Final Cut Is The Deepest!*****
BASED ON COMPLETED GAME
Definitely the best yet of the Final Cut series, this game has a new twist that has it playing inside the world of another game. There’s also a new ever-present bad guy, reminiscent of “Dorian Grey Syndrome”. The mansion has changed yet again, this time we see it during the holiday season. (What’s with this Xmas obsession recently, developers? Yeah, I know it was Xmas just a little while ago, but that normally doesn't affect subject matter.)
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The opening scenes are in sepia, movie quality graphics. Not my cup of tea, but they add authenticity to the game’s atmosphere of the art deco era, which has been faithfully portrayed in both the other Final Cut games as well. Someone on the team must be a real fan! The graphics in the locations are as superb as you could want them to be. The integrated people are always a buzz. The HOPs are crystal clear, with large well lit objects. I love the cursor.
The music is annoying. It is a ‘revving up’ tune, which is fine, but it just goes on and on. The voiceovers are good, but seem a little bit off. But I’m quibbling. A great touch is the ominous voice of our bad guy coming to us while we are doing an HOP! Creepy! Early on, there is a lot of monologue diatribes by the bad guy. Perhaps too much for some, but it didn’t bother me.
We meet with a journalist who says he is convinced there is a serial killer on the loose who is staging his murders like scenes from our father’s greatest movies. I really love this story. What a great idea! Anyway, before we can get really into it, a package arrives for us that is from the killer, and we are “invited” to return to our mansion and prevent another murder. It is our old gardener Frank who’s in danger, and where we find him is astonishing! We are on the deck of the ship from Dear Old Dad’s favourite movie “Sea Of Lies”! Brilliant! And don’t forget the humour and artistic talent doesn’t end with the game – check out the credits! (Although, Eipix, slow them down, I have trouble reading that fast!)
I was disappointed that we didn’t do any of the developer’s games from other series, but we did find ourselves on sets related to those we saw in the previous Final Cut games. Those of you who have not played the first two games of this series may well want to play them first, because it really does make it easier to appreciate the story and to better enjoy the joke.
Varied HOP styles along with new and sometimes challenging puzzles keeps your attention in this game. There is every conceivable combination of HOPs, including interactive word lists, silhouettes, and HOPs within another, nested in much the same way as the game stories are. Plus matched pairs, multiples of, and ones I can’t give a name to. There is also a fun Match-3 alternative. The puzzles vary from ludicrously easy to "SOS where’s the walkthrough?" One puzzle I particularly love is a 3D maze. Really cleverly done and fun to play. I’ve been spoiled by having played every Eipix game, so I am used to their imaginative flair, but they manage to astonish me yet again with the variety of ways to progress through this game.
Getting around is tricky because the signature feature of this game is the film projector which alters our perceptions of reality. So a given place may swap between two interpretations by the flip of a switch, and you must achieve your goals by travelling between them. There is a directional hint, but if you are in the wrong “view”, you will have to refill it. There is also an interactive jump map which is unusual in the way it displays the various locations, but again does not allow you to jump between views. The journal has objectives and a diary.
There is one thing that could be better. The loading between locations is a bit slow. For the first time in ages, I saw a black screen between.
Wonderful! I was not a big fan of the first Final Cut, but I could see its quality and artistic merit. This game, though, is five stars all the way for me. It was entertaining and beautiful from start to finish, and I just loved wondering what was coming around the next imaginative corner!
I recommend this game!