Kabus 22 ... Turkish Survival-Horror Game... Why have we never talked about it?

Dusk Golem

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#1


Okay... Why have I almost never heard about this game?

This is a 2006 Turkish PC horror game that had an updated re-release (mainly to add Windows 7 support) in 2012. I usually know things about even the most obscure horror games, but I knew very little about this title going in. Because I never heard other people talking about it, I just kind of always assume it was crap. The horror fanbase is dedicated, usually even the most niche titles have some sort of cult following. This one's almost non-existent. It's also never been talked about here on GAF.

It was apparently made by five people over the course of three years, and I find that highly surprising as i would actually say this is up there so far for the five hours I've played it as one of the best Resident Evil clones I've played. It doesn't seem like such a small team indie effort, either as a compliment or not, it legitimately feels like a better B-Tier survival horror game from the late 90s/early 2000s. Now, it doesn't match up to Resident Evil REmake or Silent Hill 2 or anything, but of the B-Tier horror games and clone games, this is actually one of the best in my opinion, so far at least.

I had it in my collection for at least a year, but decided to try it as I found out yesterday apparently the game was greenlit and is coming to Steam. As I found very little in terms of discussion or impressions on the title, I decided I'd play it to sort of give SteamGAF a heads-up of my thoughts on it whenever it came out.



Even though it's Turkish, it has an English and Turkish dub over and English subtitles. I went with English dub and sub, and can tell you my first impressions of the game is that the voice acting is cheesy and hilarious. Some lines are delivered as if the people are forcing their last breaths and choking on their words so they try and hurry the line and make it almost incoherent. A lot of the actors are also either monotonous or over-acting, or don't know anything about delivery. But for the genre I did end up enjoying it.

Also for being Turkish, it has the typical typos and weird grammar errors you might expect, not close to the worst I've seen, but they were definitely present. Also some of the text on the files was sometimes a bit hard to read.

Story has to do with a new cult rising to power and it leading to the end of the Apocalypse, which we find ourselves in as three different characters (who you switch between during story moments). Notably the main character looks and move suspiciously like Chris Redfield from Resident Evil 5 (just a bit less bulky), though this game came out 3 years earlier.

And I at first started out thinking it was pretty standard. The tank controls actually are not bad for a small-team effort, the locations are rather detailed for this sort of game old-school look to them), and as the game has gone on I've been impressed with the number of and variety of locations.



The first thing that stood out to me about the game was the enemies. There's a lot of them, in the five hours I've played the game I've so far have met eight unique enemies that all function very different, and they've been introduced at good pace. More than this, most of them are very unique for a fixed-camera horror game. There is no typical 'zombie' enemy, the 'basic' enemy are these weird long-armed flesh monsters that quickly turn invisible and pop up surrounding you. The second type of monster is this weird miniature shadow man that makes this ringing sound, who moves slowly and not really at you but can suddenly start running around insanely fast at a moments notice, and when he touches you the whole screen starts becoming staticy and your character starts to violently shake around like the creatures from Jacob's Ladder. They've been unique, and have continued to surprise (though not all are winners... The flying enemies on the island section can right fuck off as I have not figured out how to dodge their attack at all).

There's item collecting, back-tracking, puzzles, and it's mostly been enjoyable so far and not too tedious. No big brain teasers yet, but there's been some fun puzzles and they have been slowly escalating in difficulty.

The game also has scared me on a few occasions, in fact the amount of times it's startled me (while not cheaply most of the time), or made me do a double take on something has surprised me on how often it's happened in the five hours I've played so far.

The game also has a good habit so far of mixing things up when it's needed, having the different locations feel and work very differently, and having just small things that really add to the experience. Like right now I'm in this underground temple or something, and I'm collecting Stone Plates from rooms, but each room is very different where you get the stone plates are are strangely abstract and artistic. The sort of small changes between things and oddities that make games like this interesting.



It's not perfect, it's definitely got it's flaws. I somewhat regret playing on hard difficulty as there's a few sections I think I've enjoyed less because of it, there's a few times the camera has gotten in the way of me doing well, and one or two annoying sections, and there are a few elements that could be refined a bit more, but as a while I'm actually very impressed so far. I think it's a good entry for fans of the genre.

I'll post more, and a sort of more in-depth thought process on the game a bit later, but just kind of wanted to mention this game as I think this might be one of the most underlooked Resident Evil clones ever. Might be fixed when it comes to Steam, though.
 

Dusk Golem

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#3
That actually looks like a pretty sweet clone.

Another clone I somehow enjoyed back in the day was Chase The Express on PS1.
That's one I need to play, but do have in my collection. Might tackle in the near future.

