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Sanity: Aiken's Artifact

aka: Aiken's Artifact

Critic Reviews 74% add missing review

Game Vortex (100 out of 100)

Like I said before, graphically, Sanity: Aiken's Artifact starts off looking like a turn-based RPG, but don't let the looks fool you. You are playing an action game, and action is what this game delivers. You portray Agent Cain, a psionic agent in the 21st century. During an experiment to unlock the unused portion of our brains by the use of a serum, things started to go wrong. Subjects in the experiment would start to go insane because their brains could not adapt to the new powers or 'talents'. Cain was different because he was given the serum while in the womb, so his brain was able to deal with the talents and keep his sanity longer. Able to control these talents and his sanity, Cain joined a police force formed to deal with psychotic psionics called the Department of National Psionic Control, or the DNPC.

2000 · Windows · read review

Shooterplanet (87 out of 100)

Als ich das Spiel zum ersten Mal als Demoversion spielte, war ich so dermaßen beeindruckt von Atmosphäre und Spielgeschehen, dass ich mir die Vollversion Wochen später als US-Import zulegte - und ich wurde nicht enttäuscht. Sanity: Aikens Artifact ist durch und durch ein Action-Adventure, wie es im Buche steht. Wer sich bei Sanity langweilt, der kann nicht bei Verstand sein. Ein ausgewogenes und faires Gameplay, abwechslungsreiche Ortschaften, die unser Held bewandert (Forschungslabor, verfallende Städte, Schlachterbetrieb) und ein für Monolith Productions typischer, abgedrehter Humor (schimpfender Kopf im Einmachglas, Todes-Gameshow im TV und Agent Cains Handy, welches immer dann schellt, wenn man es nicht gebrauchen kann) zeichnen dieses Spiel aus und machen es zu einem der besten Action-Adventure aller Zeiten für PC.

Aug 22nd, 2006 · Windows · read review

Absolute Games (AG.ru) (85 out of 100)

Однозначный must-have или хотя бы must-see. Редко когда еще можно встретить такое удачное сочетание двух совершенно разных жанров, да еще с отменным юмором и озвучкой. Дизайнеры Tomb Raider 6, учитесь!

Sep 19th, 2000 · Windows · read review

GameZone (8.4 out of 10)

This game is a very good step in the right direction. The use of the infamous card games is always a big winner with gamers. The game plays well on the PC, but has a console feel to it. With all the minor flaws and disappointments, Sanity is still fun and a great game to play.

Nov 3rd, 2000 · Windows · read review

PC Gamer (Netherlands) (84 out of 100)

Is er dan niks mis met Sanity? Jawel. Het nadeel van de oogverblindende overvloed van SAA is de laadtijd van het spel. Ik heb misschien niet zo'n heel snelle pc, maar met mijn PIII 450, 128 Mb RAM, duurde het eigenlijk net te lang iedere keer. Zo lang dat je na vijf keer knoeien op een moeilijk punt maar weer een tijdje met het spel stopt, en dat is heel jammer. Want zo kom je natuurlijk nooit verder...

Nov 2000 · Windows

IGN (8.3 out of 10)

Mind over matter, brains over brawn, and action film sensibilities over intelligent conversation.

Sep 25th, 2000 · Windows · read review

GameSpy (83 out of 100)

So, after all the analysis, is it a good game or not? The answer is a definite "yes." In fact, it's one of the most original games of the year. Despite certain shortcomings and some frustration, Sanity provided me with a tremendously entertaining, 28-hour long experience that is seldom seen elsewhere.

Sep 2000 · Windows · read review

ActionTrip (82 out of 100)

I suppose we all wondered what would it be like to be a super hero when we were kids. Monolith Productions offers the experience to all players, and the chance to relive their childhood dreams with their new release Sanity: Aiken's Artifact. The basic story is very simple and is about the "Psionics", people with highly developed mental abilities. It all began when Dr. Joan Aiken discovered an ancient artifact in 2028 in an excavation site in East Asia. Examining the artifact, she came up with a formula that allows ordinary people to utilize the full 100% of their brain mass, opposed to the 30% they used before. Those who volunteered to test the formula developed powerful psychic abilities, but their mental health weakened. Their brain could not withstand the strain and they lost their sanity. Not all Psy's intend to use their powers for the benefit of humanity, some of them turned to the life of crime.

