Rise of Nightmares can be described as the younger brother to the House of the Dead series. A take on an arcady game but with the functionality of the Kinect. Taking on a survival horror story, the game will try to engage while scaring the crap out of you in the process. The problem is mostly in the use and execution of the Kinect itself which holds it back.
What you first notice about the game is how violent it is. It is the first mature rated title on the Kinect and it doesn’t hold back. You play a character named Josh which is vacationing in Eastern Europe with his wife. She gets kidnapped by a mad scientist or really just a serial killer and you have to try to save her. Many of the things you encounter will be creatures, undead and traps but surprisingly your biggest enemy will be yourself. The game can get very physical in which you will be running, ducking, attacking and navigating to get through the game.
It’s safe to say that this is the first Kinect game to allow you to fully roam an environment with no controller. The motion gestures you will do are pretty accurate but is amazing how sometimes walking around is an issue in itself. Funny thing is the game features an auto walk for when/if your feeling tired which seems to come in use nearly right away.
In some areas the game does a good job of scaring you with undead monsters walking/running at you in a very creepy manner. With no real force feedback from the lack of a controller and having to be at a distance because of the Kinect your engagement is hindered because of it. Not to mention the story doesn’t do much for the game.
Rise of Nitemares could put a chilling scare into anyone but the exhausting motion controllers and bad story do a number on you. There are some good ideas and even things the game does right. It works but feels tedious pretty quickly and with nothing really holding it together it becomes short lived.