Midnight Nowhere Review
It's midnight and we're in the middle of nowhere, sounds like the perfect setting for a horror game.
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 29th March 2004
- Developer: Saturn Plus
- Publisher: Oxygen Interactive
- Release Date: 19th March 2004
The point and click genre is famous for making its players search endlessly for objects which can be picked up so that later on they can try and interact them with that puzzle that they just cant work out! Not being the most patient person in the world I have to admit to not been a fan of the genre however Midnight Nowhere intrigued me with its compelling story line and twisted environment and what’s more, it didn’t disappoint.
The story line centres on an unnamed man who wakes up only to discover he has been sleeping in a morgue, dressed up in a body bag surrounded by corpses. Having no idea who he is, where he is or who is responsible for him been there he must investigate his surroundings to find answers to his many questions.
The game begins when you wake up and escape from your body bag, lovely! First thing I noticed was how annoying and unrealistic the lead character was. Despite just waking up in a morgue he is full of humour with constant wisecracks and sarcastic remarks. His jokes are about as unfunny as the morgue he awoke from and his persistent bad language just seems forced and unnecessary. I assume the idea was to make the guy cool; unfortunately he just comes across as cold and arrogant and in need of a serious personality adjustment!
With that quick complaint out of the way lets move onto the actual gameplay, as you have no idea who you are or what is going on you must first and foremost explore your surroundings and examine everything you come across in order to find out what has happened! Like in most games similar to Midnight Nowhere this can be a frustrating long task, especially since you don’t really know what you are looking for or where you are likely to find it.
Our hero is controlled in a classic point and click manner with several icons at the top of the screen allowing you to change your pointer for the purpose of look, pick up, use and talk and later on various other icons are added to the list. Although it’s easy enough to get to grips with it can be annoying having to manually change your pointer every time you need to use it for something different.
Apart from exploration, a big part of the game is naturally its puzzles which are difficult enough to keep you in the same area for longer than you probably want to be! As is normal in this type of game, anything loose is usually picked up and later used in a puzzle of some sort and this game keeps with that theme without making the puzzles too obvious or tedious.
As you wonder around the hospital the pointer will change when it comes into contact with an interactive object. This usually holds a clue to either search or pick up the object and naturally, some objects can be used in conjunction with other objects in your inventory.
Midnight Nowhere is obviously geared towards a mature audience with constant references to sex, violence and bad language. One of the puzzles for instance involves using a condom and whilst walking through the blooded corridors we witnessed corpses strung up and naked ex-patients. From the very beginning there is bad language with the inclusion of the F-word and well, let’s just say if you’re thinking about buying it for your kids, think again!
The games graphics excelled in portraying an abandoned hospital with a dark, eerie feel. Textures were nice and crisp but were sometimes broken, especially around our characters head.
Apart from the characters voice and overall dialogue which was nothing short of annoying the games audio was pretty decent with appropriate background music setting the mood nicely. There isn’t a lot of sound in the game but what is there is good, it’s just a shame that most of it comes from our overly confident ex-body bag resident.
Overall Midnight Nowhere offers a decent challenge to anyone who is a fan of adventure and exploration rather than action and offers stimulating puzzles and an intriguing story line to back it all up. Controls are pretty easy to use and the environments are interesting enough to make you want to explore further. My only complaint is more of a complaint against the genre as a whole it’s hard looking for something when you have no idea what it is you need! On the whole, a good game but when it says it’s for people aged 16+, it means it!
Review Score: 7.2/10
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