Thursday, March 21, 2013

A thousand ways to die horribly: the game

Haha! Time for a game that's so schizophrenic in tone I don't even know what to make of it! The game today is Heart of Darkness. No, not the book about colonial racism and the ivory trade in the Congo by Joesph Conrad, I'm talking about the game about a boy, his dog, and his....thing.
The less said about these the better
 Heart of Darkness is a side scrolling, puzzle solving, platforming adventure game, and on the surface it looks like a kids movie, with really good art, but with a deeper look things get weird. See, the kid you play as can die. Normally this would illicit a "DUH" reaction, but the extend this game goes into animating different ways for this kid to die gets a little excessive. Crushed by rocks, burned by fireballs, eaten by the various nightmarish creatures in the game, falling into lava, drowning, being burned by fireballs underwater, and more. All with their own separate cringe inducing animations and bone snapping sound effects. By all rights, if this game had gore these deaths would be shooting blood and viscera all over the damn place.
We've come a long way since 1998
The plot of the game is that Andy, our protagonist and hero for this game, is out with his dog Whiskey during a surprise eclipse, and Whiskey gets taken away to another world by some horrifying shadow creature. Andy, showing more initiative that YOU ever did when you were a kid grabs a bunch of his inventions and jumps right in his GOD DAMN SPACESHIP and takes off to rescue his dog. His ship crashes into a cliff and thats where Heart of Darkness, and the high lethality adventure really begins.
That kid is so dead
Heart of Darkness came out on PC in August of 1998, having be released on Playstation a week earlier. It has the same feel as Another World, which was made by Eric Chahi over at Delphine Studios before starting Amazing Studios, the studio that developed Heart of Darkness, and the publisher of the game was Interplay Entertainment.
Best animation. Forever. For all time.
If you like ADVENTURE, gruesome death, damn fine art, crazy monsters and landscapes, late 90s CGI, or kids movies, Heart of Darkness might be for you.
Why would that pink thing evolve in such a way? It must hurt to live
You can get it here or here or a bunch of other places.

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