Written by  :  Jeanne (76590)
Written on  :  Sep 15, 2005
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Inadequate path finding tarnishes an otherwise good game

The Good

Our technological age is really in its infancy. No one can foresee what will happen in the next generation or two .. say 40 years from now. The Moment of Silence explores the mysteries of what the future in a technology-rich society could be like. In that society, people zip to and fro in streamlined vehicles, virtual communication has made the pen and paper obsolete and the use of robotics is part of everyday life. But, this futuristic world is not as utopic as it may seem.

The game has a decent length and a very engaging storyline. As you progress, you learn that Peter has just lost his wife and son in a plane crash. Taking a few weeks off from work because of the loss of his family, helping his neighbor find her husband is a good distraction. But, as he gets deeper and deeper into his investigation, he can't help but feel that the two incidents may be connected somehow. He learns of a governmental conspiracy, and the plot of intrigue thickens.

I played the US version from The Adventure Company, which came to me with 4 CD-Roms. After installation, the discs can be stored away and are never called by the software at all. Starting the game, saving and loading is a breeze.

Gameplay in The Moment of Silence is decidedly different than most point-and-click adventure games these days. Get ready to do a whole lot of reading, because the entire story will unfold only by talking at length to other characters. The only puzzles you'll find are object-based.

Graphics depict people, places and things very well. The cut-scenes are really great, in my opinion. The actors and actresses portrayed their characters exceptionally well. The musical score is also very good. There seems to be no limit to the number of games you can save, and they can be named. Subtitles can be turned on or off, which I like. And, like House of Tales' previous game, Mystery of the Druids, you are automatically returned to your exact location when you begin the game again.

The Bad

Although I liked this game, there are some very irritating things about it that bring down its overall score. I'll try to explain.

Say you're in a nice large room with numerous pathways branching off tempting you to explore them. Click in any direction and your character should walk there .. but in MoS, that doesn't happen. In fact, he might take a completely unexpected turn or even reverse back to where he started. The lack of enough directional cursors is blatantly obvious throughout. The camera angles change as he walks and actually hinder instead of help.

Pixel-hunting is also a problem in this game. Hot spots are tiny and well hidden. If you receive a "hand icon", Peter should at least comment upon it, but doesn't in most cases. You are actually expected to use an inventory object on any spot like that. I just found the "silence" annoying.

I also found clues for the puzzles almost non-existent.

The Bottom Line

This could have been so much better! It has a great story, graphics, sound and good puzzles, but those weren't enough to make it great. What should have been effortless "point-and-click" actions became more like hard work.

I would recommend this game to adventure fans, but be prepared for its shortcomings.