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Psycho Killer (video game)

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Psycho Killer
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Cover art
Developer(s)Delta 4
Publisher(s)On-Line Entertainment
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Platform(s)Commodore CDTV, MS-DOS
Release1992 (CDTV) and 1993 (MS-DOS).
Genre(s)Action-adventure, graphic adventure
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Psycho Killer is a graphic action-adventure game, developed by Delta 4[1] and released by On-Line Entertainment in 1992.[2] The game involves an unnamed protagonist going on a quest in order to save a woman from a murderer, and to save himself.

The game was released on two systems: The Commodore CDTV[2] and MS-DOS.[1] The first one to be released is the CDTV version, which was released in 1992.[2] The MS-DOS version was released the year after.[1]

The game was unanimously panned by magazines, citing slow gameplay, and comparing it to a "interactive home video".[3][4]

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay of Psycho Killer is restricted to a point-and-click interface, such as clicking certain arrows to go their respective direction.[3] There are multiple times in the game where the player must act accordingly in a time frame in order to proceed to the next scene.[4] Failure to do so can result in the game prematurely ending, with the protagonist's death.[3][4]

Plot[edit]

File:Psycho Killer screenshot.png
The first out of many quick-time events in Psycho Killer. In order to proceed, the player must click the brake with the mouse button in order stop the car. If the player fails in doing this in time the protagonist drives into the idle car, making it explode, triggering a game over.

The game beings with an intro showcasing the girl captured later in the game. She is driving in the woods until the killer waves her down, signalling her to stop, the girl leaves her car in the middle of the road, which is the reason for the first quick-time event in the game.[3] The killer insists that she follows him into the woods. The intro ends with the killer revealing his concealed knife.

Gameplay begins with the protagonist driving his car during a snowy October day. He sees a car in front of the road and investigates. He hears a scream from the woman featured in the intro. The protagonist goes into the woods, in order to investigate. The protagonist is then confronted by the killer, wielding a machete. In response, the protagonist kicks the killer in the face. The killer drops his machete, and runs off. The protagonist grabs the machete, and pursues him through the woods. He does this until the killer threatens the protagonist with a Molotov cocktail. In response, the protagonist uses the machete to make the killer drop the cocktail. The protagonist drops the machete, and the fire produced by the Molotov cocktail is too fierce to retrieve the machete. The protagonist runs away from the killer. The protagonist does this until he descends onto a train station and onto a platform. He then sees the killer and leaves the platform and then runs into the woods once again. The protagonist begins to run through the forest, whilst wondering where the killer's whereabouts are. The protagonist then picks up a branch from a fallen tree in order to catch the killer, whose name is Morgan. The protagonist then descends onto a jetty, where the killer is seen with the woman from the beginning. The protagonist disarms the killer, and throws him into the lake with the branch, killing him. The game showcases a front page of a newspaper where the headline is "Local Man Saves Girl, Kills Killer". The narrator discusses on how whilst the killer, according to the newspapers, was killed. They never actually did find the body of the killer. The game ends with the end credits accompanied by music produced by a saxophone.

There are multiple endings to the game. Most of these endings result in death, by means of failing to respond promptly to a quick time event. One of these such endings can be obtained in the beginning, when the protagonist has to brake in order to colliding with the car. This is obtained by clicking the brake with the mouse. Failure to do so will end up in the protagonist colliding with the car, making it explode, killing the protagonist. The other endings involving the protagonist's death can be obtained in the same way. In these endings involving death, after the actual death. A graveyard is shown, with the protagonist stating that "Now my name is carved in stone. The ground is my eternal home."

Production[edit]

Psycho Killer was filmed in the suburbs on London,[3][4] and the method of filming was through digitised still photographs.[3] Both the protagonist and the woman kidnapped in the game drive Vauxhall Chevettes during the game.[3][4]

Reception[edit]

Lua error in Module:Video_game_wikidata at line 361: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). Psycho Killer was nearly unanimously panned by the magazine critics at the time.[3][4][5][6] In its is 32th issue, Amiga Format gave the game a 13% and stated that the game featured "poor gameplay",[3] and compared it to a "interactive home movie".[3] The magazine also questioned about who would want to play a game featuring a "spotty herbert who drives a Vauxhall Chevette".[3] The game also reviewed again in the same magazine, in its 39th issue. The magazine gave it the same score,[4] and also complained about the poor game play,[4] and again, like the review a few months earlier, compared the game to a "interactive home movie".[4]

Amiga Joker, on the other hand, reviewed the game more positively. The magazine gave the game a 3/5,[5] stating that "With a little bit of goodwill, the game could be described as a interactive movie".[5] The magazine also claimed the game as a "Graphic Adventure".[5] It also claimed that it is an "Action Adventure" game as well.[5] The magazine also spoke about the entertainment factor whilst the player is hunting the killer.[5] The magazine ends the review by calling the game "the best pure CD game ever."[5]

Amiga Magazine, reviewed the game positively. However, it did not give it a score. The magazine spoke about the "forgiving reaction time".[6] The magazine also said how the game is well-tuned to the CDTV.[6] The magazine did speak negatively about the mouse pointer being black,[6] which made it during some scenes "impossible to see".[6]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Delta 4 Interactive (1993), Psycho Killer [MS-DOS], retrieved 2018-08-04
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 On-Line Entertainment Ltd. (1992), Psycho Killer [CDTV], retrieved 2018-08-04
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 "Psycho Killer". CD Games. Amiga Format. No. 32. March 1992. p. 27.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Noonan, Damien (October 1992). "Psycho Killer". Amiga CD Titles. Amiga Format. No. 39. pp. 38, 41.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Labiner, Michael; Löwenstein, Richard (October 1991). ""Psycho Killer"". Amiga Joker. pp. 58, 59.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 van Rijn, Lawrence (January–February 1993). van Die, Jan; et al., eds. "Psycho Killer". Amiga Magazine. No. 19. p. 89.


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