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Heart of Darkness

Developer: Amazing Studio Publisher: Ocean
31 July 1998
Heart of Darkness - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.37 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
115 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#1,868 All-time
#59 for 1998
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Releases 4
1998 Amazing Ocean Software  
2xCD-ROM
GB 3 546430 002797 SLES-00461 / SLES-10461
1998 Amazing Interplay  
2xCD-ROM
XNA 0 40421 00084 5 SLUS-00696 / SLUS-00741
1998 Amazing Ocean  
2xCD-ROM
FR 3 546430 002568 SLES-00462 / SLES-10462
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i'd never had fond memories of this one coz it was always so frustrating and janky that i never got very far in it as a kid, but revisiting it using an emulator with saved states and a rewind feature reveals it to be a much better game than i remember.

it's still not perfect: the 15fps fmvs are still hugely regrettable on multiple levels, the endless hordes of shadow creatures (while memorable) do not make for well-balanced or satisfying combat encounters, and the increasingly action-oriented latter half of the game is generally less successful than the earlier puzzle-focused stages.

but it is a beautiful, atmospheric adventure, with incredible attention to detail and some of the finest 2d sprite animation i've ever seen. the swamp level, though very brief, is especially memorable, with its writhing black serpents darting in and out of sight in the murky water; their jaws snapping and hissing in firefly-lit caverns. the swamp (and the game in general) feels alive with a sense of real threat that is not easily come by in games -- least of all those nominally for "all ages".

it also feels more mechanically accomplished than i gave it credit for. the initially cumbersome controls are actually pretty solid and responsive when you get used to them, as well as surprisingly forgiving (you cannot walk off ledges if you only tap the d-pad, for example), and the aforementioned green-eyed shadow people are able to transition between various different behaviours and movement styles with a seamlessness i thought was impressive even today.

there's a lot to like about heart of darkness, and it's a shame that its harsh difficulty, made more frustrating by the technical limitations of the time, prevented people from experiencing them on release.
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Great visuals, sound and production values, poor gameplay. Heart of Darkness is a frustrating exercise in trial-and-error, often requiring precision inputs or obscure actions, and having to replay scenes over and over damages its cinematic impact.
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ColdVein 2022-06-19T06:58:23Z
2022-06-19T06:58:23Z
2.0
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Literally changed my life when I was a kid. Surprisingly dark and violent for what is technically a kid's game, it's a weird and surreal journey. My rating also contains a ton of nostalgia, but I can't help but love my memories with this game.
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OJR666 2022-03-05T22:10:40Z
2022-03-05T22:10:40Z
4.5
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Catalog

LocoJake Heart of Darkness 2024-04-08T20:58:24Z
2024-04-08T20:58:24Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thm_yrk12 Heart of Darkness 2024-04-06T03:12:55Z
2024-04-06T03:12:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RikuNeto Heart of Darkness 2024-03-17T16:36:20Z
2024-03-17T16:36:20Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Heart of Darkness 2024-03-14T07:36:49Z
2024-03-14T07:36:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Helyion Heart of Darkness 2024-03-02T20:31:11Z
2024-03-02T20:31:11Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gshdgsdh Heart of Darkness 2024-02-19T13:04:11Z
2024-02-19T13:04:11Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
netbol Heart of Darkness 2024-02-12T13:34:26Z
2024-02-12T13:34:26Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Guitar_Lamb Heart of Darkness 2024-01-25T17:27:13Z
2024-01-25T17:27:13Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cronoclone Heart of Darkness 2024-01-22T04:42:11Z
PS1 • XNA
2024-01-22T04:42:11Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Giann96 Heart of Darkness 2024-01-21T00:29:59Z
PS1 • XNA
2024-01-21T00:29:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ArcanaNoctis Heart of Darkness 2024-01-20T19:59:38Z
2024-01-20T19:59:38Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
buddysnatcher Heart of Darkness 2024-01-19T16:59:32Z
2024-01-19T16:59:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
2x CD-ROM

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  • dansteele 2021-08-02 13:46:16.423348+00
    Some good old janky entertaining crap from the PS1.
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  • NickShutter 2022-04-22 05:25:26.284026+00
    Craziest E-rated game
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  • lowplacelikehome 2023-08-07 23:05:35.725619+00
    proto soulslike
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  • Octowen 2023-09-16 04:20:43.202673+00
    How the hell did this get an E rating?
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