Review by Lakerz
You awaken from a deep sleep with an insatiable thirst, one that
burns from within. The darkness is soothing, the sounds of the night
beckoning you onward, outward. The thrill of the hunt gives out
a high like none other, and you can almost envision the blood on
your tongue from a fresh kill. Yes, such is the life of a vampire,
a hunter of mortals, a being to be feared! Alas, sometimes the hunter
can become the hunted ...
Thus begins Erevos, an intriguing horror adventure game
from a small development team in Greece called NYX. I was not familiar
with them, but I could not pass up the chance to play an adventure
game involving vampires!
At the beginning of Erevos's story, you choose to play as
either Eric Koplot or Giannos Romar. The two vampires come from
differing backgrounds but share the same storyline. It all started
in 1450 in a French town named Lille where the Travers family was
attacked by what the townsfolk believed were vampires. The king
tried to quell the citizens' outrage by finding a scapegoat for
the murders and hanging the man. The only surviving Travers member,
Alexander, did not believe the king's story for a second and vowed
revenge against the vampire clan that murdered his wife and son.
He ended up forming his own cult, dubbed Erevos, which stands for
deep darkness. The members of Erevos had but one goal, the extermination
of all vampires from the face of the earth. As a cardholding member
of the vampire allegiance, you can't let this go without retribution.
Installation of Erevos was very easy for me. It installed
and played just fine in both Win98 and XP. The game gives the option
of a full install (roughly 640 MB), negating the need to play from
the CD-ROM, or a minimal install to spare disk space. I opted for
the full install, as I couldn't let CD-ROM access times get in the
way of some bloodletting, right? Installation progress is shown
by a creepy-looking doll with rivulets of blood leaking from its
eyes. When the installation is complete, the eyes fly open, showing
a fiery supernatural gaze beneath. If this sounds a bit too much
for you (and it is a bit creepy, I admit), then I can safely say
Erevos is not for you. Erevos is rated M (mature)
with the corresponding age limitation of 18+. This is due to violent
graphics (who would have thought?) in addition to some occult subject
matter. I'd also like to note that a few of the scenes can be rather
disturbing, but more on that later.
I knew right off the bat that Erevos meant business when
I tried to start the game in the daytime. Erevos wouldn't
run, as vampires can only come out once the sun sets! Between seven
p.m and eight a.m. is the preferred time to play, thank you very
much. This is easily bypassed by changing the system time, but it
got a chuckle out of me.
The intro sets up the gameplay quite nicely, paying homage to The
Blair Witch Project. When I finally took control of my vampire,
it did not take long to become accustomed to the controls. Erevos
is a mouse-driven, first-person perspective game. However, depending
on the situation, the camera will either be fixed or rotated. When
fixed, Erevos is controlled like most other games of its
genre. The cursor changes depending on where you can move or where
there is an item that can be picked up, manipulated, or observed
more closely. If you hit a node where the character can rotate,
two arrows will appear on the sides of the screen. A click on either
one will alter the camera 15 degrees or so in either direction.
All in all, I thought this to be a suitable scheme, although it
is a bit of a pain to have to click the mouse umpteen times to get
the vampire facing the right way. The inventory is easily accessed
from the main screen as well, as is morphing into your "familiar."
The morphing function is a great idea and proves useful in solving
puzzles, etc. The only complaint I have regarding the interface
involves the save/load system. It's entirely automatedone's
progress is saved after each completed chapter. There are no other
saves allowed. If you die during gameplay, you have to start from
the beginning of the last completed chapter. Also, there is no way
to bring up the load screen once a chapter is started. You have
to quit the game and then restart it to access the load screen again.
A very odd design decision to be sure.
Graphically, Erevos is trailing the pack of recently released
adventure games, although for a small development group they're
not bad at all. It plays at a 1024×768 resolution, and the
various scenes you travel through are for the most part sharp, if
not exactly overflowing with details. The video cutscenes are pretty
grainy, but I feel this was done on purpose to imbue Erevos with
a gritty, urban atmosphere. They are effective if not exactly clear
in some parts given that some of them are shot at night in black
and white. Probably the low points graphicswise are during conversations.
Each character is represented by a looping video made up of a dozen
or so stills. While reading the text, these character videos are
playing over again and again, and I found them very stilted. I think
it would have looked better (and been easier to implement) to show
just a static picture of the character. All criticism aside, the
graphics did an acceptable job and did not detract from my enjoyment
of the game.
Where Erevos really shines is in the music, which makes
the added soundtrack CD-ROM a nice bonus. From beginning to end,
the music really drew me in to the game world, varying from classical
to gothic, from softly melodic to edgy. Sound effects are of similar
quality. From the creaks of a coffin opening to the anguished yell
of a victim, I was constantly on the edge of my seat. Knowing that
the acolytes of Erevos are hounding you and could be behind you
or right around the corner, the developers did a nice job of keeping
the majority of scenes filled with tension and surprises. I honestly
was startled a few times during my play through, something that
rarely happens to me.
I finished Erevos in about 10 hours, so I find it fair to
classify it as a short game given that I am not a champion puzzle
solver. Technically, you can play through the game as each of the
two separate vampires, but only one chapter ends up presenting a
separate locale and puzzles. The rest of the game plays out in the
same no matter which vampire you initially choose. If each character
could have had his own storyline, that would have been the perfect
boost to the game's length.
The puzzles are very easy. Only a handful of times was I stumped
for very long. The main problem with the shortness is in how Erevos
is constructed. There are eight chapters, plus an epilogue of
sorts. Each chapter only has a few locations you are able to visit,
so at any given time there are not too many choices you must make.
Instead of the game world opening up the farther in you get, it
remains restricted throughout. In fact, Erevos would be even
shorter if it wasn't the case that you can die. As each chapter
begins, the vampire's health is constantly decreasing. Only feasting
on someone's blood or finishing a chapter will replenish it. Death
can also be instantaneous at the hands of the Erevos group. What
makes dying even worse is the game kicks you all the way out to
the desktop, which is irritating.
I was also a bit dissapointed that none of the characters in Erevos
were fleshed out too well. The only interactions between vampires
are strictly linear conversations tethered with a few fetch missions
to bring them stuff. I would have loved to really dive in to a rich
backstory tying their lives together somehow, providing some reasoning
behind their motivations and actions during the game. There are
some small references to the past histories of the vampires but
not much else.
As noted previously, Erevos is not for everyone. There are
several scenes and images that are downright disturbing. I don't
want to give too much away, but one chapter has you invading a hospital
to steal a baby so one of the head vampires can feast on it. Yes,
pretty demented stuff. But hey, you're a vampireplease check
your morals at the door.
I doubt Erevos is a game we'll ever see in US stores, but
the last time I checked, the Erevos
that it was accepting internet orders. (The site appears to be down
as of this writing.)
I had a good amount of fun during my brief venture into vampiredom.
Erevos is certainly not without its niggles, but I feel that
the developers have done a decent job creating a dark game for the
inner vampire in all of us. If it wasn't for the shortness, the
funky save/load system, and the shallow characters, I would have
scored Erevos higher. If a little depravity is what you're
in the mood for this upcoming Halloween, you might want to check
Release Date: 2002
Four Fat Chicks Links
P133 MMX or higher
32 MB RAM (64 MB recommended)
8X CD-ROM (24X recommended)
VGA card and monitor that can handle 1024×768 resolution
7 MB free hard disk space (644 MB free for full install)
Where to Find It
Links provided for informational purposes only.
FFC makes no warranty with regard to any transaction entered into
by any party(ies).