|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: NIBRIS||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: NIBRIS||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: TBA 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
Several games have boasted, "This game will frighten even the toughest player," and in the last couple of years that tagline has been used a lot. However, there really hasn't been one to set us on the edge of our seats since the good old days of Silent Hill and Resident Evil scare tactics. NIBRIS is about to change that with a title that is set to scare the Wii-mote right out of our sweating hands. Scaring us into the nightlight phase of our lives again won't be the only thing NIBRIS will be reminding us of.
Remembering classic horror films like Psycho, Sadness will take on the gothic horror adventure genre of games and remember its roots by being totally black and white. Some of you may remember the cult title Fatal Frame. At the beginning, Fatal Frame took the black and white feel and introduced us to the eeriness of grainy gameplay. In Sadness, this amazing storytelling device will be upfront and center. While not much is known about the actual storyline of Sadness, there is one quote that sets the mindset of the game- "...In my head there is a voice, different from the others. Whenever it answers, it overwhelms the remaining voices; it mixes up thoughts and destroys peace. It tells me that I'm only mixed up in a thought, which yearns to prove its own existence. It is the original voice, which wants to free itself from my head, to free itself from the logic and reason it is being stifled by. It is the voice of chaos, which is now screaming frightfully in my head for me to take an axe resting against the wall and cut off my father's head..."- creepy stuff.
Sadness will be set in pre-WWI Eastern Europe and follows the story of Maria, a woman who has to protect her narcoleptic son Alexander after their train derails in the countryside. Their subsequent adventures are based on Slavic legends and become even more bizarre as Alexander begins acting oddly. This is probably where the quote above came from.
The game is designed to scare the player by atmosphere and not by the usual unambiguous bloodlust or violence. Some of the various methods of playing include slitting the throat of enemies with glass or throwing a rope over a wall using the similar motion with the freehand controller. NIBRIS also revealed the interesting and not too revealing way players will save their progress. You will watch as it happens automatically, at specific moments unknown to you so it can keep the feeling of reality. Unlike other third person games, Sadness will not make use of a heads up display to allow greater immersion. It is unknown as to whether or not this will harm the game or not.
NIBRIS has also been equally sparse about what creatures we can expect throughout the title. They have, however, revealed that a mythical creature usually associated with Slavic culture will be making an appearance or two. The creature in question is the werewolf. However, the werewolf will not appear in the traditional sense. Here, they are born a human and once they mature, they will change with the full moon. Another alteration to the mythos is that they will not regenerate once they die. In addition to the werewolf, another creature revealed was the Likho, a creature that is an embodiment of evil fate and misfortune in Slavic mythology, a creature with one eye, usually depicted as an old person. With creatures like these revealed this early, we can only anticipate what is to come along as the game draws near to its release.
Visually speaking, there is not much to mention. Besides the trailer shown last year, there hasn't been much to view concerning the title. However, the trailer does give a horror vibe just watching it will send a small shiver up your spine. The trailer also didn't include actual gameplay shots either. This also leads to the assumption that the title may be a little farther away than what was first expected. Much like the trailer, information about the tone of the score has not been fully revealed, but there are samples from the game that do pique the interest a little more. The vibe of the sample is both frayed nerves and melodic. If you are a fan of creepy, beautiful music, Sadness does not look to disappoint.
Sparse details, cool concept sketches, wicked score samples, and the evolution of the gameplay through the Wii, what else could Wii owners, and the future ones, want? With titles like Sadness set to appeal to adult audiences, it is at least apparent that the Wii will not fall into the "kid" category that so many people placed the GameCube. Sadness should be filling our hearts closer to the holiday season, but if the amount of information is any indication, we might be in for a New Year's gift instead. Keep checking back though, and as new information is revealed, we will pass it along.
CCC Freelance Writer