Clock Tower 3

Review

posted 5/27/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
I’m not ashamed to admit it, Eternal Darkness gave me the creeps. I put the game down after that horrifying bathtub sequence and never revisited the game again. I admit it, I’m a complete sissy when it comes to horror movies and games but there’s something different about Clock Tower 3. There’s something about it that made me want to wade through all of the creepy imagery and stick with it until the very end.

The game casts you as Alyssa, a British boarding school attendee who looks strikingly similar to the Japanese schoolgirls that all of the old Japanese men lust over. At the onset of the adventure she receives a letter from her mother that tells her to stay as far away from the family home as possible. All of us were teenagers at one time or another so you can probably guess that the first thing she does is defies her mother and returns to the family estate. As any good horror fan can attest, this is never a good thing.

When she enters her home she finds a mysterious stranger in the dining room. Suddenly he grabs her and just when it looks like he’s about to harm her he lets her go and makes his way upstairs. She’s frightened but apparently logic isn’t her strongpoint because instead of hightailing it the hell out of there, she decides to explore the family home and follow the strange man upstairs. Apparently Alyssa isn’t a big fan of horror movies because the next thing she does is gets down on her hands and knees and enters the all too common hidden passage that she never noticed in her household. After a bit of rummaging and searching she gets thrown into a strange passageway that serves as a time portal of sorts. There’s a brilliant flash of light and Alyssa is transported back to 1940s London set to the backdrop of WWII. Expanding upon more of the story would spoil it for anyone looking to purchase the game but I will say that story takes you all the way from the past until present day 2003 London. Think of it as Bill & Ted but instead of populating the game with lame “heavy metal!” jokes, you get to witness the most gruesome deaths to ever appear in a video game. Prepare to put that therapist on speed dial kids, you’re going to need it.

As you may have been able to guess the story is definitely Clock Tower 3’s strongpoint. It unfurls at such a pace as to keep you informed about what’s going on while not revealing too much at all once. The pacing is just excellent as an air of suspense strikes you whenever you need to enter a new room or approach a blind corner. The game will keep you on your toes, making you wonder what lies around the next corner. It’s a great story that will keep you glued to the TV screen for hours, it’s just a shame that the game is so painfully short. Then again, isn’t one of the qualities of a good story that it always leaves you wanting more?
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