Rise Of Nightmares Review

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Cracking Kinect survival adventure


While Empire doffs its cap to any developer brave enough to experiment with newfangled motion controls, it takes pendulous cojones and unwavering self-belief for any coder to try and deliver survival horror thrills and chills using the Xbox 360 Kinect. But with Rise Of Nightmares, Sega has almost succeeded in its ambitions. Almost.

Unlike many motion-controlled adventures, Rise Of Nightmares isn’t played on rails, and instead gives players the freedom to explore the creepy game world using a variety of intuitive gestures, where putting one foot forwards prompts your digital hero to walk, turning your shoulders allows you to look around, and raising your fists into a boxing stance gets you ready to fight.

As with most motion games, the controls take a little getting used to, and anyone approaching Rise Of Nightmares needs be prepared to start at the bottom of a gentle learning curve. However, after 30 minutes practice you’ll feel completely at ease with the game’s most commonly used gestures. The action is kept fresh throughout by the introduction of new movements such as wading through water or wiping virtual leeches off your arms, all of which use movements that make sense and feel completely natural. While the game isn’t as pant-fillingly scary as Resident Evil or Silent Hill – the OTT gore is a little too silly to be truly frightening – the motion controls are still remarkable as they allow you to become immersed in the experience, and appreciate the grisly action as it unfolds.

On the downside, battling a gang of zombies can be fraught with frustration as it’s hard to get a bead on individual enemies, while the game’s dodgy voice acting and clichéd story won’t excite anyone weaned on slick survival horror classics. But for anyone looking for something besides sports simulations or cheesy dancing games to make the most of their Kinect, Rise Of Nightmares is a fun adventure that paves the way for more gruesome goodness in the future.