User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Under a Killing Moon (DOS)

85
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  wampyrii (9)
Written on  :  Jun 08, 2002
Platform  :  DOS
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Summary

Save The World!!! (again)

The Good

UAKM puts you in the shoes of Tex Murphy, a gumshoe in a future world much changed. Tex lives amongst the mutants in the ghetto because he feels he has more affinity with them and lives from hand to mouth with litte work coming his way. Sniffing a job when the local pawn shop get burgled he's straight on the case - but gets more than he bargains for when a simple robbery leads to the uncovering of a plot so large that the fate of the world will lie in Tex's hands.

Yup its up to you to save the world again!

One of the things which i feel adventure games live and die by is the storyline and if they can throw a little humour in there as well then all the better! UAKM has both of these by the bucketload! The story is excellent and you'll soon be drawn into the web of intrigue which unfolds before you and Tex's sarcastic humour, which accompanies virtually every single action in true Marlowe voice-over style, will have you laughing as well. great story AND it'll make you laugh - almost 5 stars just for that!

I should mention this is a point and click adventure, driven by lots of FMV sequences so you know what kind of game it is. The interface is VERY simple to use. you can select between action and movement modes, one allowing you to move about your environment, the other freezing the screen and letting you talk to characters and manipualte objects to solve puzzles. The interface is very intuitive and you'll get the hang of it very quickly.

The characters here are wonderful as well, talking to them is never boring even though you often have to jump between one and the other repetedly as more of the story is revealed and more questions are revealed to ask of them. Check out the likes of the chocaholic mutant who lives in the dumpster for example...

Puzzles are pitched at just the right difficulty so that they are actually solveable although it is all rather linear so you are left in no doubt where the puzzles are and a little random clicking without too much thought will solve them.

This is one of the most fun adventure games I've played.

The Bad

Problems with this game are quite minor to be fair. ts not faultless by any means, but what problems it does have are quite negligible

Its looking a little dated now - go figure, its old! Fortunately it was somewhat ahead of its time when it was released so it has weathered quite well, but some of hte FMV sequences are looking a little creaky. Characters look like shop dummies until spoken to and then suddenly spring into life for instance and the human characters seem to 'float' on the drawn backgrounds rather more obviously than in more recent games.

Sound effects too are good as stated, but sometimes seem too low or muffled and there is a distinct lack of ambient sounds in some parts as well.

Finding it may be a problem these days.

Its a little easy for experienced adventure gamers. I would say the first day or two are quite challenging and then its all a bit of a rush through to the end with little in the way of challenge inbetween! The final day is really one long FMV sequence too, so there really are only 6 days to play across.

The Bottom Line

UAKM is a superb game. Its getting on a little but at this price and with this kind of gameplay you can NOT fault it!! Its almost a *must* purchase game.