Written by John Edward Betancourt
When it comes to horror and gaming, sadly there are few games that have ever terrified or chilled me to the bone. Don't get me wrong I've enjoyed horror gaming over the years, the early Resident Evil games were an utter joy to play, but I want more games that truly terrify me.
It has to be a difficult venture, after all in film you're not in control, you're at the mercy of the director. But in gaming, you know scares are supposed to come, and you know that your controller or keyboard will get you out of a jam. But there was one game I enjoyed years ago that actually managed to scare me and leave me uncomfortable, the awesome...Nocturne.
The plot was simple, you played The Stranger, a mysterious man who worked for the Spookhouse; a top secret government agency designed to keep the horrible things that go bump in the night at bay. There were four key missions that took you into the heart of terrible goings on and man...this game was a blast.
What made Nocturne so much fun to play and quite frankly, bone chilling was the fact that you were given very little information about what kind of situation The Stranger is about to walk into. The second mission, one that features zombies and a throwback to Lovecraft is a great example of this. As since you are forced to investigate reports of zombies, and your investigation quickly falls apart of course...but the key is that the undead appear out of nowhere and are fierce and managed to make me jump.
But it was more than simple jump scares for this game, often times the mood was set with things moving in the shadows that may or may not appear. There was plenty of gore, plenty of monsters from every genre but what made the game work so well was the tension that it built every step of the way, each mission was its own mini movie and minute by minute the story became all the more intense and it made the surprises all that much more shocking. But the game was not without its fun, the third segment is more black comedy with the Stranger battling Al Capone's Frankenstein style mobsters.
Truly Nocturne was another one of those golden era of gaming gems that sadly has all but disappeared, which is a shame since the game ended with an incredible cliffhanger. Here's to hoping a sequel shows up at some point, but if you can find a copy of this and a compatible PC, you won't be disappointed.