ObsCure is a survival horror game developed by Hydravision Entertainment and published by DreamCatcher Interactive for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox on October 1, 2004 in Europe, and April 6, 2005 in North America. It was later published by Ubisoft in China and by MC2-Microids in other territories. The Microsoft Windows port was released in 2005.
The story focuses on five senior high students of a private high school who stumble upon a laboratory where experiments are being done on the selected individuals of the student body. Their mission is to rescue Kenny, warn the school, save their teachers, and get out alive.
The story begins with Kenny Matthews, a jock and popular school basketball player, staying late in the gym to shoot some hoops. Ashley Thompson, Kenny's girlfriend, calls him and diverts his attention from the mysterious figure running off with his gym bag. When he's finished, he notices his bag is gone and goes to find it. He is led behind an iron gate leading to an old mansion. In the basement, he finds a secret passageway that leads to an underground corridor. As he walks further down under the mansion, he discovers glass cases with plants and other experimental subjects. He opens a seal locked door at the end of the hall to find Dan, a student who has been used as a guinea pig for the experiments and locked in the underground lab. Kenny convinces Dan to leave with him. Upon re-entering the corridor, they are attacked by a giant mutated creature. Dan gives his life to allow Kenny to escape. Hurrying up the ladder at the end of the corridor, Kenny is locked in by the mysterious figure.
The next day, Ashley informs Kenny's sister Shannon Matthews that he stood her up the other night. Shannon states that Kenny didn't come home either. Both girls concur that Kenny must be in trouble and they need to find a way to aide him. They visit Josh Carter, the school videographer and would-be detective, to ask him if he knows of Kenny's whereabouts. He does not, but suggests that they stay after school to look for him.
After everyone has left and all the doors are locked, they begin their investigation. First they go looking for the principal at his office in the classroom wing of the school. They find Stan Jones, the school stoner and slack student, if he knows where Kenny is. He does not, but upon hearing Kenny's missing, decides to join them in their search. When they enter the principal's office, they are attacked by a dog-like creature. This is new to Stan and Ashley, but not to Josh and Shannon, who encountered them earlier, where their Biology teacher Denny Walden showed them that the creatures react harshly to light.
In the principal Herbert Friedman's office, they discover that he has a twin brother Leonard Friedman. They also find a note informing the janitor that Herbert is in his office at the school library. Upon meeting him in the library, the four inform Herbert of the monsters plaguing the campus and of Kenny's disappearance. He then informs them that he will find Kenny and that they should leave immediately. He tells them to speak with Mr. Garrison, the school janitor, to let them out. When they visit the janitor, he has been ripped apart and is in a bloody heap on the floor. Josh takes the liberty of watching security tapes in his office. Josh finds out that Kenny is trapped behind bars in some unknown location, and that Elisabeth Lucy Wickson, the school nurse, is trapped in the nurse's office. They travel through the cafeteria wing to get to her and get some answers.
When they find Nurse Wicson, she appears to be out of her mind. However, in her mindless babble, she reveals that Herbert has been doing something "unsafe". The four then make their way to the opposite end of the campus. In the school amphitheater, they find class pictures spanning decades on the wall. In each one, principal Friedman appears to be the same age. They fire up the theater screen and watch the tape that's inside the player. It reveals the Friedman brothers doing tests on human subjects and the subjects mutating into monsters. It also shows Leonard Friedman injecting himself and watching the skin on his face rapidly changing into something grotesque. They make their way by service elevator to the underground corridor and labs. They search and find Kenny in the lab holding cells. Upon walking in, principal Friedman unleashes a toxin, rendering them all unconscious.
When they wake, they're all in behind bars. Stan discovers a metal hook left in his cell by the back wall. He hands it to Kenny, who reaches the circuit breaker and pulls on the cords, unlocking the cell doors. Kenny then informs them that they have been injected with a serum, and if they are exposed to light for too long, they will mutate. The five then fight their way to the surface and back to campus, where it is now the dead of night. They venture into the student dorm rooms where they find a safe that gives instructions to be opened to take down Herbert Friedman. They open it, and find a mountain of data compiled by Dan, and revealing the dirty secrets about the Friedman brothers. It reveals that they both were scientists born in the 1900's. They went to third world countries in search of a rare plant that, if correctly manipulated, would become an anti-aging serum. They needed to know if it worked, so Herbert tested in on himself and his wife Elisabeth Lucy Wickson, and it worked, keeping them the same age indefinitely. However, when Leonard injected himself with the serum, he became a monster. Herbert then founded Leafmore High School, and built a lab beneath it. He and Nurse Wicson would thieve students of the school and perform tests in order to find a cure for Leonard.
