Giannos Romar: Born 1814, he travels to Japan and is schooled in the traditional Japanese martial arts. He undergoes vampire baptism at age 24, and hunted and haunted he flees. With the ability to transform into a crow, he has stalked the streets and sewers for more than 100 years, on a never ending bloodhunt.
Eric Koplot: A lunatic vampire, he has escaped from numerous psychiatric institutions, and now takes refuge in a coffin in a basement. His origins are unknown, even to him. Feeding is not enough for Eric; dismemberment and butchery follow each kill. A bat is his transformation.
Erevos: The "deep darkness", born of the Inquisition, sworn to cleanse the earth of the vampire.
A grainy black and white video plays. Two hooded and masked gunmen prowl the woods. They are looking for something. They find a secret lair, then blood. Then a doll, then... The vision is all wrong and the doll is dragged away.
It is 5 minutes past midnight, July 4 1936. You/Eric/Giannos awaken from a 2 day torpor. You have a thirst you must quench, not with water but with blood. You need to go into the city and feed.
So starts Erevos.
From a small Greek outfit, this short-ish piece is hit and miss, but if vampires are your thing then a hunt of your own might be in order.
The grisliness of the vampire hunger. Nothing romantic or sentimental here. Friends can be food, babies can be bartered for information. In the end, everything is secondary to the bloodhunt.
The music. Original compositions, moody and piercing. Quite stunning. Set pieces for scenes and characters, full songs in nightclubs. "Dollface", "Whispers", "Roxanne the Shy". Plus a little Beethoven. All on a companion music disc.
The opening video sequence, which demands the lights off and the headphones turned up. Do not skip it (when asked) under any circumstances.
The transformations, which add another dimension to the puzzle solving.
The occasional playing as another character within the game, which brings further transformations to the game play. The maternity ward chapter is the pick.
The little vampire gag if you try and play when you shouldn't.
The save game design. There are 9 self contained chapters, and the game autosaves at the end of each one. They are reasonably short but there is no saving as you go.
The dying. It's a game of revenge, of hunting and feeding, so death should occur. Except the game dumps you back to the desktop, and you have to get back in again.
The start-up. I don't know if it was a glitch, but starting the game triggered the usual company promo guff, then presented a screen warning me of graphic violence etc. Clicking that screen started the promo guff all over again, then I got the menu screen, then it would load, then I could play. Annoying.
The fanfare. Talk about mismatched. Cheesy, brassy, trumpety. Intrudes twice when starting the game (see above) and once within the game.
All of the above combined. Because when you think about them, they all occur together, turning what might otherwise be minor annoyances into a major pain.
The St. Vitus dance done by the characters when having conversations. They are live action stills in little jerky loops.
All dialogue is in subtitle, no spoken word. Which was slightly odd but given the calibre of the music I didn't really notice.
You can die by the hand of Erevos, or from lack of feeding. A beaker keeps track of your diminishing blood level. In that respect each chapter is "timed" but there was plenty of fresh meat around and plenty of time, so this aspect shouldn't really be a problem.
The puzzles are not terribly difficult. They are contained to the chapter, and generally involve finding and using items in the correct way. Some involve some lateral thinking, including transformation to get past obstacles; bats can get where Eric cannot. A few involve deciphering codes and the like, but the relevant information is close at hand.
You can choose to play as Eric or Giannos, but only in one chapter is there any difference.
The end leaves a bit to be desired. It doesn't really go anywhere, or come from what went before. Perhaps I missed the point. And the characterisation, in fact the story as a whole, is a bit flat and one-dimensional.
It's all mouse driven, cursors and directional arrows indicating where to go and things to pick up or look at. There is no cursor indicating that an action can occur, but it is a fair bet that a close up means something can be done. You can look at and manipulate items in your inventory as well.
Some of the images might be off-putting to some players, as might some of the incidents. I thought the bloody images were a little too overdone to be frightening or disturbing.
It's suitably muted in colour and setting. Scenes are on the whole quite static, occasional cutscenes and animations providing the ?action?. The scenes are quite nicely constructed and sharp in their detail, though less complex than current gaming standards.
The videos are somewhat grainy, which clearly was intentional given the atmosphere the game was trying to convey.
You can do a large or small install, 644 MB being the large one. Apart from the start up sequence described above Erevos played flawlessly. There was no manual, but the help screens told you everything you needed to know - except about the little playtime gag.
One for vampire fans. Which you know means me.
Copyright © Steve Ramsey 2004.
All rights reserved.
Pentium 133 MMX, 32 MB RAM (64 MB recommended), 8x CD ROM (24x recommended), VGA card, Monitor capable of 1024x768 display resolution, 644 MB hard drive space.