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Still Life

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Critic Reviews 71% add missing review

GamingTrend (531 out of 600)

Still Life contains the major elements that make a good adventure game, a good story and intriguing puzzles. While the game might be a bit simple for some, veteran gamers will still enjoy the deep story contained within Still Life. The price is right, and the production values are excellent. Still Life is a great game for those who are looking for an adventure. Just be warned, the game is rated Mature, and it earns that rating with the language and the gruesome crime scenes.

Oct 2005 · Xbox · read review

PGNx Media (8.5 out of 10)

The Adventure Company and Microids are veterans in this genre, and their expertise comes though with the game. Still Life is generally enjoyable, with good quality puzzles and an excellent atmosphere. Still Life doesn’t venture far from the typical adventure formula but for what it is, the game is commendable.

Jul 1st, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Adventure Corner (85 out of 100)

Mit 'Still Life' hat MicroĂŻds hier ein absolutes Top-Adventure abgeliefert, dass trotz seiner offensichtlichen SchwĂ€chen dennoch zu begeistern weiß. Story und AtmosphĂ€re, unterstrichen durch traumhaft designte Locations können von der ersten bis zur letzten Minute begeistern und lassen ĂŒber das stellenweise mangelhaftes RĂ€tseldesign hinweg sehen. Trotz des linearen Ablaufs hat 'Still Life' ĂŒbrigens einen erstaunlich hohen Wiederspielbarkeitswert, betrachtet man nĂ€mlich gewisse Hinweise mit dem Wissen um den Ausgang. Schade und ziemlich Ă€rgerlich ist allerdings das Ende, das nur allzu sehr auf eine Fortsetzung ausgelegt ist. Ob daraus allerdings etwas wird, bleibt angesichts der strukturellen VerĂ€nderungen bei MicroĂŻds mehr als fragwĂŒrdig und so bleiben viele Fragen wohl offen. Nichtsdestotrotz ist 'Still Life' bisher jedoch der absolute Top-Titel diesen Jahres.

May 31st, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Adventure Europe (83 out of 100)

Still Life is by far the best adventure game I’ve played in a long time. As a detective/horror game, it easily surpasses Post Mortem, Black Mirror and Jack the Ripper. The mystery is mesmerizing, the atmosphere truly dark and for the first two thirds, the storytelling is masterful. But due to the very traditional gameplay, and a somewhat less-than-satisfactory ending, it never comes near the true classics. That said, I do recommend Still Life, and I sincerely wish it enough success to warrant a sequel – and isn’t that the biggest compliment you can give any story?

Apr 21st, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Game Chronicles (8 out of 10)

Excellent visuals and voice acting really draw you into this film-like adventure experience known as Still Life. The plot is well done and the dialogue and characters intriguing. Puzzles are hard enough to feel like you actually did something while not being so hard that you'll be tearing out your hair. The subject matter is definitely not for the kiddies, but non-squeamish adults who enjoy psychological horror films like The Ring, Se7en, or Silence of the Lambs should find a lot to like here.

Jun 19th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Kombo.com (8 out of 10)

Not everyone will enjoy Still Life. Unless you really enjoy good storytelling, Still Life is quite frankly boring. You walk from point A to point B, and you do some talking, solve a clever puzzle here and there, and badda-bing, badda-boom end credits. However, Still Life is excellent simply because there are very few players who won't be captivated by it. Where most games entice through blowing stuff up and hot action, Still Life entices based on a thrilling mystery that you as a player can help solve. And, at a budget price of 19.99, it's not hard appreciate the value of this title. Do you like excellent stories, great characters, solid voice acting, amazing graphics, and puzzles that truly challenge you? Still Life is a perfect choice for you. After all, you'd pay twenty bucks for a good movie. In this case, you're actually getting more bang for your buck.

Jun 13th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

XBox Front (79 out of 100)

Adventure-Games und Konsolen: Diese Symbiose wollte bislang nicht so recht funktionieren. Einige wenige Ausnahmen wie Syberia konnten zwar durch schöne Grafiken begeistern, blieben allerdings weitestgehend ein Nischenprodukt. Umso erfreulicher, dass sich nun Microids an einen neuen Adventure-Titel mit dem klingenden Namen „Still Life“ gewagt hat und das stiefmĂŒtterlich behandelte Genre mit neuem Wind beleben will.