This game's screens don't do it justice, a lot of it's elements don't really show unless you're playing or watching... Like, I had it in my head how I thought the game was going to work based on a single trailer that makes it look action packed and a handful of screens, but the actual game plays much differently. It's got some good pacing and surprises.
 

Dusk Golem

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#6
I played it when it came out. It was a fun throwback to old school RE.

The demo is a standalone minigame where you shoot a turret.
I'm kind of confused by this game's image. The cover, trailers, and the promo turret game make it out like the marketing really wanted to push this as some action game. But in my five hours of actually playing it, it's more Resident Evil than anything, there's an occasional action thing, like that ne section where you use the turret to take down those flying monsters, But most of it is item collecting, monster avoiding, puzzle solving, and backtracking.

Kabus means nightmare in Turkish (that's all I've to to add, sorry)
Still fun to know. Though not sure yet what Nightmare 22 is supposed to mean.
 

Dusk Golem

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#7

Dusk Golem

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#10
Yeah the trailer really makes it seem more like a Devil May Cry-type game instead of a RE-type. I'll try to check it out later.
Yup, and maybe it becomes like that later on, but first five hours in it's definitely a RE-clone.

I haven't met her, so I can't say how much like Ada she actually is.

But we do have 'Not-Chris'.



And 'Not-Leon'.

 

Dusk Golem

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#11
Finished the game. About 6-8 hours long first time through

Final Boss and Ending were disappointing, but on the flip side, the last level was actually pretty good. Had some unique factors and strong Silent Hill vibes in the final area. Also there were a few good scares through the game.

Overall, I'd say it's worth the $5 it'll cost when it comes to Steam. But you might want to not finish the game, final boss is frustrating on hard difficulty at least and the ending was super disappointing. You do get a rank at the end, though.

Two sections in the last third of the game took on a Devil May Cry tone as you control a different character who is all extreme and uses magic and such, which I actually didn't mind even if it was ridiculous.

Overall, I'd give it a 7/10, and a solid effort that felt much more rounded and better delivered in many cases than many of its horror B-Tier brethren.
 
Mar 18, 2013
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#13
Finished the game. About 6-8 hours long first time through

Final Boss and Ending were disappointing, but on the flip side, the last level was actually pretty good. Had some unique factors and strong Silent Hill vibes in the final area. Also there were a few good scares through the game.

Overall, I'd say it's worth the $5 it'll cost when it comes to Steam. But you might want to not finish the game, final boss is frustrating on hard difficulty at least and the ending was super disappointing. You do get a rank at the end, though.

Overall, I'd give it a 7/10, and a solid effort that felt much more rounded and better delivered in many cases than many of its horror B-Tier brethren.
Thanks for the heads up. This clone actually brings some good vibes. I was hoping this type of game would come back (in any way shape or resurrection). The Suffering, The Thing, etc.
The character's fighting style reminds me of Snake eater. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qE-oBn2G9cs
 

Dusk Golem

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#16


Kabus 22 is a 2006 Turkish survival-horror game that takes heavy inspiration from Resident Evil, Silent Hill, The Suffering, and Devil May Cry. It features the sort of things you'd expect from a game of the genre; fixed camera angles, tank controls, item collecting, back-tracking... But manages to mostly balance out it's elements with a real understanding of what made old-school horror games enjoyable... for the most part.

Kabus 22 follows three different characters through the course of its game, or as I like to call them, the 'Not-Resident-Evil-Force'. We have such memorable characters like 'Not-Ada'

And 'Not-Chris';

And 'Not-Leon';

the story is about a cult rising to power, as members of the cult start experiencing miracles of wealth, love, power... And soon want to overthrow the world government and abolish laws to live freely. And then a nightmare begins. The game features broken English (being of Turkish origin), and one of the worst English dubs I've heard in a long time. But it is hilarious most of the time.

Just listen to this beautiful 'Acting'. And if you can believe it, that's actually one of the better voiced scenes in the game.

Gameplay wise there's not much to describe, it plays basically how you'd expect it to play (outside of a weird decision where the character needs to take a full step forward when you just tap forward before you come to a stop). You move around like a tank, there's monsters, you either avoid them or shoot them down, limited supplies, you collect items and find where items go, and solve puzzles, all while surviving.

The monsters are fairly unique for the most part for a title like this though, and there's a good number of them that get introduced all the way through to the end of the game to prevent them from becoming too familiar or samey. Through the 6-8 hours it takes you to complete the game, there's about 14 different monsters you encounter, and many are quite unique for the genre. The first couple stand-out, the basic 'zombie' monster in this game actually teleports around, and the second monster you encounter it this small shadowy thing that makes a ringing noise, and when you run into it, it causes the screen to get all staticy and for your character to start shaking violently like somebody out of Jacob's Ladder. However, some of the later monsters presented to be pains in different areas.

