From Ben Leffler of Australia comes this dark and foreboding tale of the macabre that will surely send chills down your spine. One part Flash point-and-click adventure and one part interactive narrative, Exmortis 2 is the sequel to the 2004 game of the same name. It continues the story one year after the events of the first tale came to fruition.
If you haven't played the first Exmortis game, you may wish to play that one before continuing here, as the rest of this review may spoil the experience.
In the first game, you play as a man who wakes up in the woods without any recollection of how he arrived there. He makes it to a nearby abandoned house for shelter only to discover it is filled with dismembered bodies and blood all around. The house also appears to be haunted by evil spirits, which you learn are the Exmortis. Additional information uncovered tells of their leader, Lord Vlaew, a powerful being that once ruled over Earth but has since been banished for eternity to the spirit realm.
Over time you learn that these evil spirits desire a return to their former selves and therefore must kill five (5) innocent souls and mark the bodies with the symbols of the Exmortis to do so. They also need a soul-bearing human to become "The Hand," one whom must act as a bridge between realms for the Exmortis to pass. You realize at the end that you are the Hand, and have just played an important role in opening the gates and unleashing the Exmortis to wage their war against humanity for control of all the Earth.
A year has passed since that ill-fated day and billions have been slaughtered at the hand of the Exmortis as the horde swept across the Earth covering it in a crimson hue. Only one survivor remains: you. And as you flee the scene of the last devastating raid by the Exmortis, a dark figure passing in the distance follows and puts his plans in motion.
Analysis: Ben has created a feast for the senses, wrapping commercial-quality audio and visuals around a well-developed story to produce an immersing and entertaining interactive narrative. And it's an amazing feat for a single Flash developer. I especially enjoyed the attention to detail in the story elements that appeared at various points throughout the game within the many pages of a diary, newspaper clippings, and other written works. Although reading the story elements is not necessary to complete the game, the entire game play experience is indeed enhanced by Ben's excellent narrative. Also noteworthy is Ben's implementation of chapter checkpoints that the player returns to if a mission is failed while playing the game. Never was I set back far enough to make the experience feel frustrating at all. Overall the game is an excellent example of good interactive design.
If you get stuck there is already an Exmortis 2 walkthrough available, written by Ben himself.