May 31, 2013CM starts out quite promising. A survival horror game on an original setting and novel mechanics, but on its way it breaks down horribly.
You play Eric Simmons, star mountaineer going to the Chomolonzo a sacred mountain in Tibet to look for your missing brother. On your way up, you'll explore Buddhist monasteries and the mountain itself, which as the title suggest has some supernatural stuff going.
The graphics are functional but primitive, PS2-esque. But their general ugliness do add to the atmosphere. The 'cutscenes' are little more than slideshows, clearly the team was working to a tight budget. They tried their best, but after a while, they feel too simplistic, you won't be looking forward to the next plot development.
The main game mechanic revolves around fighting ghosts with your enchanted pickaxe (seriously). And this is where things begin to fall appart. The fighting is slow, broken and tedious. The novelty of dispatching enemies with waving spells wears out quickly.
Level design is extremely basic. Progress is strictly linear, there's plenty of scenery, but you're always on an invisible tunnel. So the game boils down to walk forward and kill ghosts. That's it. There is no strategy exploration or progress. Enemies become faster and more numerous (you'll start to wonder how many people died there, as it makes next to no sense).
The final third of the game is a textbook example of bad design, an exercise on boredom. You'll climb numerous vertical walls (which consist on pushing the stick forward and watching Eric slowly inch his way up) and dispatch waves of repetitive ghosts. Even the atmosphere breaks down as the supposedly unexplored landscape is littered with buddhist structures
Then there's the final boss, an unbearably slow, clunky battle, which forces you down the mountain to fight ghosts again every time you fail (and you will, many times, unless you remember something they told you many hours earlier).
Final word: Avoid.… Expand
Eric has to find his brother. There's nothing more for him, just the fearless phantom figures that follow him all his way up to the Himalaya's mountain. Deep Silver had made one of their greatest games so far, with a very interesting storyline mixed with an even more interesting graphic engine. There's nothing to lose in here; it's a must-have for all terror-lovers that are looking forward to buy a good adventure for their favourite console.