May 24th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Game Captain (79 out of 100)

Die Story ist der wichtigste Teil an einem Adventure, denn sie ist es, die den Spieler gefangen nehmen und festhalten muss. Die Story von Still Life schafft das ohne Probleme, die gekoppelte Geschichte der Gegenwart und der Vergangenheit ist spannend und voller Abwechselung. Abwechselungsreich sind auch die RĂ€tsel, doch leider sind sie manchmal unverschĂ€mt schwer und sorgen so fĂŒr Frustmomente, in denen die Motivation sehr schnell entschwindet. Aufgrund dieser schwerwiegenden Patzer bleibt Still Life eine eigentlich sichere Wertung ĂŒber der 80%-Marke verwehrt. Alles in allem bietet Still Life ein spannendes Adventure mit einer dĂŒsteren und morbiden AtmosphĂ€re, das AnfĂ€nger sowie fortgeschrittene Spieler einige Stunden Spannung und RĂ€tselspaß bescheren sollte. Besser als die Konkurrenz von C.S.I. und Law & Order ist das Spiel allemal, schon allein Dank der tollen Story.

May 30th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

TalkXbox (78 out of 100)

Still Life includes a gripping gruesome story, challenging gameplay, and to top things off, it’s only twenty dollars. It may not have the longest single-player campaign, but it has a darn good one. Still Life isn’t for everyone though. It’s very slow-paced and has tons of offensive content, making this one not suitable for trigger-happy gamers and young children. If you do not fall into either category, and can handle the extremely difficult puzzles, pick up Still Life, you won’t be disappointed, maybe a little frightened, but not disappointed.

Aug 1st, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Game Vortex (78 out of 100)

What I suggest is this: If you really like adventure games that have gory and intense storylines and puzzles with a high level of frustration, but also some very clever ones as well, this very well may be the game for you. Do yourself this favor though. Go to Still Life’s website here and play the prequel of the game. From what I understand, there are three parts you can play online for free. If you dig the prequel, then you will know that you can at least complete the parts of the game that come after beating the Xbox version and can have closure. No, I am not sorry I played Still Life. I really enjoyed the ride, despite the frustrations. I just hate being left wondering, feeling like there was a sequel set-up, but not knowing if a sequel will ever happen (as Microids was purchased by Ubisoft recently).

2005 · Xbox · read review

GameZone (7.5 out of 10)

Still Life might not be perfect or innovative but it does justice to the classic crime-solving adventure genre and will keep you hooked to the very end. Even with the extremely difficult puzzles, I wish the game were a bit longer and the voice acting a lot better than what’s presented here, but it's still a game worth checking out when you’re in the mood for game that will make you think.

Jun 15th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (15 out of 20)

StillLife nous fait immĂ©diatement plonger dans un univers sombre et inquiĂ©tant grĂące Ă  une rĂ©alisation soignĂ©e et un scĂ©nario qui ne se dĂ©voile que par petits bouts. En fait, on y joue de la mĂȘme maniĂšre qu'on lit un bon polar avec des personnages qui dĂ©bordent de naturel et qui deviennent alors vite attachants, avec aussi un tueur aux mĂ©thodes atroces, et une ambiance pesante jusqu'au dĂ©nouement final.

Apr 12th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Worth Playing (7.5 out of 10)

As a rabid adventure gamer, I was a little disappointed with this title; it definitely needed more puzzles and a fresh take on the gameplay. The bottom line is this: if you like adventure games, you should enjoy Still Life, but it will definitely not change the mind of the masses.

Jul 10th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

NZGamer (7.3 out of 10)

Still Life is far from lengthy and begs to be played on the PC, but has an interesting storyline, some engaging puzzles and one heck of a cliffhanger ending. While some people might not be able to look past its shortcomings, it will definitely give adventure game enthusiasts something solid to sink their teeth into for a couple of days.

