Classic monster movies will always hold a special place in the hearts of movie fanatics. One of the classics, being Nosferatu, has a game created based on the silent vampire. Today, we will look at the classic Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi, honestly, a horror game unlike any other, paying homage to the classic silent horror movies about the vampire, Nosferatu.

Story

Your sister is getting married to a count, with you and your family invited to the count’s castle. You arrive late, but upon arrival, you find out that the count is a vampire and is going to sacrifice your family if you cannot save them in time. It is up to you to save your family and friends before the count resurrects Malachi, an ancient demon bent on conquering the world.

Gameplay

To summarize the gameplay, the main objective is for you to escort your relatives to the safe zone in the courtyard, before they are sacrificed at a certain time during the night. Players will have to use the weapons found on both the enemies and their relatives to kill any threat that they come across.

Aside from playing as a dark FPS where enemies can appear from anywhere in the castle, combining two of the most annoying game mechanics sounds a lot worse than it plays out. The castle randomly generates with each playthrough, so being good at the game does not mean just remembering were every family member is.

Players must keep an eye on the clock, because the more time they waste, the more of their friends, and family that will be sacrificed. Saving people is important since they give you very helpful items, and if you don’t save them, the more people that are sacrificed, the stronger the final boss is.

Good

Aside from the slow reloading, the combat handles well, and the game offers a good variety to have enemies more affected by some holy weapons than standard guns. When you start, you only have your sword and a cross, and random loot in the chest may not always be the health you need, so it is very dangerous in the beginning. Later, when items make you feel unstoppable, it helps the game to feel more rewarding the more you play.

The random level building really does help with replay value. The in-game timer is not very fast, so you will be able to save your family in time if you know where you are going, but if you don’t like the way things are laid out, you can just start a new game at a lower difficulty.

So-So

The main goal of the game is to rescue your family and friends, and escort missions usually are not the most favored mechanic, with this game being an example. AI have a problem and can fall downstairs while running, possibly to their deaths like you can, but that is the biggest issue since you can take them through a path that you already cleared of monsters.

Bad

This game has a good number of bugs, and poor gameplay mechanics that can prevent a fun experience:

  • Biscuit, the dog, can help you fight monsters, but has the same AI problems, and can die easily.
  • If you are not slow going downstairs, or on rooftops, you can easily fall off and die.
  • It takes just as longer to reload guns as it does switching weapons, but even that takes forever when in combat.
  • The random chances for chest could limit health pick-ups, making it worse if you take a lot of damage.
  • Loading games creates a lot of flickering images on the screen.

Aside from gameplay issues, there is no way to change the settings. For playing on PC, it is dumb to have no settings, and in addition to this, the game is poorly optimized. People playing with an recent operating systems may not even be able to start the game, incase you want to try this title out, you should probably be prepared to look up solutions.

Graphics

As you can see, and imagine, the graphics are average for the time. Back in 2003 we had Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, looks great. Games such as this were common for PC though, such as Postal 2.

Although the graphics look poor, the design of the game fits the theme perfectly. The silent horror movie style of the film grain and classical horror music make for a great atmosphere; if these two elements were made for a game like this today, it would be different as compared to other horror games.

Music

Unlike the graphics, the music is one of the best aspects. Along with adding the atmosphere of classic horror movies, it really helps the scare factor, picking up in speed when you are close to an enemy that can rip you apart. It gives suspense with monsters nearby that really drive the horror factor perfectly.

Conclusion

Nosferatu has poorly aged in graphics, but the concept of the game is unlike many other titles. I do enjoy both the design and gameplay idea, but the aged graphics, and gameplay shows. If you can find this game on sale, then Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi would be a nice pickup.

One final thing as I suggested, if they remastered the game, with better mechanics, better AI, and possibly co-op, that would be a highly recommend remaster.

Pros

  • Random mapping for the castle.
  • Fun and slightly intense combat.
  • Soundtrack is amazing for the fear factor.
  • Some pretty good scares can be had.
  • Very fun concept with which to make a new game.

Cons

  • Bugs can ruin the experience.
  • Dog companion is useless.
  • Fighting monsters up close sucks.
  • The game will not even run well on new operating systems.
  • Escorting AI downstairs is a death sentence.

Side note: Another retro review re-worked to get back onto the site, since the original release, I played the game again, realizing the graphics were standard for the time. Yet, combat could still be improved.

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