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Publisher: Aspyr Media    Genre: Action
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 400 MHz    RAM: 96 MB    Hard Disk: 600 MB    4x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480

Clive Barker's Undying
July 8, 2002 | Chris Barylick

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Holy Water and Hand Grenades
The overall effect of these weapons, items and spells is probably the best selling point for the game, players needing to choose the best tactics with what they have at any given time. The combination of both weapons and spells being immediately available works out incredibly well and is novel in and of itself, especially given that no switching is necessary to bring about the killing blows in a battle.

Using a dial interface somewhat similar to the spells interface in Neverwinter Nights, players can choose from their available weapons, spells and items with ease, the game encouraging a certain level of exploration both via this and in the movements your character must make. In something that works both for and against the game, players must really explore the nooks and crannies of each level, trying new things with their spells and items in order to move on. While this can be fun, there are moments where the player would just like to move on to new territories and battles and be done with it.

Undying sets out to become the perfect blend of horror and first person shooter action and achieves this well, even if the pace is a bit slow at times. The interesting parts donít really come in the cut scenes (which are impressive), but in the items Patrick picks up and stores in his inventory. Journal entries, letters and Patrickís own voiceovers flesh out the story, adding interesting details and hints as to the larger plot.

All told, Undying works to tell a good, convincing horror tale that made it a hit on the PC and a worthwhile buy on the Mac market. If the level design was a tad better and not quite as frustrating in order to reach the next level, the game would have its homework completely finished.

Sadly, thereís no multiplayer function to be found, which is disappointing given how interesting this mode might have been considering everything Patrick Galloway is capable of doing. While some players ran along the ground in classic death match style, a few others might use Flight spells and snipe from the sky with spear guns, others relying on powerful spells to hunt their opponents down. Multiplayer gameplay could have been entirely novel had the time and effort been taken to develop these elements of the program.

As such, Undying will have to settle with being a great first person game, worth the time, attention and price for anyone who likes elements of horror and suspense with their video games. It could have been a truly terrific game if the designers had seen fit to support multiplayer elements that had never really been tried before, but itíll have to settle with being something less for the time being.

Clive Barker's Undying
Publisher: Aspyr Media
Mac Version: Westlake Interactive
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