Knowing this, the five venture back down underground and find a massive door, sealed tightly. In Dan's notes, however, he outlined a machine that he believed powered the door's mechanics. The five then locate and start the machine, resulting in the opening of the door. When the five arrive at the opening, they witness Principal Friedman there with a briefcase being threatened at gunpoint by Denny Walden. Herbert exclaims that the antidote (the contents of the briefcase) would not save Mr. Walden because his infection was already evolved to the state of no return. Denny then shoots him, opens the briefcase, and injects himself with the antidote. A large tentacle then spears through his chest and throws him across the room, ending his life. The five are left to fight the Leonard Friedman monster. In doing so, they cause the ceiling to collapse on top of him. They resurface back in the school gym and they all inject themselves with antidote, saving their lives. The Leonard monster then surfaces for another round. Day breaks, sunlight beams into the gym, killing the Leonard monster for good.
While Kenny and Ashley make up, and Josh and Shannon take a breather, Stan recovers the briefcase. While bending down to get it, the Denny Walden monster rises above to attack. Stan jumps back and pierces its head with a bullet.
ObsCure's most notable feature is the two-player cooperative mode that allows the player to complete the campaign with a friend. ObsCure also allows players to combine items, for example taping a flashlight to any firearm. Some critics, including the review show X-Play, have stated that this was the only redeeming quality, and mocked id's Doom 3 for not implementing such a concept.
The game is a third person horror game, similar to the original 3 Resident Evil games, and Silent Hill 1,2,3 and 4.
ObsCure gives players the ability to control and switch between any of five playable characters on the fly. Given that he or she will be playing in pairs of characters, the other characters will be computer-controlled A.I., or a second player can join in and take over for the computer at any time. Choices of characters includes:
- Josh Carter (voiced by Sam Riegel) - A shy and reserved reporter for the school paper. He can tell if there's anything left to do in an area, such as items to pick up, or locations that advance the storyline. First received after the opening scenario involving Kenny. It is known that he survives the events of ObsCure, and start studying at the University Cherrilty to go missing by the time of the second game. A hidden video in ObsCure II shows from the perspective of what is believed to be his camera, visiting the ruins of Leafmore High only to have him and Ashley both presumably killed or captured by Leonard's mutant son. Josh is also attracted to Shannon, which is shown in the end when the two embrace. It is not required for him to live to be canon with ObsCure II.
- Stanley Jones (voiced by Scott Haze) - A stoner and a slack student at the school, good friends with Josh and Kenny. The only problems that he had in school is being a thief and hacker in computers. He is able to crack locks easier. With more skill, he can break into rooms as well. First received when entering the bottom left building on the map. He survives the events of ObsCure and ObsCure II. It is required he survives the events of Obscure to be canon with ObsCure II.
- Kenny Matthews (voiced by Michael Sinterniklaas - He is the varsity athlete, and Shannon's older brother, who is blessed with quick speed and a powerful punch. First received at the beginning. He survives the events of Obscure. In the second game, he is a playable character for a short time, until he turns into a powerful mutated monster with huge arms. He gets killed by Shannon and Stan at the end. It is required he survives the events of ObsCure to be canon with ObsCure II.
- Shannon Matthews (voiced by Stephanie Sheh) - Kenny's smart younger sister. Shannon dresses provocatively to take the focus away from her intelligence. She provides tips on puzzles and heals other's wounds for them. First received after the opening scenario involving Kenny. She survives the events of ObsCure and ObsCure II. She is able to heal 20% more with a normal health item. It is required that she lives to make the game Canon with ObsCure II.