There's limited supplies, but really they give you more than enough ammunition, yet very sparse healing items (at least on hard difficulty). Some enemies take a shit ton to take down though, and combating enemies usually comes down to knowing what weapons work best on what enemies, and when is the right time to run, or pause and reload (to not sit through the animation). Combat sometimes suffered from weird camera angles.

The puzzles were fun, but were rather easy for anyone with experience for the genre. They come at sporadic points and were entertaining and original enough, at least.

There's also a pretty well executed element I must mention of when switching between characters. In a move I thought was pretty cool, enemies you defeated with one character would be defeated for another character if you went to the same area afterward (or still be there if you didn't kill), and the health, items, and ammo you had with the character stuck when you started playing as them again later in the story instead of resetting what you had, like most horror games in the vein does. You retain all your damage and items from when you were last playing them.



However, to all of the above there's an exception... In the last third of the game, you take control in two different sections a character who plays like Dante from Devil May Cry, and suddenly the game gets a lot more action-focused and involved on combos and magic casting and the like than the classic survival-horror origin. These sections are brief, and only occur twice in the game, but were surprisingly fun and nice change of pace, despite being a bit out of left field.

Graphics are very dated for 2006, but for the type of small niche indie game it is (the game was made by 5 people in three years), it has a classic sort of horror look and feel which fits perfectly wit late 90s horror games.

Audio, voice acting aside, is pretty okay. There's a few free sounds used, but they also use sound design effectively to startle and fit the mood, and the music is pretty good. Some stand-out tracks, and appropriately unnerving/off-kilter songs in places.

This game startled scared me more than I ever expected it too. I wouldn't label it as a 'scary' game, but it did get me good with a number of its startle scares, or how enemy music doesn't play usually until RIGHT when the enemy is on your screen.

The game however catches a spirit that many B-Tier horror games of the 90s and early 2000s even missed, though. And that's the factor of intrigue, build-up, and interesting details and ideas. The game is definitely a B-Tier horror game, don't go in expecting Resident Evil or Silent Hill grade material... But there are moments where the game shines very strongly and brings all sorts of odd feelings together. From the unknown, from the strange. It has new things around the corner, and doesn't suffer from repetition or too much drudgery, instead introducing new things, enemies, locations, ideas, all the way through to the end.



However, the game wears its inspirations on its sleeves. The enemies have a very 'The Suffering' look to them, and there's a few scares and scenes that pull a lot from The Suffering as well. At its core its a Resident Evil clone, and a number of scenarios and moments, while not directly from a Resident Evil game, feel very much like it could of been in an entry of the series. The first two main locations are also designed very much like a RE game (a ruined city in an Apocalypse and a tall tower on an island).

Then there's certain segments that feel like Devil May Cry or Silent Hill. The two segments in the last third of the game are totally dialing Devil May Cry... Silent Hill is mainly at the beginning and end of the game. The beginning of the game very much reminds of the beginning of Silent Hill, especially when you go through a narrow corridor with an almost top-down view with blood, darkness, metal frences... And without spoiling too much, the final area of the game channels Silent Hill so hard, both visually and how you tackle it. It is very similar to the final level of Silent Hill 1 and 3.

And while most of the game is rather varied and well-paced, and I'd even say enjoyable outside of the occasional annoying segment (at least on hard difficulty), the final boss is complete bullshit (after trying over 30 times to beat it, I just said fuck it and used a trainer, at least on hard difficulty), and the ending, without exaggerating is one of the worst endings I've ever seen to grace a video game. I would literally put it in a list of top 10 worst endings I've ever experienced, and googling and looking into it ti seems that's the only ending.

But I did enjoy it. I'd put it as a better B-Tier horror game, one that does have understanding of its genre, obviously loves it, and knows how to keep up the pace, scares, and change things up... Even if it sometimes pulls maybe a bit too deliberately from sources while not fully ripping off.

Still, a solid indie B-effort, probably the best classic-styled indie survival-horror game I've played (especially with such a small team), and I do believe completely worth the $5 it'll be charging for when it hits Steam later this year.
 

Dusk Golem

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#19
I played this game so long ago. Can't remember much, but I know I liked the game.
It's truly a must play for old RE fans.

No new info about the release date on Steam?
None yet, but it was only greenlit on Steam a little over a week ago. All we know is it was greenlit on June 24th, and the game will release for $5 on Steam.
 
Feb 19, 2013
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#20
Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Silent Hill mashup? I'll get it as soon as it releases on steam.

Sounds like a one of those lower budget games that knows what it wants to do and generally does so competently.
 
