Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder
Authors Darkness Within (DW), all guided by the ideas of Lovecraft, at the same time not trying to re-think the writer's work, brought into line with the spirit of today, with expectations of a modern audience, or features of a genre of computer games in general, simply because after such a transformation we would have made another Doom. Instead, developers have faithfully followed the canon of classic works of masters of "supernatural" literature, bringing into play all the features of his prose, even when they are contrary to generally accepted standards of today's world view or picture of the work. And this commitment translates directly into the category of arthouse game, too far removed from the traditions of the modern mainstream, and at the same time perfectly with the expectations and tastes of fans of Lovecraft's prose.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath NolderDarkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder
Almost immediately, things are moving so that the world outside ceases to matter. Poluistlevshie books, ancient cults, hallucinogens of natural origin.


Almost all the action takes place in the twilight, in most indoor lights dimmed, and the corners of rooms are often buried in impenetrable darkness. The game is not lighter than Doom 3, and no reason to twist the brightness at maximum. Because of that DW should not run in the daytime or under bright artificial light: first, you can not make out half of what is happening, and secondly - and this, of course, most importantly - will break the atmosphere of the game. It is best to immerse themselves in DW during the night, switched off the light.

But be prepared: this is a truly terrible game. At times, the main character falls out of reality like a nightmare, and the authors so well understand the nature of horror, that they need not throw out the blood on the screen or display ravaged body - a simple knock on the door could be much worse. Most of all wants to get one who has nowhere to go.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath NolderDarkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder
The game is set in the near future, at the end of 2011, and there are mobile phones and computers. In the opening clip hero said that before he ended up in hospital, he was found wandering at night in a cemetery. We have to go down this path.


The protagonist of the game, police detective Howard Loreyd (Howard E.Loreid), quiet, a little old-fashioned man of clear analytical mind, which instruct the search for the disappeared from the hospital, a private detective named Lowes Nolder (Loath Nolder). Shortly before the events described Lowes took up the case of the loss of one person, but suddenly he became the prime suspect in his murder. Strange, though it is a traditional detective story takes a rather unexpected turn, revealing a chain of characters and events, obviously related, but somehow confusing and bizarre ... But soon the thread of investigation leads to tangle quite unexpected questions - on a common approach to the story reminds DW Longest Journey / Dreamfall, as with every answer there are more questions, and clear key, which seemed to be quite close, gradually moving away. In this game tend amazing attention to detail, folding in a most peculiar way, just like in the films of David Lynch's constantly repeated, and at the same time disrupt the details relate the story into a coherent whole, making it look like a dream or a nightmare. And here is the value of all, each overheard remark, every newspaper clipping, every object seen. Game can go without making out most of the details, - DW does not impose its own depth, but a sensitive and considerate player will get a lot more fun.

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By the time we first get into the sun-drenched room, we are so deeply immersed in a succession of gloomy events that the light looks ominous. There are many creepy dungeons. Assure themselves that this is the quest and the hero can not die unexpectedly ... or still can?

«Show, don't tell!»

"Show, do not tell!" - Is one of the principles of narration, which was contrary to Lovecraft, and followed by the authors of DW. After all, here you are told about the secrets so terrible that a direct transfer contact with a person simply can not, but because the main character is the one who comes in the wake dared to look beyond and paid for it with a loss of sanity or life.

Therefore almost the entire plot of the game is presented in the form of texts. We fall into the hands of many different documents: diaries, letters, poetry collections, the books, police reports, historical and ethnological monographs, newspaper clippings, etc. etc. Those who do not like long texts in the game ("If I were to do the reading, would open a book" - a familiar argument, is not it?), DW is contraindicated. It should not just jump around the text, and carefully and thoughtfully to get a grasp, noting every detail, and then we often return to previously studied the documents, opening them something new.

