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PC Game Review

Darkness Within 2
The Dark Lineage


Format: PC
Iceberg Interactive
RRP: £19.99
8 718144 470406
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 28 May 2010

Over a period of only four days Howard must find out what has happened to him and uncover the truth about the horror of his situation. Waking alone in a cottage and with only a few resources, Howard must use his puzzle skills to unravel the true history of Howard Loreid and his troubled family...

Darkness Within 2: The Dark Lineage is a sequel to Istanbul’s Zoetrope Interactive’s Darkness Within, although it is not strictly necessary to have played the first game as mark 2 works just as well as a standalone.

The game is presented as a first person point and click adventure. After a protracted introduction Howard finds himself coming too in a cottage unaware of how he got there. The only clue to discovering the truth is a train ticket and a change of clothes.

Straight away the opening half hour of the game demonstrates both its strengths and its weaknesses. On the plus side the visuals are suitably atmospheric and detailed, with the ambient music and in-game noises adding to the sense of dread. The lighting design is effective whether it’s presenting deep shadows where horrors hide or jump-out-of-your-seat lighting effects.

The controls are intuitive and most gamers should be able to be up and running with little or no knowledge of them, although the lack of ability to map the WASD keys to the mouse may irritate some. Throughout the game Howard has to overcome numerous puzzles, some pretty straightforward, some incredibly difficult, like many similar games it is important to take note of everything around you in order to progress.

Prior to commencing the game you can play in three difficulty modes, ranging from a level where you want more of the experience, to the highest level which presents the adventurer with some fiendishly difficult puzzles.

On the down side the game did feel more linier than it needed to be, often requiring you to complete tasks before the game would let you progress, I don’t know about you but the inability to open doors, which in the real world would open, or being refused an exit because you haven’t completed a task pulls me straight out of the game and into a mood of irritation. Equally irritating and confusing is the game's reliance of Howard's mind. Here you are able to bring together facts and ideas to see if he is able to deduce anything from the juxtaposition of information, sometimes this works but it really a hit and miss affair.

Overall these aspects usually deter me from playing these types of games where instead of having free reign to explore what you’re really doing is being led from point A to B. That said lovers of Lovecraft and creepy adventure games in general should find much to enjoy in Darkness Within 2.


Charles Packer

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