Oct 5th, 2000 · Windows · read review

PC Gamer (81 out of 100)

Sanity isn't without its problems, of course. Besides the issues of perspective and control, there are a couple of dubious game-logic issues -- Cain beats up a civilian for a visitor's pass when such an action should cost you the game, and a butler once spotted me even though I was invisible -- and some of the chapter-ending "boss" battles are frustratingly long. You'll find yourself completely ignoring many of the weaker Talents as you face tougher enemies. But it never fails: just when you're feeling frustrated, you'll solve a puzzle or come up with a powerful combination of Talents and find yourself grinning from ear to ear. Sanity will give you your money's worth -- and that's a fancy way of saying it's pretty damn good.

2000 · Windows · read review

All Game Guide ( )

At the beginning, the story seems bleak at best (you're a cop who has to question people). However, once in the field, you begin to question the purpose of your organization and job and eventually gain control of 80 unique talents. Other than the somewhat complex controls in battle, there are no notable problems. The game offers depth and action and could quite easily be source material for a movie. Sanity: Aiken's Artifact is a surprisingly deep adventure with comedy, suspense, and drama wrapped into one saga about the dangers of unleashing powers humankind was never meant to harness.

2000 · Windows · read review

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( )

Sanity is an enjoyable combination of action and adventure that will keep gamers entertained for weeks with the varied single player missions as well as the expandability of the multiplayer functions. The talent system is a breath of fresh air and functions well in the context of the story. The gameplay is enjoyable and engaging, forcing you to think your way through levels instead of merely blasting everything in sight, which makes it a welcome diversion from the droning repetition of many other games that consider themselves ‘action’ titles. Sanity manages to rise above the load times and weak multiplayer level-design to become a worthy title for any gamer willing to step into the spandex uniform of the wise-talking attitude-laden superhero, Agent Cain.

Sep 6th, 2000 · Windows · read review

Electric Games ( )

Sanity may be loosely based upon the gaming style of Diablo, but it takes the action/adventure element much farther in scope of story and provides much more depth, especially in single player mode. Multiplayer may be lacking but the single player game is extensive and a lot of fun. Bottom Line: The Lithtech engine shows its flexibility and provides an excellent environment for this third-person action/adventure. The game relies heavily on story elements rather than mindless slaughter. Pauses and long load times plague the game due to the intense graphics. Overall, the game looks great, sounds good, and is a lot of fun to play.

Nov 1st, 2000 · Windows · read review

Techtite ( )

As one of the last great adventure game fans, I must say it again: If it wasn't for the flawed combat system, Sanity would be one of the action/adventure games of the year. Its FX, storyline, puzzles, and overall appeal are very unique and superior in many ways. These traits almost demand a thumbs-up rating, regardless of the frustration during heavy combat. However, with such flaws in an action-adventure, it took me some time to decide how much to reduce the rating of the overall game. In Techtite.com terms, is it a Large Crater (i.e., a "solid" thumbs-up), or just a small crater (i.e., "marginal thumbs-up")? You have no idea how close it came to a Small Crater, though "Large Crater" won out, thanks to some cool puzzles, nice storyline, humorous finale, and that way-cool concept of making powers gained by "playing cards."

2000 · Windows · read review

PC Player (Germany) (78 out of 100)

Vorweg die obligatorische Nörgelei: Unübersichtliche Kämpfe und unfaire "Schaff es oder stirb"-Rätsel sorgen für permanentes Nachladen. Das Wiederherstellen eines Spielstandes dauert horrende 30 bis 60 Sekunden. Ich habe während der Zwangspause den vierten Teil von Harry Potter durchgelesen, schnellere Leser schaffen vermutlich die Buddenbrocks. Auf geduldige Naturen wartet jedoch ein Actionspiel der Oberklasse. Die Grafik ist schnuckelig, die Geschichte abwechslungsreich, irgendwo passiert immer etwas Unerwartetes. Falls Sie jetzt denken: "Ha, Actiontitel fangen immer mit einem Skript-Feuerwerk an, aber das legt sich ab dem Punkt, an dem die Demo-Version endet."... Weit gefehlt! Auch die späteren Level sind vollgepackt mit relevanten Dialogen, kleinen Gags und coolen Sequenzen in der Spielgrafik. Wen Sanity langweilt, der kann nicht bei Verstand sein.

Nov 2000 · Windows

Gameplay (Benelux) (78 out of 100)

Sanity is een eenvoudig en onderhoudend actiespel dat evenwel nooit de middenmoot overschrijdt.