Apr 18, 2011
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#23
I don't understand why there's so little originality in the characters, enemies, or settings. Clearly these guys, even if they're just a ragtag group of amateurs, have talent. So why not go for something a little different?
 

Dusk Golem

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#24
I don't understand why there's so little originality in the characters, enemies, or settings. Clearly these guys, even if they're just a ragtag group of amateurs, have talent. So why not go for something a little different?
The characters I have no idea, as it's super obvious who the three main characters look like.

Enemies I'll have to disagree though, for they -mostly- seemed pretty original to me, for this type of game at least. They didn't go with the sort of archtypical RE monsters, at least, and had some unique characteristics. Settings are inspired by, though to their credit again they did try to put real world locations of where the game is set into the game (notable these two real world locations are locations in the game, even if just briefly):



Generally I think they wanted to make a game they wanted to make, and the game they wanted to make was Resident Evil x Silent Hill X Devil May Cry X The Suffering for whatever reason. Imitation is the fondest form of flattery and all that. Still not a bad game in its own right, though, it's not like this game doesn't have an original bone in it's body, it just outright doesn't even attempt to hide what it's obviously being inspired by, and a few sections are -almost- like this section from Resident Evil or Silent Hill or something, but not quite. But then other moments are unique enough, or at the very least I didn't recognize them from anywhere and I'm close to completing half of the PSX and PS2 horror game libraries (almost completely done with the SEGA Saturn and Dreamcast libraries).
 

Dusk Golem

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#31


Looks like a licker to me, maybe post more examples?
That's what it looks like, but it's actually an enemy that goes around and teleports around a lot.

If you don't mind some spoilers for the first half of the game, I made a quick video yesterday (with empowering classical music) of my first four hours with the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH4e_WN1Teo

For enemies, I don't want to spoil too much, but what you posted is the basic monster in the game, the 'zombie' of the game (the Licker looking one), these are the second enemy you encounter:



Kind of a bad screenshot, but these enemies come out of shadows and move kind of slowly, in any which direction. They make a ringing noise, and can at suddens notice start super quickly start running all over the place. If they bump into you, the camera gets all staticy and your character begins to start violently shake.



Third enemy you encounter are these insects which fly in place (with only slight movement from their spot), and they spew acid. A nice details is that the acide doesn't shoot like a ball, but like a stream, so after they shoot acid, the acid sprays down in a line and lays on the floor (and even objects and the wall), and touching it before it fizzles away in a few seconds damages you.

And "dat zombie" looks like the first zombie you encounter in RE1. Oh, is also wearing the same clothes, lol.

Resident Evil 1 - First Zombie Scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe6srxp1-9I

Oh my, I didn't pick up on that. Best part is it's from the cinematic when you first encounter your first monster (who's the thing on top of him, though).
 

MrBali

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#33
Thanks for the post! I remember when this game came out I wanted to support the game developers but I was way to scared to actually buy and play the game. Might get it on Steam now.
 

Dusk Golem

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#35
Thanks for the post! I remember when this game came out I wanted to support the game developers but I was way to scared to actually buy and play the game. Might get it on Steam now.
Will be cheap.

Damn that's one blatant clone/knock-off...I look forward to buying it!
There weren't many clones on the horizon, so maybe part of the reason they could get away with it. XD
 
Jun 7, 2013
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#40
Played this on release back in the day. The controls were quite clunky, but the atmosphere was pretty cool. Not-Leon had armblades I think?

One weird thing is the publisher Vestel, which is a refridgerator/laundry machine company. No idea why they published this game (and no other game, iirc)
 

Dusk Golem

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#41
Played this on release back in the day. The controls were quite clunky, but the atmosphere was pretty cool. Not-Leon had armblades I think?

One weird thing is the publisher Vestel, which is a refridgerator/laundry machine company. No idea why they published this game (and no other game, iirc)
Their clunky, the step thing is a bit weird, but it's tank controls. Not-Leon does have armblades and is the one you play as in the DMC-like sections and can run three times faster than any character and cast magic spells.

I didn't know that about the developer actually, though they must still be around in some form as they seem to further support their title and put the game up on Greenlight. They updated the game in 2012 to bring Windows 7 support. So I assume their still together or at least it's open in some capacity. Maybe they just wanted to take a break from laundry and fridges to make a Resident Evil clone, who knows?
 

Dusk Golem

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#43
Yup, I rewatched the video you (DG) linked and I really should have noticed that it's not totally free camera
It's fine. It's definitely fixed camera, but there are a few areas where it works very dynamically depending on what direction you go, so it might look like a free camera. I can say there's not camera button at all for the game and you have no control over it, outside of a few areas where it'll turn which direction you're turning.