Sep 4th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Gamers' Temple, The (73 out of 100)

Of course a huge part of any adventure game are the puzzles and Still Life runs the gambit from simple to what-the-heck-were-they-smoking. Most of the puzzle are a little more difficult than I was expecting and if you don’t end up wanting to throw your TV out the window figuring out the cookie recipe then you did better than me. Overall I thought the level of difficulty was a little high, but it was actually a nice change of pace to be using the old grey matter.

Jul 2005 · Xbox · read review

Gamer 2.0 (7.1 out of 10)

Put it like this: Still Life retains the feel of many classics, but both LucasArts’ and Sierra’s titles had control systems that allowed the player more freedom. When you couple in the fact that Still Life is as linear as a train-track (for instance, you won’t be able to pick up a fire extinguisher until the end of the game, and for no good reason) you have to content yourself with playing a game that Microids have envisaged. As we predicted in our preview, there are no multiple endings. And, on the topic of conclusions, Still Life ends on a huge cliff-hanger that sadly leaves a rather stale taste in the mouth.

Aug 14th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Daily Game (7 out of 10)

Still Life is one of those games that should prove entertaining for those looking for a little break from the constant stream of Xbox shooters. While it is a fairly short game, you'll easily get your $20 (U.S.) worth.

Jul 8th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Mygamer.com (7 out of 10)

Still Life doesn't start with a bang; rather, it consistently builds towards an interesting and eventful finale, only to let the player down in the end. This might be the most significant factor in helping one decide whether to play the game or not. Some players will not mind a shoddy ending as long as the material leading up to it is top-notch; others, especially fans of traditional mystery stories, may not be able to get over the fact that Still Life avoids providing any reasonable kind of closure. Still Life is certainly a good example of its genre, but this glaring flaw along with the hit-or-miss puzzles prevents it from approaching greatness.

Aug 8th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Video Game Talk ( )

Still Life is a throwback to the gaming days of yore with point and click adventures that required more brains than reflexes. Consoles have been sadly absent of this genre for quite some time now, but thankfully this title has come out for the Xbox near the system's end. It may not be the fastest paced game in the world or the best, since it does have many flaws, but the story is such that it will keep you coming back until you find out what happens. The only problem is that beating the game doesn't even bring about any resolution, just more questions so I'm assuming that there is going to be a sequel.

Jul 6th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

IGN (7 out of 10)

Still Life is an enjoyable albeit short diversion for fans of classic adventure games. As usual, this type of game controls better on a PC and character movement feels slow and clunky with the Xbox controller. The mature story will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery but there are too many small shortcomings for this game to compare with high quality adventure experiences like Myst IV. Gamers with a strong stomach and a little patience should still give Still Life a try.

Jun 14th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

TeamXbox (6.8 out of 10)

Still Life had the chance to be something great with its nicely defined plot points in some of the game’s more pivotal moments. Sadly it falls into the realm of being one of those games that presents nothing new to the adventure genre and instead relies on the usual puzzle solving and mildly entertaining exploration mechanics of past titles. For those looking for a new and hardy experience, Still Life probably won’t quench their thirst, but adventure buffs who have been starved for any semblance of their favorite genre, may find solace here.

Jun 15th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GamingExcellence (6.8 out of 10)

So why does the overall score seem so low? Well, the score doesn’t truly reflect the game as a whole and should not be a reason to miss out on it (considering its low price point). The score is more indicative of the taste the ending will leave in your mouth. You will invest a lot of time and care into this game and while you will enjoy the trip, the ending is so overwhelmingly disappointing that you may find yourself hating the entire product just for that. Yes, Hollywood movies have given us similar endings, but after the game has taken so much time to carefully and painstakingly create a perfect mystery for us, leading us to expect an intelligent and satisfying conclusion, it feels shallow (at best) to finally see what Still Life amounts to. This may sound harsh, but it is a reality.

Jun 28th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

MAN!AC (67 out of 100)

Die lineare Abenteuer-Kost um eine Mordserie bietet wenig Interaktion, aber viele RĂ€tseleien.