- Ashley Thompson (voiced by Tara Platt) - She is a cheerleader, and is also Kenny's girlfriend. She has the ability to rapid-fire a pistol, and deals more damage with most weapons. First received after the opening scenario involving Kenny. She survives the events of ObsCure and starts studying at the University Cherrilty only to go missing (presumably dead or captured) before the events of ObsCure II, going with Josh to investigate the partially destroyed ruins of Leafmore High and suddenly getting attacked in the process. She is mentioned in ObsCure II and a picture of the group is shown with both her and Josh. She possibly dies in ObsCure II. It is not required for her to live for the game to be canon with ObsCure II.
- Dan - A student that was held in a prison and is playable when Kenny saves him, however he cannot help the player for long as he immediately gets killed when escaping a mutated experiment. He will appear again in the game clips as a fully mutated experiment. He does not survive the events of ObsCure.
While each of these abilities sounds useful, none of them are necessary to complete the game. Each character can perform the same physical acts even if it takes some characters longer and/or more effort than others. The puzzles generally aren't taxing enough to require much help, and if any teen cast members should die during the adventure, the player may simply continue on with those remaining.
- Denny Walden: A biology teacher of Leafmore High. He appears several times; sometimes offering help, other times obstructing the main characters in a frantic manner. The player later discovers this is due to him recently obtaining knowledge of his employer's actions.
- Ms. Elisabeth Lucy Wickson: The nurse of Leafmore High. There is more to her than there appears to be. Apparently, she has seemingly been involved in the Friedman plans to some extent. She later helps the survivors out by telling them where the cure is and she dies.
- Herbert Friedman: The principal of Leafmore High. A former scientist and co-founder of Leafmore High. Herbert and his brother Leonard discovered a plant in their expeditions that had a possibility to regenerate cells indefinitely. Lacking the proper funds and test subjects, they instead found a school and perform secret experiments in a lab beneath it. A rash of student disappearances start. He is over 100 years old.
- Leonard Friedman: The twin of Herbert and cofounder of Leafmore High. He is the first person to be mutated by the spores of the plant he and his brother discovered, as is shown in a reel of film recovered by the students. His brother then seeks to find a cure for him through experimentation. Herbert's last words to Leonard are "Leonard, forgive me... I almost found the formula. I almost did it..."
- Mr. Garrison: The school janitor of Leafmore High who was apparently an ex-police officer. He locks the player into a room at the beginning without realizing he or she is there and later on has an interesting run-in with some monsters. Later on in the game when you go into the janitor's room, you will find Mr. Garrison ripped open on the floor. He does not survive the events of ObsCure.
24 tracks, written and produced by Olivier Derivière.
- Main Titles
- Empty School
- Something Hidden
- First Ones
- Blowing Up a Wall
- Being Surrounded
- Herbert Friedman
- Who is Herbert?
- Wickson, the Nurse
- Infested Place
- Give Us Eternity
- The First Queen
- Pure Suite
- Wickson and Leonard
- The Second Queen
- Gardener's Story
- Herbert's Secret Office
- Old Movie
- Friedman's Place
- Finding Leo
- Final Fight
- Leonard's Death
- End Titles
- "Baby's Come Back" performed by Span, but by mistake, the song in the Bonus Menu is "Don't Think The Way They Do" performed also by Span
In the German version there were many songs from Sportfreunde Stiller. The Spanish version of the game features the song Supersonica performed by Dawholeenchilada for its ending credits. The music video for the song is unlockable as a bonus for completing the game. The French version of the game features the song Cinglés performed by Enhancer for its ending credits. The music video for the song is unlockable as a bonus for completing the game.
Spanish Version: The Spanish version of the game features the song Supersonica performed by Dawholeenchilada for its ending credits. The music video for the song is unlockable as a bonus for completing the game.
French Version: The French version of the game features the song Cinglés performed by Enhancer for its ending credits. The music video for the song is unlockable as a bonus for completing the game.
Obscure recieved mixed to positive reviews from critcs. However, many critics praised the Co Op component saying that it is what Resident Evil should have been, although Resident Evil Outbreak was released around the same time, but did not contain an offline multiplayer component. Future Resident Evil games however, would obtain 2 player and online play. Obscure 2 also featured 2 player, and Obscure 2013 will feature both Online and offline 2 player mode.