The Thing was released in 2002 and serves a direct-sequel to the 1982 John Carpenter film of the same name. Developed by Computer Artworks and published by Vivendi Universal Games, The Thing took fans of the classic horror movie on a claustrophobic roller coaster ride that, despite a few bugs and issues with the game’s NPC interaction system, was a blast.
The game takes place a short while after the events of the film, with Outpost 31 lying mostly in charred ruins, and tasks the player with leading a US military rescue team to survey the site and find out what exactly happened to the outpost’s 12-man crew… (cont.)
(cont.) It was presented as a third-person shooter that, for 2002, had some very well-crafted visuals which really brought the game’s arctic environments to life. The game’s first level allows the player to directly explore Outpost 31 and is an absolutely treat for fans of the film. Of course, over the span of the game things go terribly wrong and the titular organism is again in danger of spreading to the entire planet. The only one between it and the general population: You. Oh, and possibly R.J. Macready who may or may not have been hiding out the entire time.
This game worked very well on the level of being claustrophobic. Its narrow hallways and intimate interiors really added to the sense of fear – fear not only of fighting the creatures themselves but also that your teammates might at any moment begin turning… The game’s fear/trust/infection system, when it worked, made keeping your squad’s trust levels high an absolute priority, as if you did not, your squad could do anything from run away to hide or even commit suicide!
Unfortunately, the fear/trust/infection system did not always work well, which had some very bizarre effects on your squadmates – often times making it easier just to off everyone you met. Problem with this system is that often times to gain access to locked doors and accomplish other goals was they you would have to team up with engineers you happened across.
The Thing has some very low system requirements by today’s standards and I doubt you could get it effectively running on a Windows Vista or 7 system at all. However, if you can get the Xbox version of the game and still have a system to play it on I highly recommend it – especially now during the scary season!