Jul 1st, 2005 · Xbox

GameSpot (6.7 out of 10)

The amount of time it'll take you to solve the murder mysteries of Still Life will hinge on how many snags you hit while solving puzzles, or how willing you are to fall back on walk-throughs. Either way, though, it's a pretty brief experience that doesn't lend itself to multiple plays. Adventure game fans will be more willing to forgive the game's technical shortcomings than anyone else, but it's hard to believe that devotees of this style of gaming will find much in Still Life that they haven't experienced already.

Jun 3rd, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Extreme Gamer (6.5 out of 10)

Still Life, still gives life to this old formula of point and click adventures. If you were looking for a mature plot driven game mixed with drama, suspense and gore then this is your victim. Remember its pace is slow, but the reward is worth the time invested.

Jun 16th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Bordersdown (6 out of 10)

As a complete package Still Life is a very enjoyable adventure game, its lack of engaging puzzles does sometimes make it feel more like an interactive novel than a game but that in no way detracts from the quality of the product. Here is a well-crafted, good-looking and mature work of fiction that shows a lot of promise for the future of adventure games. If only it was a bit more of a brain teaser.

Mar 2006 · Xbox · read review

Cheat Code Central (3 out of 5)

Still Life is the kind of game that will be regarded by many as, "Not bad." It won't make anyone's top-five-games-of-the-year list but it tells an interesting tale and allows you to match wits with a couple of notorious serial killers. And did I mention that the dame ain't too bad looking?

Aug 2005 · Xbox · read review

MS Xbox World (6 out of 10)

Still Life is a game that will not appeal to everyone, especially those with itchy trigger fingers and a lack of patience. If you are the type of gamer that would rather use brain than brawn then I would say that Still Life might be worth a look. I found the game to be mostly enjoyable bar the odd puzzle that became frustrating after spending plenty of time trying to figure it out. These types of games are rather old school yet I think there is still a place in gaming for them. With plenty of spooky atmosphere and a gripping tale Still Life is an intriguing prospect although I can really only suggest a rental at best.

Jun 2005 · Xbox · read review

Diehard GameFan (6 out of 10)

The opening sequence is like crack on a screen. It will suck you in and grab a hold of you and make you want to play this game. And at that point, one of two things is going to happen
 Either you are going to really enjoy playing through the game, wanting to find out the connection between the two different cases and solve the puzzles, or you are going to get incredibly frustrated by the slow pacing and the puzzles that are nigh impossible to figure out. For me, it was the former. I really got involved with the storyline and wanted to get through the puzzles to see what happened next. Although a few of them definitely made me throw down my controller in disgust and walk away for a while (bloody cookie recipe). But if this is a genre you enjoy, you’ll be sticking with it until the end.

Jun 16th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

GamersHell.com (5 out of 10)

Yes, the story is intriguing and wanting to know what happens next will drive most players to battle through the gameplay tedium, but the experience the plot delivers is in no way exceptional and certainly nothing that couldnññ‚¬ñ„±t be surpassed by the rental of a decent DVD. The realization of the game as a true investigation, involving modern forensic techniques with Victoria mixed with tried and tested legwork with Gus would have made for a far more rewarding package. As it is, Still Life is an exercise in gaming mediocrity, which offers nothing to the player beyond watching, wailing, and wishing.

Jun 2005 · Xbox · read review

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (3 out of 10)

In the end, though, I suppose Still Life wasn’t ever really intended to be a proper game. Whoever came up with the idea must’ve just wanted to see where it went. The overall lack of polish certainly supports that notion. Don’t make the same mistake I did. You don’t want to wind up like I did, stuck with an ugly knife in your back. I guess it could be worse, though. I’m not a dead whore.

Jul 12th, 2005 · Xbox · read review

Player Reviews

Good story, OK game.
by Parf (7781)

The Good
I hadn't really read anything about this game before I picked it up aside from the fact that it was an adventure game with a somewhat mature story. I found it by accident in a bargain bin and decided to have a go at it. Sometimes the games you haven't heard of really surprise you and turn out to be forgotten treasures.

The game is a story-driven old school adventure game, with two separate stories that are strangely connected to one another though a series of murders. You will find out exactly how as you progress through the game, and I feel it'd ruin some of the experience if I gave it away here. One story takes place in present time Chicago, and one in Prague in the 20's. I'll just leave it there and let you play it for yourselves to find out the rest.

