Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood CE
This game takes place two years after the events of the first game at Maple Creek. It is not necessary to play the first game, but I highly recommend it. After all, Maple Creek
was really a good game, and you'll understand the background and implications of events in this game much better.
There are three difficulty settings to choose from: Casual, Advanced, and Expert. The differences are clearly explained, and it's obvious that Artifex Mundi (the dev) has been listening to our pleas -- In Expert mode, "Text tips give less direct hints." Very nice
I did go with middle of the road with Advanced, however.
The tutorial is optional.
There are separate sliders for Music and Sound, and we can change the difficulty level at any time via our options menu (thanks devs!) We can also turn off the voice over, custom cursor, and full screen. Widescreen is automatically supported, and it looks great!
Whilst playing the game, be on the lookout for "Ethereal butterflies." These have a bluish glow to them. Also look for "Illusive Objects," which are morphing items. There are 30 of each to find, so plenty of fun for those of us who like hunting for these extra goodies.
There are achievements, and you can see what you need to aim for by entering the Achievements area via your options menu. There is also a Help button in the options menu, and this gives ten pages of illustrated, clear instructions for those not familiar with this kind of game, and/or with the evidence board element we have in the Enigmatis games.
You will see a cutscene as you load the game, and a second one when you start to play the actual game. The loading-game video is gorgeous, but if you're scared of rats, you might want to skip this one... or close your eyes when you hear squeaking, and wait to open them until it stops
The initial video (while the game is loading) is not necessary to understand the story -- It just gives you some information about what happened a few minutes before you arrive on the scene.
Your journal has three tabs: Objectives, Notes, and Illusive Objects. The first two tabs are pretty useless, at least for me. There's no extra story in there, and the objectives are pretty clear. The illusive objects are pretty easy to find... for the most part! That's where the journal gets useful. It tracks how many of the objects you've found, what they looked like, and the order in which they should
be found. If you see a '?' with objects that you've found all around it, you know that you missed an object in that specific area.
That brings me to the map, which is next to your journal. It IS a jump-to map, but you jump to an AREA, not specific locations. The map will show you which areas are "active" (only in Casual and Advanced mode,) but of course you don't know exactly which scene in that area needs to have an action taken.
Never fear, though. Your HINT button gives a directional arrow, should you need it.
The hidden object scenes vary. We have highly interactive scenes that are more like puzzles, interactive fragmented object scenes, and the more traditional HO scenes with lists of items to find. Most of the traditional HO's are lightly interactive, with items listed in purple needing an extra step or two. On the list-type HOS, you can press the Notes button to play a matching game, instead of finding objects. The matching game isn't your typical card game setup; it's literally written notes that are scattered about. Matching requires finding a related picture, ie. a notepad would match with a pencil.
The devs did an exceptional job with story in this one, using multiple methods to progress the story. First off we have the cutscenes, which are absolutely gorgeous. I was VERY happy to see that I could go back and re-watch these scenes once I finished the game -- there were two in particular that were beautifully directed and "filmed," and I really wanted to see them again. Next we have story sequences that we gain as we find and place lock pieces on a particular door. There are 12 of these story pieces, and all but the last can be rewatched at any time during the game (but not once the game is completed) by clicking on the piece(s) you've placed. Lastly we have our Evidence Board.
What Evidence Board, you ask?
The Evidence Board is an inspired addition to gameplay which is only present in the Enigmatis games (as far as I know!) As we play the game, we gather evidence. That's nothing new, we do that in a lot of these games! What's new is that we literally have a board where we can organize the evidence, and as we do, we come to conclusions that progress the story.
The whole game is voiced-over, and beautifully done. Two voices in particular gave me chills:
The ticket lady (after our first encounter with her), and of course the mysterious man behind the locked door.
The story is engaging, and the whole game entirely immersive. This is truly a creepy experience, and I have to say that it's one of the scariest storylines I've seen in a casual game.
It IS a scary game, but the devs injected some humor... Woohoo~!! A Monty Python reference! *starts whistling the lumberjack song
(added a link so no one would miss the joke!) heheheCollector's Edition
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Bonus Chapter
- 35 Achievements
- 10 Wallpapers in three different resolutions
- 8 Concept Art
- Downloadable soundtrack - six tracks
- The ability to replay 7 hidden object puzzles
- 15 replayable cutscenes
- 10-page Redwood Encyclopedia (very cool!)
To play the Bonus Chapter
, simply click on the Play button on the main menu -- you can now choose between replaying the main game, or playing the bonus chapter. This chapter takes place approximately 30 years previously, and is played from the
point of view. If you've played the main game, you know how that story is going to end, but it's nice to see how things came about. On the plus side, we actually have a reusable pocket knife on us during the whole chapter!
The devs did such a beautiful job with this game that I have only a single gripe, and it's really a pet peeve. As a matter of fact, I'm going to put it in spoiler tags just in case y'all didn't notice.
My gripe is this: The artists chose to use the same color palette for Every. Single. Scene!
It doesn't matter if we're inside, outside, underground, or decades in the past, every scene has the same purples and greens. *sigh* Continuity is of course important, but you can have the same style without using all the same colors!!
Overall, this is an exceptional game in every way, and I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish!