Wil Mason has been transported to the fantasy world of Middlemere, which is ruled by four rival brothers. Wils aim is to find the secret to how he was transported here and discover a way back.
The gameplay consists of a combination of arcade elements and first person view much like Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master. One of the more remarkable features is in the first person mode, rather than having just 4 directs to face and flicking between them there are 8 directions and the view scrolls smoothly as you turn. This smooth scrolling continues when you move forward, giving the game more of a 3D feel.
The arcade elements consist of horizontal scrolling areas where you fight enemies with your bow while avoiding their attacks. Later you encounter a similar type of gameplay that involves exploring castles and adds 4 directional movement.
Obitus is a role-playing game released for the DOS back in 1991. Originally released for the Amiga in 91 it was later ported to the SNES and beyond. The game dumps you into a fantasy world with almost no story line whatsoever. In fact the only thing I managed to connect was when I started it in VGA 16 color mode it showed me a little movie of lightning hitting a forest and creating a tower. How does this relate to the plot? I have no idea; I just know that you start in the tower.
To step back a bit however starting the game gave me a pleasant surprise and a headache. The pleasantry was in the feature that allowed me to start in several different color modes. After that there are 5 different languages you can choose, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. However after that moment my head was filled with a piecing pain. You know the type of pain you get when one of your co-workers begins to talk about why his kids are so good or about the big game last night. The cause of my pain you ask? The blaring, fierce, and high pitched music. Don't get me wrong, I thought the music was good initially. It sounds good for an older DOS game, however, after about a minute of it I was left with the feeling I got when my inner child was ripped out at the age of 18.
So after turning down my speakers all the way I plowed forward into the actual game play. You start in a tower, with no instructions as to what you are to do. Well at least none that I could find. One thing I will say however, the animations of the buttons and turning to look at things in the game is very fluid and seems real. There is a menu that showcases 9 buttons for various actions you can take, a compass that indicates the direction you're facing, a box that shows the item you are holding, and some weird bubble that I never figured out.
There is a silver key at your feet and a couple doors. Putting 2 and 2 together I decided to open a door, and lo and behold I emerged into a forest.
This leads me to my next point. How in the hell do you find your way out of a forest where every tree looks the same? I quickly found myself getting lost, and only managed to figure it out when I whipped out a piece of paper and a pencil and began to draw my route in relation to my little compass on the menu. Wandering through the forest I came upon some fruit, arrows, a coin and some other miscellaneous stuff. Then I stumbled upon my first creature.
He was an archer of the finest sort, with his bow drawn and a feather in his hat...
Oh wait...what the hell is he doing!? He shot me! I didn't even get to say hi, he just hauls off and launches an arrow at me. So drawing my quiver of arrows (that's right I have no bow) I shot back at him. After two arrows to the chest he seemed to implode and smoke surrounded him. When it cleared there was a skeleton. I can only hypothesize that my archer friend, who I will now refer to as Bob, had his skeleton ripped out by the smoke. Poor Bob!
He did however leave me another quiver of arrows. Still no bow, but apparently I don't need one. I must be He-Man. Further wandering around aimlessly yielded a random person, who for no reason gave me keys when I talked to him. The wandering was really getting to me at this point so after a few drinks it became much more enjoyable. I encountered Bob again by the way, or one of his twins. The smoke got him to!
The game mechanics seem to break down after this point. I couldn't find my way around the seemingly endless maze of cloned trees. At this point I sat down and ate some of the random things I had found along my wandering. I couldn't tell half the time what the hell I had picked up until using the Info. By this time in the DOS lifespan I would have expected a little more.
In the end I managed to wander into other areas outside the forest, which besides small changes to the scenery really don't act that much different. I eventually wound up curled up in a fetal position in the corner as I came to terms with my seemingly endless inadequacy to find out what the hell I was supposed to do.
This game, while not bad in the graphic department is certainly lacking in the story development and instructions. I found out eventually from Wikipedia that the actual plot is that medieval history lecturer Wil Mason's car breaks down while he drives through Snowdonia in a storm. He seeks refuge in a deserted tower, only to wake up in a strange world. Strange world indeed, yet not one that I recommend inhabiting to anyone looking for strong plot or enjoyable problem solving. I give this game an average score in the end due to good graphics, different language options and color options.
Pros: Liquid animations, detailed graphics, 5 language options, 5 display color options.
Cons: Lack of story and instruction, forests filled with cloned trees, maze like gameplay.
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