Imaginative Spooks:DXC2: Undiscovered
I don’t wish to be controversial when I say that Found Footage might be a little overdone. Before you riot however, let me explain. I think what hurt the genre was repetition, all too often Found Footage revolves around shaky cam and inexplicable persistence in filming everything when it doesn’t make sense. The overuse of special effects also de-legitimized the realistic appeal that Found Footage had, the possibility that what we are seeing was in fact real (huge draw to the Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield for example). Undiscovered tries something a little different, in that it’s in a second person perspective.
Discovering something new:
The game is framed as footage discovered from a missing archaeological team exploring a recently discovered Aztec temple. As they explore it stuff goes wrong and cosmic horror happens. What is most unique about this game is the second-person perspective. You are technically playing as the wife (who is recording the expedition) while her husband is the one you control. You are controlling the camera while also controlling the husband.
It’s an interesting experience and could be used for a full game. It kind of becomes a gimmick, a purely ecstatic choice that doesn't add that much to the game as a whole. It is all too easy to clip the camera outside the wall, and the second person perspective turns into a conventional first-person perspective towards the end. Torple Dook has an interesting idea and I think he is talented, I hope that he can expand his ideas. Cause Undiscovered, while having loads of potential, the short length results in the second perspective camera becoming a gimmick. A fixed camera with a few extra steps.
In regards to gameplay, Undiscovered is very close in spirit to a Walking Sim. You guide the husband throughout the haunted temple, discovering more disturbing stuff along the way. The game is pretty linear but has a brisk pace and a deep sense of dread as you descend deeper into madness. At certain points you have to knockdown walls which are relegated to the contextual button prompts (nothing in terms of skill there). The enemies can be dodged pretty easily as well. Undiscovered is unsettling but is far too short and lacking in meat. I hope that Torple Dook can make a full game sometime, as the Dread X Collection series has been his entire output so far.
Suitably spooky, Undiscovered is a fun enough experience even if the camera can be a little gimmicky. I was unsettled and sometimes scared of what was happening. I hope that a full game of this comes along soon. Maybe to make the camera less of a gimmick and offer a better use of the perspective.
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