that took place across several different environments (and planes of existence) each representing a different niche of horror. This lines up with each family member having a different horror-based skillset, and therefore different leagues of enemies to throw at you. It was a clever way to keep mixing up the gameplay, and made sure that you never knew quite what would be around the next corner.

Every enemy having its own unique set of animations to kill you by was also a nice touch. Made each foe seem that much more deadly. I have such fond memories of this game.

solipsistnation
04-06-2011, 04:04 AM
Oh yeah, and the weapons/spell things were pretty incredible, and for the most part unlike most other shooters (up until Painkiller). The spell where you call forth really pissed-off skulls from the ground below your feet and fling them, screaming, at your enemies, who they would strike and explode, were my favorite.

That city through the wall was great, too. Really nice visuals.

Man. I really hope they release it soon... I don't want to have to mess around with CDs and stuff to play it again... 8)

soldant
04-06-2011, 04:08 AM
I enjoyed it, but I never finished it. The lighting and some of the art was fantastic (especially that family portrait). I must say though it does look terribly dated today... it's a good candidate for a HD update.

Lambchops
04-06-2011, 10:30 AM
Undying was indeed fantastic. As Rinox pointed out the Scrye mechanic was excellent and really helped to both flesh out the world and unsettle you. As Basilicus pointed out the death animations were a good bit of attention to detail. Plus who wouldn't want to play a game where one of your magic powers is to fire flaming skulls at enemies? Plus the scythe was amazing.

Final boss was naff (especially considering that most of the other boss fights in the game were actually rather well done) but apart from that it was a uniformly brilliant game and very unsettling. Which made the fact Jericho was rubbish (to the extent I only ever played the demo) all the more disappointing.

Hensler
05-06-2011, 03:07 PM
Was I the only person who liked Clive Barker's Jericho, too? Not as good as Undying and it had some of the worst level design in the history of gaming, but there were bits of a good game hidden in there.

Vexing Vision
05-06-2011, 03:16 PM
Was I the only person who liked Clive Barker's Jericho, too? Not as good as Undying and it had some of the worst level design in the history of gaming, but there were bits of a good game hidden in there.

I disliked the gameplay. I hated the level design. The AI made me want to disable it - just having dummies stand around would have been a great improvement.

But the atmosphere was fantastic, the storyline interesting and your troops' personality was brilliant. The whole writing was glorious and very enjoyable.

If you haven't played the game yet, watch a Let's Play - much much more enjoyable than playing it yourself.

SirKicksalot
05-06-2011, 04:18 PM
Jericho's Colosseum battle was fantastic.

Hensler
07-06-2011, 02:25 PM
It will probably never happen, but I still dream about a sequel to Jericho with co-op game play for humans to control the whole team instead of the AI. Or at least the team as it stands when the game ends.

BillButNotBen
01-04-2012, 03:46 AM
I think i enjoyed it at the time, but i remember almost nothing about it. So it can't have been that effective on me.
Lots of great ideas i think, but i have a vague memory of it playing just like doom in the end.

DaftPunk
01-04-2012, 11:32 AM
I disliked the gameplay. I hated the level design. The AI made me want to disable it - just having dummies stand around would have been a great improvement.

But the atmosphere was fantastic, the storyline interesting and your troops' personality was brilliant. The whole writing was glorious and very enjoyable.

If you haven't played the game yet, watch a Let's Play - much much more enjoyable than playing it yourself.


It was quite hard game because of those flaws you listed,but if i remember correct,the monster designs were really fantastic!