Sep 28th, 2000 · Windows

PC Joker (77 out of 100)

Alles könnte also so schön sein, wäre da nicht de Technik. Selbst mit 128 MB RAM braucht der Rechner noch gut eine Minute, um einen neuen Abschnitt zu verinnerlichen. Und mangels Übersichtskarte verläuft sich Cain häufig in den verwinkelten Gassen - als Spieler verfügt man eben nicht über PSI-Orientierung. Solche Kräfte wären generell hilfreich, um wegen des unerhörten Schwierigkeitsgrades nicht so häufig zu Spielständen greifen zu müssen. Doch die dichte Atmosphäre und drei Modi für bis zu acht Gehirnakrobaten im LAN oder Internet reißen das Game aus dem Feuer: Aiken's Artifact ist zu ungewöhnlich, um höhere Wertungsweihen zu verweigern.

Nov 2000 · Windows

Power Unlimited (7.5 out of 10)

Een frisse, kleurrijke en tot op zekere hoogte boeiende game die echter een beetje verpest wordt door stomme puzzeltjes en een lousy camerasysteem.

Nov 2000 · Windows

Yiya (B)

Abschliessend kann man sagen, dass Aiken's Artifact eine gelungene Genremixtur ist, die man nur empfehlen kann. 25 Stunden Spielspass sind gewiss und wenn man einmal den Endboss besiegt hat, darf man auch mit seinen erworbenen Waffen alle Level nocheinmal direkt anwählen und darin sein Unwesen treiben. Das Spiel wird in einer DVD Hülle geliefert, das Handbuch ist ausreichend und erklärt alle notwendigen Funktionen. Es ist wirklich schade, dass ein so schönes Produkt total in der Masse untergegangen und daher kaum bekannt ist. Ich hoffe mein Review hat euch Lust auf mehr gemacht und euer Interesse geweckt. So gibt es dafür, auch weil das Programm bugfrei ist und bisher keinerlei Patche notwendig waren, eine verdiente 2.

Oct 22nd, 2001 · Windows · read review

FiringSquad (74 out of 100)

Sanity is a good game definitely worth the once-over. However, that's all you really get. The multiplayer just isn't interesting enough to bother with while the single player game offers no replayability to speak of. This, coupled with the possibility of development tools never being released (or released after everyone stops caring), means that you can't really do much with Sanity once you're done playing the game.

Sep 4th, 2000 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) (74 out of 100)

Een teleurstellende multiplayeroptie wordt grotendeels goedgemaakt door een uitgebreide en interessante singleplayermode.

Oct 11th, 2000 · Windows · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (14 out of 20)

Un bon jeu d'aventure/action qui intègre un système intéressant de pouvoir psioniques à une aventure d'assez bonne qualité. Dommage que le manque de variété se fasse tant sentir au fil des niveaux.

Dec 13th, 2000 · Windows · read review

PC Games (Germany) (69 out of 100)

Steuerung und Perspektive erinnern an Blizzards Diablo, allerdings verwöhnt das Spiel mit riesigen und aufwendig texturierten Welten in 3D. Diese Levels sind allerdings oft so groß, dass sich der Superbulle leicht verlaufen kann. Neben Ballereien per Mausklick stehen Rätseleinlagen wie Verschiebepuzzles oder Mini-Quests auf dem Dienstplan, die meist nur mit Caines psionischen Spezialfähigkeiten zu bewältigen sind.

Mar 7th, 2001 · Windows · read review

Gamigo (6.7 out of 10)

Aiken’s Artifact hat mir, sofern es einmal lief, eigentlich rundum recht gut gefallen. Trotz leichten Mängeln wie z.B. der verzögerten Kamerarotation wäre es ein sicherer Kandidat für das obere Wertungsfeld im 70-er Bereich gewesen. Ein Publisher der Größe von Electronic Arts sollte aber in der Lage sein, ein Spiel auf den gängigsten Konfigurationen zu testen, weswegen es mir unverständlich ist wie das Spiel (in technicher Hinsicht) in der aktuellen Version herausgebracht werden konnte. Das führt zu einem dicken Wertungsabzug, weswegen die 70%-Hürde bei der Gesamtwertung leider nicht erreicht wird – obwohl Aiken’s Artefact dazu allemal das Zeug gehabt hätte.

Jan 26th, 2001 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (6.6 out of 10)

It features a generally successful mix of action and puzzle solving, but some of its poor design elements, the long loading times, and the tiresome multiplayer mode bring it down.

