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Dark Fall II: Lights Out PC CD-ROM

Published by The Adventure Company
Developed by XXV Productions
Release Date: Out Now
Price : £19.99

It's not often we get creepy adventure games to review but that's exactly what Dark Fall II: Lights Out is. The game begins in the Cornish harbour town of Trewarthen. You'll play a young cartographer who is sent to Trewarthen to create scaled maps of the area and coastline. What should be an idyllic job just doesn't feel right as the local population seem hostile to your presence. The task you have been set also seems odd as the detailed maps you've been asked to do by the Royal Academy have already been done, in detail, several times before. When the light goes out on the nearby Fetch Rock Lighthouse you're asked to go and investigate. Fetch Rock Lighthouse is no ordinary lighthouse though and it hides a dark secret. In fact it's been responsible for many deaths. The game is a tense and chilling thriller that should have been a must for adventure fans.

I finished off the introduction by saying the game 'should have been a must for adventure fans.' However there's one big problem with Dark Fall: Lights Out as far as deaf gamers are concerned and that is that the game is not subtitled. When a game is not subtitled it's not always a complete disaster but when the game in question is an adventure game then it pretty much kills any chance of deaf gamers being able to enjoy the game. All speech within the game is not subtitled. You don't just miss out on the games story but you'll also miss orders you are given. Very early in the game, when you're in the Harbour, there is a voice from behind a door calling you to come to them. Deaf gamers would be completely unaware of this as there is no visual indication that a voice is calling them. Of course by clicking on everything you can (signified by a magnifying glass icon) you would eventually open the door and come face to face with the man but even then you still would not be able to understand what he's asking you to do. Only your conversation choices are shown in text. The only way you have a chance of playing the game is to play through with a walkthrough and in my opinion there's no point in buying an adventure game if you're not enjoying it yourself, without having to read how someone else has played it.

Graphically the game looks OK and is probably what you'd expect from a cut-price adventure title. The game is one of the many that have imitated the Myst style where you don't see your character and instead have a first person view. There's no 360 degree mouse look here though and the game has the picture postcard feel to it where you seem to go from one static screen to another. There are some animations in the game but not a great deal. That said though there doesn't need to be and the look of the game manages to fill you with fear right from the beginning. The major plus here is that you'll only need a low specification PC to play the game without any performance issues, which is refreshing in this day and age.

Ultimately Dark Fall II: Lights Out is a disaster for deaf gamers. It's one of those games where to put a rating on it would be unfair because it's just not suitable for deaf gamers. As we mentioned earlier you could just play the game with a walkthrough but that's just a waste of time and money. In fact you may as well simply read a walkthrough and save your money. Maybe subtitles could be added by the use of a patch and should that happen then we would be happy to re-review the game but as it stands it's just of no use for deaf gamers and the game should be avoided.

Overall Game Rating: Not Rated
A blood curdling adventure that's simply not for deaf gamers.

Deaf Gamers comment:
Without subtitles it's not possible for deaf gamers to play Dark Fall II unless you're playing the game from a walkthrough.