interesting setting, terribly presented
Cool sci-fi adventure where an alien race called the Orbs has invaded the world. You work as a manhunter in NYC who hunts down troublesome humans for the aliens.
The game has a great setting in the crumbling conquered city of New York. There is some detective work to be done at each crime scene which is well presented as you find one mutilated body after another.
The game while being one of Sierra's adventure games does not require the typing of the other games to solve puzzles. But at the time of this game mouse was not supported, the interface could REALLY use a mouse to speed things up and make it easier to use, however the joystick/keyboard combo worked fine in its time, it wasn't until I started playing mouse based games that I realized how slow this game was without a mouse option.
While the game had a cool setting and murder puzzles that remind me of the movie Blade Runner what was not so cool was the annoying mazes and arcade sequences that continually popped up.
These arcade games were either easy or tedious and always boring, luckily you could save in the middle of one to speed your progress in case you died. Having arcade sequences in an adventure game is not bad but when they are poorly made and boring they become a chore and would detract from my enjoyment of the game (anyone remember the thugs in the alley?).
What was worse were the mazes in the game, maps of them could be found in the game so getting out of them wasn't a problem. What bugged me was how the interface of the game could make you very disoriented as you could not easily figure out which direction was "up", so you had to very carefully chart your progress.
The game presents a pretty serious story and has a lot of grusome murders but the designers flake out on making this a fully adult game by doing stuff like trying to make a bloody corpse seem a little more "funny" by having a purple tongue hang out of the mouth or by having.
Also what bugged me was how you go from being an agent of the Orb to fighting against the aliens. Of course we expect to be rid the alien menace at the end of the game but the game does not present as to WHY you switch sides (other than aliens are bad). You go from one case to another and learn more about an
anti-alien group you are hunting but there is nothing really compelling you to switch sides until late in the game. I would have liked more of a build up of evidence against the aliens, perhaps some more conversation and a cut scene or two could have filled in the holes.
The Bottom Line
Likeable game was a bit of ground breaker for its interface. But a decent game is spoiled by some really bad arcade games and some gaps in the story.