Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dark Escape 4D - Gruelling Terror

Project Zero, Penumbra, Dead Space, Amnesia, Silent Hill, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, Forbidden Siren and F.E.A.R. all contain a shock or several.

System Shock 2 deservedly haunts, Doom 3 encourages pants to be soiled and while internet freebie Slender was undeniably effective, the novelty soon peters out.

After P.T, we are all looking forward to actual PS4 game Silent Hills...

If you're old enough to remember, be careful when handling something Soft & Cuddly.

Apart from how much they cost to finish, arcades have never terrified - until now.

Developed by Nex Entertainment in 2012 for Bandai Namco, this is bar none, the most frightening arcade game ever devised.

I demand a sequel.  RIGHT NOW!

PS3 Move and GunCon 3 owners should be familiar with Nex as accurate ports of Time Crisis 4, spin off Razing Storm and Deadstorm Pirates all came bundled on a single disc.

The swashbuckling yarn was given an arcade upgrade in 2014 as Special Edition added two exclusive stages.

Body-Shocking 3D Horror Shooting obviously contradicts title.

As I played '4D', confusion understandably reigns and in 1983, this had us believing the same thing.

What?  You want proof?

4-dimensional graphics reaching out of your 48K Spectrum.  Good one.

Turning day into menacing night, the fourth dimension is time.

More recently in 1991, peculiar polygons fought beyond misleading box art.

"Now then.  On with the show."

Part the curtain, step inside and take a seat for an experience your heart, mind and soul will never forget.

You will leave the booth shaking like a leaf and buzzing more than a sex toy.

A fruit loop scientist plays the kidnapping game to determine the effectiveness of his deadly bio weapons.

Ha ha ha!  How original.

Players remain anonymous but are assisted by a NPC throughout.

I could divulge her identity but...

Differing from Play Mechanix's Terminator: Salvation but like Razing Storm, firepower is swapped at set periods, ranging from magnum, uzi and grenade launcher.

Shooting off screen to reload is unnecessary as ammo is generously infinite.

The camera pans where it pleases and automated sequences ooze fantastic tension before serving relentless moments of shock.

Occasionally, action becomes ultra slo-mo and matches the effect of any Hollywood blockbuster.

There's a 'good' and 'bad' ending but I'm not explaining the politics of achieving either.

When wearing the goggles provided, beasts don't need a second invitation to get up close and personal from a gorgeous 46" full HD monitor.  Stereoscopic visuals can be turned off via the push of a 2D button as the possibility of 3D imagery affecting eyesight cannot be completely ruled out.

The bench violently vibrates so parking change isn't advised unless you want coin to leap from where you sit, nearly as much as heart will from chest.

Blasts of air breathe from behind to chill hairs on the back of one's neck.

5.1ch Surround System, 7 speakers and a woofer producing low frequency tidbits, ensures a state-of-the-art experience.

Its 'real time panic-detection system' kicks in when both hands grip gun and in-built sensors detect heart rate. Those of a nervous disposition are punished further as each panic attack is recorded.


First time players will concur the knife is twisted with unerring precision.

Evidence of actual dread is displayed on screen so when BPM exceeds 100, claiming 'I wasn't really that scared' is unlikely to impress...

As adrenaline flows more aggressively than Niagara Falls, it's difficult to meet the challenge of remaining calm.

Agoraphobia (Pursuit), Necrophobia (Dead), Achluophobia (Dark) and Entomophobia (Vermin) are stages filled with genuine alarm.

For anybody who doesn't know, classic C64 shmup Phobia fed on 8 bit fears in 1989.

Maybe it's just me, but I always thought agoraphobia was something to do with wide open space?

Just ask Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) in 1995 thriller Copycat...

Anyway, conquer the lot to unlock grand finale.

Take a look at this incredibly handsome chap.

Ugly has never looked good.

In recent years, arcades like Terminator Salvation and spiritual sequel Aliens: Armageddon (from a cabinet and gameplay POV), both contained action violence described as mild.

During the height of Mortal Kombat mania, it was common for one on one fighting games to display something like Killer Instinct.

So if Dark Escape reduces legs to quivering jelly, how come restrictions imposed by UK law for amusement arcades aren't contravened?

It's simple - not a single drop of the red stuff is spilled and gore is substituted with green 'blood'.

While not quite the same thing, Evil Dead II anybody?

However, we are still suitably warned.

Very intimidating stuff.

This message appears after pushing 'start' so before play has actually begun.

Ass about face?


In-depth analysis will follow and although difficult, please contain your excitement...

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog about the game! I tried playing it but failed on the first stage and ran out of credits :( ended up looking up the ending on the internet and now wish i had more damn credits - i would have probably got the bad ending though, i am crap at games like this where you only get one shot at it.


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