Game Over Online ~ Nocturne

GameOver Game Reviews - Nocturne (c) Gathering of Developers, Reviewed by - Clarence Worley

Game & Publisher Nocturne (c) Gathering of Developers
System Requirements Pentium 233, 64MB Ram, 500MB HDD
Overall Rating 88%
Date Published Friday, October 29th, 1999 at 08:57 PM

Divider Left By: Clarence Worley Divider Right

Are you ready for some thrills and chills? Gathering of Developer's and Terminal Reality have unleashed the terror known as Nocturne on unsuspecting gamers, just in time for Halloween. Nocturne is a horror action-adventure game that takes you on a supernatural romp through the 1930s. Nocturne is a mixture of Resident Evil and Alone in the Dark, with a teaspoon of Rasheed’s balls mixed in for good measure. The end result is a game with an incredibly creepy atmosphere... and horrifyingly creepy system requirements.

I don't want to be harping on the system requirements all review long, so I'll get that out of the way right now. Here's a list of the system requirements for Nocturne:


  • Pentium 233MHz w/ MMX (or higher)
  • 64 MB RAM (96MB for 3D Acceleration)
  • 500MB hard disk space


  • PentiumII 400MHz (or higher)
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 1GB hard disk space

    Personally, when I get a new game, I look at the System Requirements when I judge whether I can play it or not, but allow me to warn you ahead of time for Nocturne... You Need The Recommended System!. This game was clearly targeted for the high-end gaming system, so if you don't have the horsepower to run Nocturne, you're out of luck. The worst part about it, you're about to miss one of the most stylish and unique action-adventure games to come along in quite some time.

    In Nocturne, you take on the role of an agent (Stranger) of a secret government agency called Spookhouse. Commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt, Spookhouse investigates and deals with supernatural and paranormal activity. The game is played out in a series of four episodes, spanning four different locales. The game plays like a collection of short acts, rather than one big story. In other words, you get to choose which episode you wish to adventure through, rather than having to progress through each episode as dictated by the developers. Each episode features a myriad of gameplay, ranging from bloody combat to puzzle-solving settings.

    Here's a list of the four acts along with a little info about each one. Don't worry, there are no spoilers here.

  • Act 1: Germany, 1927
    Stranger travels to Germany to find a mythical artifact rumored to make vampires invincible. You'll visit a haunted German city, a haunted forest and a haunted castle. In terms of difficulty, this should be the first act you try to conquer. Most of the locales are bare and the puzzles are fairly simplistic.

  • Act 2: Texas, 1931
    Stranger travels to the town of Redeye to figure out why the dead are suddenly restless. This act is significantly more difficult than Act 1 and probably should be kept till the later stages. It features a mixture of gameplay including some excellent combat sequences.

  • Act 3: Chicago, 1933
    Stranger travels to the windy city to confront Al Capone and his hideous plan to build a Frankenstein factory in order to re-animate his fallen comrades. This act features the most combat of any, so if you're a fan of Tommyguns, this is right up your alley. The boss on this levels is also by far the best in the game.

  • Act 4: France, 1935
    Stranger is sent to France to assist a retired Spookhouse operative in trouble. This particular episode is full of puzzles for the adventurer in you. Killian's mansion is full of difficult puzzles and large environments to gaze over.

  • The Final Act
    I won't give away anything from this final epilogue of sorts, that would be as bad as giving away the secret of The Usual Suspects, and that's just not cool! (psst, it's Kevin Spacey)

    Graphically, Nocturne is an astounding title. Supporting resolutions of 640x480 all the way up to 1280x1024 , the environments are stunning to look at and I found myself staring at the screen for minutes at a time, rather than advancing in the game. The characters and creatures in the game are incredibly detailed. It's no wonder the system requirements are as high as they are. The game also features real-time multiple-source lightning that supports illumination and shadow casting. The realism and atmosphere created in Nocturne is certainly one of it's high points. Simply put, Nocturne is a gorgeous game to look at. In terms of audio, Nocturne is full of it. The game features over 1000 lines of spoken dialogue and over 1500 unique sound effects. Everything you can imagine is covered . The sound compliments the game extremely well and along with the cut scenes, advance the story quite smoothly.

    Nocturne resembles a third-person adventure game (Tomb Raider). The environments are portrayed through a series of static camera angles that allow you to explore by walking from scene to scene. Like many other third-person games before it, a myriad of camera angles are implored throughout the game and this can become a bit tedious at times. Just when you think the camera will remain fixed, it has a tendency to do a 180 on you, zoom in or widen out. While it produces a great cinematic feel, it also becomes a problem when in the midst of combat. I died several times during the game simply because the camera panned and I was unable to adjust before getting impaled by a zombie. The cameras seemed to move randomly and became irritating at times.

    Nocturne also features 8 NPC characters found in various episodes. It's your job to interact with these characters in order to advance the storyline. Besides the NPCs, there are over 80 different monsters and non-interactive NPCs that you'll have to deal with. The game can be difficult to play with the pre-set controls. I suggest you fiddle with the options to setup your keyboard/mouse/gamepad properly. There are also plenty of weapons in the game to use, including shotguns, hatchets, dynamite, and much more.

    Simply put, Nocturne is about as beautiful a game as you're likely to see this year. The environments are visually stunning, the attention to detail impeccable, and the suspenseful atmosphere goes unmatched. The controls in the game are less than spectacular, as are the camera angles employed throughout the game, but Nocturne delivers a terror filled experience that is sure to have gamers looking over their shoulders for ghouls and ghosts, as long as their system can handle the horror that is the system requirements.


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