Sep 22nd, 2000 · Windows · read review

PC Action (Germany) (63 out of 100)

Klingelingeling ... schlägt Alarm. Bloß nicht aufregen, sonst setzt Sie der Anti-Aggressionschip außer Gefecht. In Aiken’s Artifact spielen Sie den beinharten Agenten Cain, gesprochen von Rapper Ice T. Deutsche Untertitel Verständnisschwierigkeiten vor. Mithilfe Ihrer Psi-Kräfte und Ihrer Knarre ballern Sie sich durch mehr als 20 Solo-Levels und lösen belanglose Rätsel. Insgesamt guter Durchschnitt.

Mar 21st, 2001 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (62 out of 100)

Schade, da hätte mehr draus werden können. Das Kampfsystem von Aiken’s Artifact ist zwar simpel, macht mir dank der ständig bombastischeren Zaubersprüche aber richtig Spaß. Wenn da nur nicht diese ärgerlichen Rätsel wären. Schema: Unübersichtlichen Level komplett absuchen und zwangsläufig die richtigen Ereignisse auslösen. Ein dickes Extra-Lob haben sich die Entwickler dagegen für den erstklassigen Sound verdient. Trotzdem: Das Ding hat zwar ein paar richtig gute Ansätze – kaufen würde ich es deswegen nicht.

Nov 2000 · Windows

Svenska PC Games (6 out of 10)

Ett spel fullt av fina detaljer. Men Aiken's Artifact frustrerar med sin dåliga spelkontroll och alltför snäva synvinkel. Grafik och variation är dock imponerande och spelets no brain-action lockar nog nyfikna.

Jan 2001 · Windows

Game Informer Magazine (6 out of 10)

Note to self: Ice-T + voice acting = Oh darn. He tries hard, he really does, but Sanity: Aiken’s Artifact is just not firing on all cylinders. Some interesting fighting abilities just can’t pull this one out of the toilet.

Nov 2000 · Windows · read review

Computer Games Magazine ( )

If evaluated by the standards of pulp comics, Sanity has all of the elements of good storytelling-memorable characters, wild plot twists capable of drawing diverse story genres together, and dialogue that is often as campy as it is entertaining. If you are entertained by style alone, this game may be right up your alley. If you also want truly challenging puzzles and combat that rewards creativity, however, you may be a bit disappointed.

Oct 2nd, 2000 · Windows

Fragland.net (57 out of 100)

I'm not going to keep rambling about this, but overall Aiken's Artifact left me with quite a disappointment. There's nothing that made me want to play more and it reminded me of some polished-up version of a ancient coin-up games.

Sep 18th, 2002 · Windows · read review

Game Informer Magazine (5.25 out of 10)

In Sanity, players take on the role of an agent (voiced by rapper Ice-T), who is a member of a government agency that has been put in place to deal with psionic criminals. Basically, you run around the environments, knock off hostiles with your special powers and solve the occasional barrier puzzle. The game’s star attraction is the 80 psionic talents that you can eventually acquire. Unfortunately, while it was nice to pick up new stuff and try it out, most talents only had one real application. My true source of frustration was that the game’s automatic camera system is really slow to react to what direction you’re moving in, forcing you to resort to a manual camera which can be really tricky to manage in the middle of a boss battle. Sanity has its perks, but there are far better games out there right now.

Nov 2000 · Windows · read review

Just Adventure (C)

If not for the control issues, Sanity would be a good game that would have many hours of solid gameplay and story development. Instead, Sanity will shortly be relegated to the bargain bins of our favorite computer superstores. If you see it for $10, pick it up, but otherwise, stay far, far away. For those of you who may be interested, Sanity does have a multiplayer deathmatch mode, as well as some also-available-for-just-a-few-dollars-more Talent add-on packs that can be used in the multiplayer games, but somehow I don't think you care.

2000 · Windows · read review

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( )

I wanted to like SANITY. It almost has the vibe of a hip, slick, over-the-top comic book. But the puzzles, the disappointing execution of the Talents, and the interface all fall short of what could’ve been great.

Nov 2000 · Windows

Worth Playing N/A

Sanity: Aiken's Artifact is one of the better shooting games out right now. Its flashy looks and mind-blowing storyline, combined with Ice-T and some simple controls, make Sanity a lot of fun as well. You can't go wrong here.

Jun 27th, 2001 · Windows · read review

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Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, Klaster_1, vedder, Kabushi, Wizo, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Cantillon, Jeanne, Xoleras, Parf, Big John WV, jaXen, ☺☺☺☺☺.