Surprisingly decent movie tie-in
One of two games released as tie-ins to Clive Barker's movie adaptation of his own novel Cabal (the other being the dire Night Breed: The Interactive Movie), this takes the usual approach of publisher Ocean to licensed games in that it is a fairly traditional action-style game. Fortunately however, it is actually somewhat better than many of Ocean's other movie games and is actually a fairly clever and exciting little game. It follows the movie's plot fairly loosely which, for those who don't know, is a sort of intelligent monster movie that sees a mental patient and suspected killer escaping and taking refuge in a hidden land called Midian, where monsters are accepted. In gameplay terms, this translates into a side-scrolling shooter/fighter which takes you through a variety of suitably creepy environments. Added into the mix are puzzles and RPG-style elements, with tasks and missions to complete. This element certainly adds some appeal to the game, and makes it stand out from the crowd, with the puzzles in particular proving interesting. Visually, is quite appealing, with plenty of levels to explore and which are highly detailed with appropriately muted and atmospheric colours. Enemies too are well designed, with the movie's monsters replicated to a reasonable standard, perhaps a touch blockily, but which help to make the game feel like more than the usual cynical cash-in. Sound however, is one area which could have done with some extra effort, as the effects don't really suit the mood and distract from the macabre mood. Apart from this however, Nightbreed is actually a pretty decent movie tie-in that doesn't disgrace its source material. Robocop is another of Ocean's licensed releases that is worth a look.