In order to facilitate orientation in the many nuances of the story, we learn from the documents encountered on the way, the game is implemented cognitive apparatus: when we emphasize one or another part of the text, it is in the form of "evidence" is placed in the inventory section, which is the memory of the protagonist. There, we can combine one with another piece of evidence, and sometimes such a comparison allows us to make some assumptions of the original conclusion.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder The views of critics
According to critics of the Darkness Within dispersed.Many people took the game with bayonets, calling it not terrible, and boring, technically obsolete, is burdened by poor graphics and obscure, but at the same time, a predictable plot, negligent riddles, unconvincing main character and the excessive number of side characters that we do not see and did not really differing from each other.

Review on Gamespot (score 35%) ended with: "If Lovecraft wrote an equally boring and tasteless stuff, which is a DW, his prose would have been forgotten even before the Second World War". Hit a wholly-owned: Lovecraft published during his lifetime only in magazines amateur prose and neither the public nor the critics did not notice it at all. It was only after the war, his books have become gradually gaining popularity, as a result has been noticed and reviewers. "The only thing that these products cause terror, it's their bad taste and no less than poor performance" - says the literary critic Edmund Wilson.

It is appropriate to assume that the authors of DW, following the path of Lovecraft knew what went.

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Periodically, the hero finds himself in the world, presumably, their own dreams / nightmares, phantasmagoric, and at the same time endowed with their own, otherworldly logic.

Mind Games

The player takes time to adjust to this unusual system. At first, inevitably there is bewilderment: what to look for in numerous documents, often quite lengthy? As a result, at first we did not stress the little, letting the set of necessary and important details. Then rush to the other extreme, starting to allocate almost every sentence, like a novice, the first discoveries of pixel-hunting and click on everything on the screen. "I do not see anything interesting" - meets the main character, trying to stop our raging markers.

And this despite the first training episode, very clearly demonstrates the interaction with the text ("This is someone's address, but whose?" - The main character at first gently pushes a player in the right direction) for the development of the cognitive system will take still more than one hour. But we should not overestimate the arduous and new items - even at the maximum level of complexity (ie with disabled counter evidence in the documents and without prompts) to the middle of a game we already operate with the text without the slightest difficulty, and then this system seems so natural, elegant and correct that is very strange to see how the game got along without it before.

And often we do not need to duplicate the interface that the logical chain, which the player builds up in your mind. Say, to determine the cipher code lock (well, where do without them!), We can emphasize the appropriate places in the relevant documents, and then in the inventory to compare the extracted information and get a result. Or yourself to calculate the right combination, the lock will be opened in any case, even if we do not represent the game of reasoning leading up to our conclusion. Here are just generally much easier to use game interface, rather than all to see and compare yourself.

But most importantly, what brings these comparisons underscore, is that the DW puzzle is not just written into the plot, and, in fact, they constitute the subject itself. In this way, DW elegantly solves the eternal problem of quest: how to combine interactivity with rigidly defined narrative without turning the game in any set of puzzles, not related to the main storyline with one hand, or in an interactive book, on the other.

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In anticipation of sequels

The only drawback is the ending of the plot, corresponding to a question during the game was not even considered, leaving many mysteries beyond history. Yes, DW is only the first part of a planned trilogy, developers, and yet such a finale is so unexpected, and disappointing at first so strong that, leaving the game, about her not even want to remember. But it is a day or two, resentment are forgotten, and we thought back to DW, comparing, speculate, trying to think out the big picture, to imagine a set of storylines, hints of which are generously scattered everywhere: in passing mentioned the characters, events ... They simply do not wish to go out of my head, though a week would go for a week. Only the best games leave such a strong impression.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder SECRET!

In the release version of the game contains a serious bug. When you operate in the inventory, if you object to the cell surface carry the evidence, a thing of the cells disappear, but will not be returned. Thus it is possible to lose any object from your inventory that will likely make it impossible to further the passing game, and the only way to restore the loss - is to load the previous save.

If, however, be aware of this bug and be careful during the game, avoiding a situation in which it manifests itself, no it does not cause problems. So be careful.

Darkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath NolderDarkness Within: In Pursuit of Loath Nolder