Heart of Darkness PSX | Video Games

Beauty and the Best

Heart of Darkness PSX

blogEntryTopperDo you have fun while seeing a little boy being stabbed, crushed, drowned, poisoned or chewed up by wild animals? You sick bastard! I have a game for you. A game called Heart of Darkness.

Heart of Darkness is about an African river boat captain named Charles Marlow at the turn of the twentieth century who, wait that's not right. Different Heart of Darkness, sorry let me start again. Ahem, Heart of Darkness is a 1998 video game released by Infogrames for the original Sony Playstation/Windows based PCs and created by French designer Eric Chahi of Out of this World as well as 2011's indie darling god simulator, From Dust.

This Heart of Darkness is about a scientific prodigy named Andy, who while at the park with his dog Whiskey, witnesses a solar eclipse. During this solar eclipse however, Whiskey is stolen away by unknown aliens so it is up to Andy to go get his home made spaceship from his tree house and fly off in the direction of the creatures on a quest to save his dog.

I know what you're thinking, dog questing, pretty epic stuff huh? BUT it's also filled with fantastic creatures and the struggle for control of an alien planet. This all unfolds by guiding Andy through, what we in the biz like to call, a "cinematic platformer". In a style similar to the original Prince of Persia, Heart of Darkness plays from a 2D perspective and involves careful thought, precise control and a lot of trial & error to pass enemies or solve environmental puzzles.

Even with those however, you'll see poor Andy meet his end again and again and once you've bought a new controller to replace the one you smashed, a couple dozen times after that. They can be pretty gruesome too so is it wrong that I get as much of a cheap thrill from watching those as I do from actually progressing into a new area? Yes, absolutely, I need help but the the visuals and sounds are so stunning that I just can't help myself.

Like all cinematic platformers, the animation in this game is superb, as is music & ambient sounds. So much care went into the presentation that it took six years to finish. But they kind of have to have that in order to keep people entertained and coming back for more despite the slow pacing and constant failures.

It worked on me but because of this, along with its niche style, Heart of Darkness isn't going to be for everyone and even for those of you for whom it is, there is no digital release for it as of yet. However, if you can track down a copy of the Playstation version, it can be played through the backwards compatibility of PS3s. So if you find one, pick it up. You won't regret it most of the time.

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