After having just finished it with my fiance (we tend to play story-driven games or survival horror games together) basically it comes down to a few good and a few bad things. I'll start by listing the good things and leave the not so good for the next section.

The graphics in the game are really neat, mixing some pre-rendered with real time 3D in a really good way. They are done in a semi-comic book way meaning that the characters, while mostly realistic looking, have some exaggerated features that makes them look like something you'd see in any comic book but moving around in real time. Add to that some really well-directed cut scenes, and you have some real eye-candy. The cut scenes really shot the tempo up in the game when it started to drag along, perfectly balanced to get you revitalized to keep playing and interested in the next turn of events.

The story really sucked you in at times, and you really wanted to know what was to come next in the game. It was well written and very engaging, and you wanted to read every book or scrap of paper you picked up, just to get the full picture of what was going on as you made your way closer to the killers the in the two separate times in history.

I've read (after being done with the game myself) that a lot of people found the Xbox controllers kind of clunky, but I thought they worked really well. They reminded me of the first slew of 3D Lucasarts adventure games, like Monkey Island IV and Grim Fandango. You walk around in the scenes, and as soon as anything of interest shows up you get a little icon next to the item/person/event. I can only assume that the PC-game used the mouse, which obviously is more made for the point-and-click type games, but I can't say I had any complaints about the way they solved it on the Xbox.

And one last positive thing I have to point out is the music, at least at some of the key points in the game where it really shone, with choirs and strings and everything else you'd expect from any high-cost Hollywood movie.

Ok, I think that's enough of the praise... let's move on to the not-so-good parts now.

The Bad
I think you can ask anyone who's ever played this game if they liked the ending and I bet they'd just give you an angry stare. While I can see how an adventure game can be kind of short and since it is, in fact, more about quality than quantity. I can forgive the length of the game... but the ending? I don't know about you, but if you buy a game, wouldn't you like to know beforehand that you're going to shell out whatever a new game costs on what turns out to be basically half a game? I've read that Microids ran low on funds at the end of production, but I'm not sure that is a good excuse to just make what turns out to be a "buy another game for just as much money as you just did to find out how it ends" kind of deal. I read on the official site something along the lines of "fans eagerly await to find out how the story ends". Do they have a choice given the first game? I'll just put this one in the drawer of "disappointing endings that shouldn't even be considered endings" next to Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance I & II.

That was the main gripe about the game, and here are some minor ones, that while not really bad things, kind of just ruined the mood a little from time to time.

If a game is set in Chicago and Prague and both the main characters are american, how come more than half the cast has a very clear Canadian accent? I know this might seem petty, but it kind of ruined the mood a little of the game. It's like having nazis speak french in a WWII movie, but less obvious. I know the studio is based in Canada... but in my mind that's close enough to America to get some actual americans to play the parts instead of the locals.

The puzzles in the game. If you've played enough adventure games you'd be a little turned off by how these are done. They are either of the nature "pick up the only key and use it on the only door"-easy or "figure out this set of 10 characters that we just made up and convert them into numbers and then figure out how to open the safe with them"-impossible. Nothing in between. This made the game laughingly easy at times and "resort to FAQs"-hard at others, leaving it a very uneven game from a gameplay point of view.

And one final little thing. When you read some of the texts and books in the game, they'd made the interface so that you saw a picture of whatever you were reading in the background behind the text. Some of the things you picked up made it totally impossible to read some of the text because it had the same color as the text. While you could figure out most of it, it still felt like a poor design choice.

The Bottom Line
I'd recommend this game to anyone who liked a good story, but who won't mind putting up with the roller coaster easy-hard difficulty and the fact that you're going to have to buy the sequel (which isn't out yet) to see how the story ends. The graphics and music are really good in the game, and so is the writing. So if you can live with the flaws, by any means, pick it up. For the slightly more picky adventure players, there's always the Lucasarts classics to enjoy again (or for the first time for the few who never played them), since nothing ever since they all came out have been able to come close to them in quality.

Dec 31st, 2007 · Xbox

Plus 16 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, Wizo, Yearman, Zerobrain, Alaka, Masakari.