Developer: 3K Studio
Bit Of A Shame Really***
BASED ON BETA
This game has a lot going for it, but in the end, just does not have enough life in it to make the difference between immediate release and sitting permanently on the shelf.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The opening sequence was good enough to rival any mega game developer for professionalism in both art and voice. The graphics throughout are so natural and realistic, you’d swear the whole thing was photographed, yet with a softness to the images that is much easier on the eyes than the typical pseudo-realism found in games. The game is set in American wood country and looks wonderful, and I can almost feel the fresh crisp air of the forest surrounding us. I loved even the interface, which was neat and tidy, without being dull.
The voiceover was excellent. Accentless, well spoken and clearly intelligent. There are some lovely ambient sounds too. And special atmospheric use of those whining noises that I refuse to call music, lol. The story is about a lost Indian (yes, Native American of course, which was the developer’s first mistake!) tribe, and the much of the music seemed to my uneducated ears as the sort of thing I think I remember from cowboy and Indian (that word again) movies.
Your professor knows you are researching vanished Native American tribes, so he sends you information about an explorer back in 1687, who seems to have been to one such settlement. So what about that opening scene, huh? How’d we end up in an unfamiliar hut with a headache? Well, I doubt we’ll ever find out, because sadly, this seems unlikely to be released. And not without just cause.
Well, I have been giving you so much good stuff about this game, seems hard to imagine what’s so wrong with it. It’s the pace. We have our standard (static) HOPs with word lists, occurring frequently and visited twice. And there are a few puzzles. Again, all standard stuff. Nothing new here. And while we’re about it, for the record, no map but a decent journal. Hint is directional, but must refill each time you use it even to just change locations.
And that’s where it all falls apart. Because the game is not especially intuitive, and has a lot of toing and froing, so a lot of time is wasted either checking location by empty location (none has very much to do in it) or waiting for hint to recharge. Worse, an object that was not accessible last time you were there may now be.
For example, I note a strange stone covered in moss, but I am unable to use my spatula to clean it off, or my crowbar to remove it. Later, when I need strange stones, I can now use both these items. That is just so infuriating. And it means you must keep checking back on items, if you can remember them, in case, now you can use them.
And a new HOP scene may become active, but you have no way of knowing, and no reason to be going back to that location, unless you just wander around looking for things to do. I got over it, and couldn’t stick to the finish.
Such professionalism in the artwork, such sorely deficient gameplay! It’s a shame, alright, but we probably wouldn’t buy this even if it was released. Unless someone injected a huge dose of adrenaline into the game.
I don’t recommend this game!
Try It Here!