Cursed Mountain is a survival horror game that tells the story Eric Simmons, an experienced climber that goes alone in an apparent suicide mission to rescue his brother on the summit of Chomolonzo.
From the moment Eric arrives at a small settlement at the base of the Himalayans, it's pretty clear that something has gone terribly wrong. The streets are empty, doors and windows are shut and ghosts haunt the alleys. Somehow, your brother's expedition angered the mountain spirits, whose wrath killed or expelled everyone.
Cursed Mountain focus around the spiritual world and takes inspiration on Buddhist rituals and ceremonies to create its atmosphere. There's something eerie on those colored flags on the wind, bells chiming, mantras being chanted, incenses burning, idols and masks on houses and temples that do provide a sense of realism to the spirits around you. This spiritual aura is also present on the temples and houses Eric explores and that's a good thing because the game is slow paced and requires a good deal of exploration and backtracking.
Traditional to its genre, Cursed Mountain rewards the exploration with healing items, journals, memos and sometimes a movie that helps the player understand what exactly enraged the spirits and what was your brother's role in it.
The story is initially confusing and takes a while to get interesting. The game hints at a disturbing role played by your brother in upsetting the Goddess, which would have been surprising, but it sadly ends being politically correct.
Movies are the best way to understand what happened, even though the voice acting and dialogue seems detached to the events depicted. Memos and journals are shallow for the most part, which is a shame considering how important they are in such a slow paced game.
Aside from exploring deserted villages and encampments, you'll have to dispatch a lot of spirits in your quest. You fight with an ice pick. You can use it as a regular melee weapon but it also works as a ranged weapon. Eric can customize its shaft so that the icepick can be held as a gun. Depending on its parts, it can work as a shotgun, a rifle and even some sort of lasso weapon. This game play choice got rid of the need to place weapons and ammo across the mountain but it's kind of weird to have one shoot spiritual beams through an ice pick. Well, weird or not, it will feel natural after a few minutes in the game and probably won't bother you that much.
Combat is where the Wii heritage begins to show. It's a simple mechanic for a PC game. Aiming is definitely easier with a mouse than with the Wii remote so taking enemies down is easy. Even the ritual one can perform during combat to quickly dispatch ghosts and regain health is not hard and doest not suffer from unresponsive controls like the Wii version. Nevertheless, the whole thing feels cumbersome as it doesn't follow the fluid controls of modern PC games.
The combat is easy but that doesn't mean Eric won't die. Enemies come in good numbers and sometimes the spiritual world can hide traps or continually deplete your health until you either die or figure out a way to cleanse the area. Boss fights are good because they require more than aiming and shooting and will usually require a couple of attempts.
The graphics are a constant reminder that this is a Wii game. The textures are simple, the models are just decent and even the setting is not technically an eye candy.
I'd say it's a game for fans of horror games or players that enjoy an eerie atmosphere and focus on exploration. It's rewarding to explore the setting and listen to the mantras, bells and chimes, even though the combat and puzzle solving could've been better. Considering its price and the fact that there are few survival horror games on the PC, it's worth trying.