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Have You Played... Nocturne?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

My computer couldn't handle Nocturne when I bought the game at the tail-end of 1999. Too many shadows and exotic features like cloth physics. I played it anyway, gritting my teeth whenever the action slowed to a crawl. But, hey, watching a vampire turn to dust as a stake pinned him to a wall was more dramatic in super slow motion!

The game takes place across four acts, each covering a subgenre of horror, from the vampires and gothic setting of the first to the stitched-up FrankenMobsters of the Windy City chapter. That should lend some variety to the locations and enemies, and perhaps it does. I couldn't tell you for sure because I didn't manage to complete the game. The second level, in which you team up with Baron Samedi to shoot one of Lovecraft's jelly-wobblers, defeated my computer once and for all.

Here. Look at the stunning graphics that brought my machine to its knees.

Cover image for YouTube video

I'll admit, those creepy-crawlies still unnerve me.

Nocturne may have been too full of shadows and flappy coats for me to play back in the day but I'd love to see a reboot. In fact, I'd love to see a Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense game. Just as I've long-craved a good Gotham City Police Department game or TV adaptation (I'm not the only person who thought that's what Gotham was going to be, right?), I love the idea of playing a 'regular' employee in an extraordinary situation.

A horror game in which each act is in a completely different style, with new enemies and weapons? Yes. And if it were to follow Nocturne's lead it'd be an action game but, hell, GCPD or BPRD could happily fit into an XCOM mould, couldn't they?

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.