The Halloween List Pt. 6: Horror-Themed PC Games (2001)

This is a continuation of the multi-part Halloween List series that covered 1986 to 2000. There have been so many horror or Halloween-themed games over the years that only a multi-part article can encompass their sheer volume. In fact, horror-themed PC gaming has been going on for some time, beginning with text adventures and continuing with the action-adventures that we play today, although I must admit that 2001 looked a little quiet compared to other years for the genre…

Today is part six- 2001…

Visit part one here: The Halloween List Pt. 1: Horror-Themed PC Games (1986-1990)

Alone in the Dark 4: The New Nightmare (Infogrames, 2001). Edward Carnby returns with updated graphics and a new mystery to solve. This is a good adventure game, but not a great one. As with all games in the series, there are the appropriate level of things of ghoulish nature, with the ability to play Carnby or his female partner, Aline Cedrac.
Clive Barker’s Undying (Electronic Arts, 2001). Anytime a writer of horror fiction and a director of one of the classic horror movies of all time (Hellraiser) lends his name and talents to a PC game, chances are good that the result will include some uncomfortable or downright frightening moments of gameplay. The Covenant family have unleashed a curse that threatens to bring forth the Undying King, and it’s up to the player (as Patrick Galloway) to prevent the cursed family from destroying us all.
Evil Dead: Hail to the King (THQ, Inc., 2001). Ash is back, and this time on the PC! It seems the Book of the Dead has once again brought forth the demonic and undead hordes, and it’s up to Ash to save the world. The thought of playing Ash was awesome, especially with Bruce Campbell provided his voice to the game, but poor graphics, bad gameplay, and little imagination made this game a bargain-bin-at-best stinker.
Jekyll and Hyde (DreamCatcher Interactive, 2001). Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a Victorian era study of the duality of human nature, fraught with nuance and psychological terror. This game is an action-adventure game which requires you to assume the role of Mr.Hyde, to rescue Dr. Jekyll’s kidnapped daughter. There are zombies, but I wonder if the zombie is really the game itself, as it seems to lurch along at an unfinished pace.
KISS Pinball (Gathering of Developers, 2001). You know the list is weak when you have to include a pinball game to bulk it out a little. All the KISS members are here: the Starchild, the Beast, the Demon, and the Celestial, as you use a pinball table to fight the Dark Lord. It’s hard to mess up a pinball game, so you have to give the developers credit for making both pinball and KISS dull simultaneously.
The House of The Dead 2 (Activision, Inc., 2001). The popular Dreamcast game by Sega comes to the PC, two years after its original release. It’s pretty much the same game, with hordes of zombies to eliminate, as well as an autocamera that sometimes drives you mad. Even at the time, this game seemed dated.
Throne of Darkness (Sierra On-Line, 2001). Set in Japan during the Middle Ages, you play one of the Seven Samurai ( the Leader, the Archer, the Brick, the Ninja, the Wizard, the Swordsman, and the Berserker) tasked with killing a demon overlord whose minions include hordes of the undead. This is a RPG that has a strong Diablo II influence (which is not a surprise considering how many developers worked on both games).

That’s it for now. See you next year!

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