Written by  :  MAT (177590)
Written on  :  Aug 28, 2004
Rating  :  1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars

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Not nearly as good as it might've been

The Good

An adventure game taking place in Byzantine, using full-motion videos, live actors, and all that wrapped up in a murder mystery. Can't say it doesn't sound intriguing at the very least. For an unknown reason, your old friend summoned you to Byzantine and promised you a story of a lifetime. You being an overly gullible reporter (why do they always have to put reporters, don't they get annoying in real life, so why using them in games, I mean, look what happened to Nico and Stobbart), you decide to pay your friend a visit, only to find his apartment empty, and police breaking in soon after you entered it. And oh joy, local inspector can't think of any better suspect that the one he found there, that'd be you.

The live-actors part is not that bad at all, and acting is quite alright, but there's not too much of it. Furthermore, the game has a neat educational level and the way it tries to give you proper description on various monuments, items in the museums, scenery and other ancient items. It's as if you're expecting to solve a part of the riddle just by looking all the stuff daringly. Instead, it takes your time away from the story and is but edutainment, for what it's worth. Oh yeah, I remember some virtual reality levels were pretty neat, especially the last one, just before the ending.

The Bad

The game is not executed so well. All this 360° rotation is far too silly (this is just not to be used in such adventure games unless you have freedom of movement in any direction, which you don't), creating a false illusion of 3D, it's as bad as same stuff in SouthPeak's adventures. Could be it's just my taste, but as much as I don't like it, I think it'd be much better if there were only static pictures used.

The story itself, although starting with a little interest turns into big piles of dust pretty soon, especially in the so incredibly dull ending. Characters were not so plentiful, and although some were acting good as long as dialogues go, scenario was really not on the level. Maybe it's because of all this rotation and stuff, you just can't make a game of any kind to fit this technique. I mean, it's... well it's bad and simply unplayable and uninteresting, to boot.

The Bottom Line

Even though you can get this game for cheap, and it has potential, it's not what I expected it to be, so unless you were absolute fan of SouthPeak's games and couldn't care less about learning some historical facts, stay away from this one. It spans across six compact discs yet it gives you no jewel case, how lame. Not unusual, though. This is one of those (hm, I sound like there are more of such games, can't say there are) games which should've removed the story, and used all this educational info to make some boring documentary instead. At least they'd save on the money, I mean, what did they expect, people who read Discovery Channel magazine and watch the tv will just embrace it within games? Well, maybe if they really did try to use the best of both worlds, but just to try and milk some more money away, let them get their fruits out of it.