Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rise of Nightmares

Preview: Rise of Nightmares

3:30 PM on 08.15.2011 // Wesley Ruscher

Rise of Nightmares is a bold undertaking from Sega, but one Microsoft’s Kinect is sorely in need of. Nine months have passed since 360 owners joined the motion control revolution, and outside of a few decent games at launch and Child of Eden, there hasn’t really been much of a compelling reason to get up off the couch and play.

I remember when I first saw Rise of Nightmares back at this year’s E3 -- it made me laugh and not in a good way. While I didn’t actually get a chance to play it, the images of watching industry patrons flail their arms at the virtual undead ingrained another “wow Kinect really makes people look stupid” impression on me. Maybe it was the skeptic inside me talking, but really: how was a first-person Kinect game not on rails going to work and be an engaging experience at the same time?

Rise of Nightmares (Xbox 360 Kinect)
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
To be released: September, 6 2011

Well flash forward a couple of months, more specifically last Thursday night, when I finally had a chance to give the first-person gore fest a full body hands-on at Sega’s Rise of Nightmares preview event. Though it’s safe to say I most likely looked like an arm-swinging leg-kicking fool, the most important thing I realized was it didn’t matter -- I was having fun doing it.

The first thing I noticed when playing Rise of Nightmares was just how smooth and responsive the motion controls actually were. I own a Kinect and have played my fair share of games with the controller, so stepping into the game was fairly intuitive. Placing your right foot either forward or backwards will set you in motion forward of backwards. Subtle turns of the shoulders to the left or right will turn you as desired. Neither gesture for movement is demanding and feels very natural, but if they prove cumbersome, holding up your right arm (at a 90 degree angle) triggers an auto-direct feature that quickly and effortlessly guides one to the next area.

In the section I played -- I was told it was near the beginning of the third level -- I began my journey walking the dark, dank confines of a crypt-like cave, desperately searching for a way out. It was here that I was introduced to the game's adventure elements. While at first glance and from many of the games released trailers Rise of Nightmares comes off as an off-rails Kinect attempt at House of the Dead (the game’s producer Satoshi Ito worked on the popular arcade light-gun shooter, so the comparisons are just), the game is actually much deeper than that.

In the confines of the cave I was tasked with finding a lever to release a gate that was impeding my progression. While the previously mentioned auto-direct gesture is helpful as a quick way to get from area to area, it is by no means a cheat to blaze through the game and can’t be used to find items. As I made my way around looking for a solution out, I had to guide my character from table to table sifting through piles of skulls to find a lever for a lock. Actually using my arms to push around the rolling bones added a nice level of immersion that hopefully isn’t leaned on too much throughout the adventure portion of the games.

Once I had the lever inserted, I made my way out of the room where I was faced with my first combat encounter. Two twisted zombie ballerinas quickly handed me my first “You are dead” screen.  I admit it took a little getting used fighting the ballerinas, as I struggled slightly with the controls while I frantically tried to take them out. The thing is it wasn’t that Kinect’s fault for my problems, more it was just the game's learning curve that my body was still adjusting to. When I came to grips with how to control my body in a fight, the ballerina duo was dust.

Starting the fight, the first thing I did was run to an axe laying on the ground to help even the odds. To assist in what could possibly be a clunky process, holding out your hand over an item that’s in a viewable distance will auto-direct you to it where you'll pick it up. It saves a lot of time and is just one Rise of Nightmares many smart design decisions for making the game more accessible for players of all skills.

Back to the ballerinas. Unfortunately, the fight itself boiled down to simple pattern memorization. Duck the pirouette attacks, then promptly kick them in the gut to stun them, step forward and melee until there’s nothing left. While the combat is fairly simple, it’s also highly engaging. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m actually participating in a fight and doing more than just flailing my arms (like I do in Kinect Sport’s boxing) that makes it feel like something worth while. Whatever it is, the fighting in Rise of Nightmares is some of the most refreshing and rewarding I’ve played in a motion controlled game.

After I escaped the zombie ballerinas I made my way outside where I took on the game's more typical zombie fodder. The techniques I acquired from my boss fight helped in dispatching the brain eating hoard. It’s also worth noting that individual body parts can be targeted and removed to limit the possible damage and threat of each zombie menace. While it still came down to looking for enemy tells and exploiting a pattern in their attacks, the numerous enemies and the inclusion of what appeared to be a banshee -- the game required me to actually cover my ears to avoid its deathly shrieks -- kept the action frantic throughout.

Whether controller-free motion gaming ever finds a place in the industry outside of mini-game collections, fitness and dance games remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure -- Sega has definitely taken a step in the right direction with Rise of Nightmares. With an estimated seven to ten hours of gameplay, hopefully Sega can provide enough thrills, chills and variety in gameplay to keep things fresh from start to finish when the game lands in September.



Wesley Ruscher, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Former Dtoid Weekend News Editor & Mash Tactics Host.  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Rise of Nightmares


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky Import Review

Stupid Teens Do Stupid Things: An Oxenfree Critique

A blog test. Brought to you by Buckner & Garcia

Cblogs of 2/11/16, 2/12/16 + Firethoughts

PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

Your Opinions On Racing Games Are Stupid

The Nerds Have Won

Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

Mega Man X Drinking Game: The Super Smashed Bros

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So... gender and biology. All I'll say here is please respect people and their identities and don't try to push assumptions as fact. It doesn't need to be said to most here but denying people their identities is pretty harmful and very unpleasant.
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Any PS4 recommendations for a guy who can't afford PS+, since all I've got is Battlefront and there's next to nothing to do in that game?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
if you were experiencing lag with the dev site today, can you please try again? I moved some js around and am loading smaller avatars for people. some quickpost photos are scaled from gigantic raw uploads so we are optimizing those next to zip things up
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's happening people... they're gonna kill off my favourite character... but he's taking someone else with him *massive spoilers in video*
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Can I just say that I really dig the intro music for Yakuza 5? It's pumping!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Hmm... yeah, this seems right.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Would anyone be willing to help out dear ol' Dreamweaver with Destiny? Need a partner to tackle 7+ matches of Crimson Doubles for that 320 Light Ghost Shell. Will have to work on Comments of the Week first, but will be on later. I suck at the game though.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I'm not digging Trine too much. It has really screwy controls.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Sonic the Hedgehog's Twitter account gave dating advice here: http://www.gamesradar.com/dating-advice-real-sonic-hedgehog/ I am now significantly less bitter about Valentine's Day.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Tried out The Lost Vikings for the first time in Heroes of the Storm. Lots of fun, but I've got a long way to go before I could consider myself remotely good with them.
Malthor avatarMalthor
Dear Lord, I think I've stumbled over the most bullshit boss fight I've seen in a long time. "Here, let me summon 2-3 mnions each turn. They inflict all of the status effects btw, as do I. Have fun!"
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Bought FF Explorers and downloaded Soul Sacrifice Delta last night. SSD is faring better than FFEx so far. What is it about this genre that makes SE go to crap on lore and world building? They're usually great at it. Also no 3D :/
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Yeah buddy!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Isnt it better to ignore someone than post nasty stuff in their quickpost/blog comments? I hope so! Discuss this upcoming site feature here
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I've decided to take my first big foray into creating original music! For my first venture, I did up some tracks heavily-inspired by Persona 3. I plan on making videos of them when they're 100% complete. Link in the comments.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Ahhh GameStop demo... Now I want Street Fighter...
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Don't have a date for V-Day weekend? Why not fill that void in your life by making a Super Mario Maker Level for this month's Dtoid Designs Contest? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/CJ+Andriessen/dtoid-designs-the-wacky-wiggler-challenge-338301.phtml
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So uh, my dream was interesting. Travel somewhere to get furniture, protests going on, police lock us behind a gate so we go round and blow up their car to escape. Now apocalypse time with city on fire and zombies and then I get a girlfriend.Quite varied!
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I watched the movie Flight with Denzel Washington last night. It got especially good once John Goodman appeared and it turned into a sort of fun, surrealistic drug comedy. But then the ending undid every bit of enjoyment it gave me up to that point.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Putting together the Valentines Day edition of Gaming's Beautiful People and finding it surprisingly hard - ooer, missus etc - to find a male couple to put in the list. Any suggestions? All I can seem to find is the guards from Undertale.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -