Windows - 2002
Description of The Thing
The key to John Carpenter's 1982 scare flick, The Thing, was its incredibly effective build up of paranoia. Sure, it had the goop and gore scattered throughout, especially once "The Thing" really started to spread its, er, substance around. But it was Kurt Russell's performance when he was dictating a message into a tape recorder -- one he hoped would be found by a rescue party if no one survived -- that really conveyed the pure fear. You can never go to sleep. You can never ease that grip on your weapon. You can't stand close to the people who only hours before had been your comrades. And there is absolutely no end in sight.
Just 20 short years after the film was released, Universal Interactive has seen fit to bestow us with a game tie-in. This sort of thing usually sets off alarm bells with gamers early given the track record of titles based on movie licenses. However, unlike some movies, The Thing is perfectly suited to a creepy, action-adventure game. Set in an isolated Antarctic outpost, this game has the potential to scare you not with what you see, but when you don't see anything and yet you know the real danger could be standing right next to you with a gun in his hand.
The good news is that The Thing for PC lives up to a good amount of that promise. Its first smart decision is beginning the story soon after where the film left off instead of doing a predictable remake of the same plot. You play Blake, commander of a military team that has been sent in to investigate the disappearance of the scientific expedition - sounds a bit like another infamous sequel about a nameless "Alien", doesn't it? The Thing, for those who don't know, is an alien creature that has the ability to transform into a replica of whatever it touches, but it does so in a process a whole lot more gooey than the T-1000 Terminator.
The Thing's interface is actually not quite as self-explanatory as you'd first imagine for a third-person action-adventure. To help you out, rather lengthy tutorial tips pop up throughout the game whenever you need to be taught about a new device or action; jarring at first, these become infrequent soon enough, and you'll be thankful once you've learned the interface.
Movement is the standard keyboard/mouse configuration, although for no apparent reason (other than it being developed simultaneously for console platforms), your free-look is limited to the horizontal axis. That is, unless you toggle first person mode, which in turn prevents you from moving. Strange, but at least the game's design has taken into account that you won't be looking up or down too often, so it doesn't put much of interest anywhere but on eye level. PC gamers will feel this title screams to be first-person by default, for immersion purposes if nothing else.
The thing that sets The Thing -- sorry! -- apart from other games in this genre is having the ability to command up to four members of your squad, or as is usually the case, any persons you happen across that are willing to go with you. The same trust/fear mechanic that was prominent in the film plays a relatively large role in the game, too. Everyone has a trust meter that needs to be at least halfway filled for them to follow you around; gaining trust from someone is often a simple matter of giving them a gun, although some secondary missions require you to prove you're human by killing a certain number of Things. Later in the game, you can also perform a blood test on yourself to gain trust - The Thing is made up of millions of individual living cells, so Thing blood reacts violently to just about any aggravating chemical you could throw on it.
The gameplay itself is a compelling mix of survival horror games like Resident Evil, with simple adventure elements and puzzles and your bog standard fast paced shooter. The pacing has been tuned well, starting slowly, keeping all the aliens out of sight, then slowly revealing the carnage as you explore further, until you eventually come under attack on a regular basis. The Thing itself comes in two basic forms; little spider-like crawlers that are dispatched with one quick shotgun blast, and bloody humanoid monstrosities with varying amounts of misshapen heads and claws and tentacles. The latter kind takes multiple hits, and as in the movie, need to be burned to kill off permanently.
Team members also have various uses other than just being another target for evisceration. Some have the ability to heal you and other team-mates, and others are engineer class and can fix various power boxes and override door locks. You're required to interact with the environment often, accessing logs and codes on computer terminals, picking up notes and even controlling CCTV cams hunting for clues.
Visually, The Thing excels. The attention to detail in all the environments is extremely high, textures are sharp and the people are hugely realistic, with fluid animation and lip-synced voices. They also react to things around them - point a gun at their head and they'll retort with a lewd hand gesture. If they see something particularly grotesque, they'll even lose whatever meal they last ingested. You know how far we've come in bringing games into the cultural mainstream when non-essential characters start puking without any contribution to advancing the plot. Hey, it spelled success for every gross-out comedy since There's Something About Mary. Audio also matches the high visual production values, creeping you out with all sorts of ambient effects.
The Thing falls short of greatness in two areas. One, it's seriously short. Even taking into account the scattered save points and consequent replay times -- another console annoyance, which can actually be fixed with a registry edit -- you should still be done with this in under eight hours, and there's no multiplayer mode to prolong its life.
Second, while the whole fear/trust element was an admirably innovative attempt at recreating the film's tension, it falls short because it's both quirky and ultimately pointless. There are times where a team member can come up clear in a blood test but only moments later transform into a Thing due to some trigger in the game's script. Generally, everyone ends up becoming a Thing or dying beforehand, so you feel no real loss and the only time it matters is when you can't complete a level because you needed that one engineer alive. There's also no real tension because even if someone is a Thing, once they reveal themselves, you can take 'em down in a matter of seconds.
The game also suffers from a rather nasty bug that remained unfixed in a recent patch. On some machines, including ours, all voice audio was muted during cutscenes, and the only way to fix it was by unarchiving a .pak file in the game's data directory, adding about 300mb to the install size - ouch!
The Thing on its own stands as a slightly flawed, yet atmospheric and alluring action-adventure. Hardcore fans of the film, however, will have fewer complaints and appreciate the touches added by the developer who obviously cared greatly about making a worthy follow-up to Carpenter's thriller. Coming across the actual tape recorded by MacReady and finding out where Childs ended up was a simple, yet brilliant idea to connect the two stories. For an alien that's 100,000 years old, The Thing can definitely hold its own against any other scary creature -- from a game or movie -- that you can throw at it.
Review By GamesDomain
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
Anon 2023-02-08 1 point
Tutorial and HD MOD guide
WatsonatorTV 2023-02-08 1 point
Tutorial video on how to get this download working and also apply a new HD mod.
Darkeejit 2023-01-18 0 point
https://www.play-old-pc-games.com/2015/01/06/the-thing/ is the page you want to get this old beast of a game to work.
killeronduty1 2022-12-22 2 points
Hey has anyone run into the problem of having no sound at all? if you have and have a fix that be great as id love to experience the real thing!
Perry Rhodan 2022-12-20 2 points
There's an HD mod to improve textures, SFX and shadows.
Viner 2002 2022-06-19 -4 points
I have found some awesome secrets of THE THING game.
Akshay 2022-02-22 6 points
How I installed this on Windows 10:
1. Install the game from the ISO
2. Use the No-CD fix
3. Use the patch. Bingo! The game should work now
4. If you want, you can use the sound fix, you can do that
JAIR M. BOLSONARO 2022-02-17 -18 points
VOU MANDAR O EXÉRCITO FECHAR ESSE SITE DE PIRATARIA, TALKEY?!
Thingy 2021-11-03 1 point
Ok I got it! On windows 11 so for me I downloaded the ISO then unzipped it but before running the wizard download "1.1-1.2 Euro" patch and stick the application inside in the same folder as "The Thing" install wizard. As stated in an early comment make sure you rename the file that ends with "ex_" as "exe" and rename the whole folder as "TheThing_UK".
Mike 2021-10-28 0 point
Is there a way to lock on to targets on the PC version? On the console version you can lock on to enemies, and the important thing is that the lock on indicator changes colors to reflect the enemies' health so you know when they're ready to be hit with the flame-thrower. But on the PC version I can't figure out how to get that target lock so I just have to guess when the enemy is low enough.
Nine 2021-10-15 20 points
Hey, 'Read me', you're an absolute prick. Go and dust off your fedora you wanker.
Read me 2021-09-08 -39 points
A Monkey can figure this out. How in the living hell are you people this dumb? It makes me sick that a Monkey could install this game on a Windows 10 just fine, However there are still incompetent humans who insist on putting an effort to avoid simply installing a game. IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!
pooperton 2021-09-07 -9 points
The lack of knowledge on these posts is unreal. This is all basic game-ripping. Don’t come on here throwing a fit because you don’t know what to do.
Perry Rhodan 2021-08-17 2 points
Here's a bump mapping mod that makes the graphics slightly better.
Bump mapping • Link
Enabling bump mapping
Download and extract Sui's Wrapper to \bin\ directory.
Edit d3d8.ini with a text editor and make sure BumpMapping is set to 1.
Download bump maps and extract them to \data\textures.
PS Sorry! Forgot second link.
fuckthiswebsite 2021-07-24 0 point
can some one explain how can i get it working in the most simplyfied way as possible. i aprichiate milleniums advice. but i don`t understand what all that means. like how do i get the patch to the game. and how can i get it to start ?
yeet 2021-07-24 1 point
i do not understand how this works i thougth it would be just as easy as download and play. but noooo it takes me to some fucked up file screen which doesen`t have the launcher anywhere. and the way i understand it. i have all of the games data just no way to launch it
Linux Gamer 2021-06-14 -1 point
Game works without any problem on Linux via Wine.
Make sure to download the NoCD.zip file!
WAS 2021-05-16 0 point
RIP Version is nonsense with incomplete directions. Comes with a "The.Thing" file, which isn't explained if it's an archive, an ISO, or whatever. It has filed in it according to my indexer, but nothing to execute a installer, or open the game.
Aqua 2021-01-31 0 point
Hey i have a question , on mission Ground floor the last doors of the tower are not opening. Some king of a bugg, you don't need a key to fallow the guy in this mission but yet it won't open. Any suggestions what to do? Thank you
Apok 2021-01-20 0 point
Despite not being exactly what I wanted it to be, this game is still fun and I managed to finish it back then. The atmosphere is tense and you never know who may turn into a thing.
pc gamer83 2020-11-17 -2 points
well I love the movie (best horror of all time imo) but this game never encouraged me to play it as there was too many shooting to little non scary monsters, didnt find it as immersive as it could be with a more survial fpp horror instead of a shooter.
Red Hood 2020-10-12 2 points
I never got to play this game as a kid. I love the original movie and the prequel. They are some of the best psychological horror movies in existence. The game I am told does a helluva job capturing that atmosphere. I can't wait to play it. Thank you so much for putting it up here.
SOLIDG 2020-09-01 0 point
This is one of those games I have always heard people say good things about in my PS2 days but for some reason I ended up skipping it back then. I didn't know it had a PC version until know, so I guess I'll give it a try.
yeahSteve7 2020-08-10 2 points
I'm running it with Windows XP Service Pack 2 and as the admin but still nothing.
Anyone have a fix??
Lord Ogrogash 20.000 B.C. 2020-07-01 0 point
I watched first the New Movie, then the Old Movie, it made so much sense, now i plan to play the game, really nice idea, wish they make the third movie and another game, to actually be still made in DirectX 9.0.
Pope 2020-05-24 -31 points
What a load of boring bullshit.
Constantly repeating, overwhelming number of opponents, fiddly micromanagement of teammates who are constantly walking in the players fire. And in addition to the shitty micromanagement you are confronted with a shitty UI. The game survived about an hour on my harddrive. Even for free - it's not worth my time.
tnoobmaster 2020-04-10 3 points
I need some help. I got the game in a state where I could run it, but every time I try to start it, it tells me I can't because it's not detecting a CD-rom drive. my issue is that my computer doesn't have a CD-rom, it dosne't have any hardware for running CD's or DVD's. is there some work around I could install or can I just not play this?
LoydMongo 2020-04-05 2 points
Seems the file ikernel.exe is named wrong as ikernel.ex_ and thus the install wizard won't work. So what I did was copy all the files from the .ISO to new folder I named TheThing_UK and then renamed the copied ikernel.ex_ to ikernel.exe , after that the installation worked from my new folder. I hope it helps you too!
MILLENNIUM_666 2020-03-19 20 points
guys, girls, thanks for this! i enjoy a lot this game that a saw so many years ago.
ISTALL WIN 10
1)mount iso, istall the game by "setup exe."
2) istall the euro pach (download from this site)
3) run with admin privileges and compatibility set on "windows xp service pack2"
ISTALL WIN 10 + RESHADE (post processing for antialiasing and other fun thing and graphics improvments)
1)mount iso, istall the game by "setup exe."
2) istall the euro pach (download from this site)
3) download reshade (https://reshade.me/) and also the d3d8to9 (converter for directx8 to direct x9) because reshade dosn't support directx8, so you have to download this dll.file (https://github.com/crosire/d3d8to9/releases)
4)istall reshade in your games folder ( tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGNSxGvTFpY ) and select directx9 in the options.
5)copy your d3d8.dll file into the game folder (C:/x86/computer artworks/the thing/bin)
6) run the game WITHOUT admin permission and compatibility options.
7) enjoy. the first video credits doesn't appear but when you are in the main menu all works fine.
ZAZ 2019-12-17 0 point
Run with Administrator privileges and select Windows XP (Service Pack 2) and it WORKS. An awesome game.
Jab 2019-12-07 0 point
Had this installed and playing on win 8.1 with large screen..its was great...now no luke with win 10
Alucard3000 2019-09-03 0 point
It doesnt work! When i try to unzip it, it says " No archive found" and when i try to mount it with daemon tools it gives an error
krashd 2019-02-28 0 point
@BENJAMINGRIMM Because games were usually compressed to fit on CD or DVD, they would unpack as they installed making the installation (or 'rip') larger than the disc contents.
KingsmanTheGreat 2019-01-14 4 points
The game installs via the setup wizard but once you install and click run it does not respond at all.
Quasimojo 2018-09-01 2 points
I just joined the Outpost 31 Facebook group and remembered this game and had to try to find it! Thanks!
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