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SummaryThe master of police-focused adventure games finishes off with a mediocre offering
The GoodWhen I went out to buy a game, I chose this one for two reasons. One, because the graphics looked fairly outstanding for its time. Secondly, it was designed by Jim Wells, one of my (then) industry favorites, who had brought us the first three incarnations of the Police Quest series. I'll talk about reason one now, and reason two a dialog box later.
The graphics for this game are great. Albeit, any screenshots that showed live digital actors did it for me way back in the mid-90's. The backgrounds are drawn nicely, and the actors integrated into these backgrounds to nice effect. My biggest complaint with the graphics were that everyone had a vertically squashed head during closeups, but that can be forgiven.
The gameplay is typical adventure fare (pre-Myst). If you've ever played a Sierra adventure game immediately after they got rid of the text parser, you know what I'm talking about. The mouse does everything via icons and hotspots on the screen. It doesn't really do anything new.
The storyline is fairly pleasing. It is not up to par with the Police Quest games, and it actually forgoes a lot of the police investigation elements that made the series so intriguing. While nothing special and with predictable plot twists, it serves the game.
The BadMy biggest complaint was that it was very short. That, and the puzzles were very easy (although the two kind of go hand-in-hand). I was able to finish this game in about six or seven hours. And after paying $60 for it, I was not a happy person.
I was dissapointed at the overall quality of the game. It just didn't have that Jimmy feeling that was in his other three games. As I mentioned before, alot of the police procedures and conflicts that occured in the PQ games are absent. In its place is something that I would almost call 'action sequences'. While they are not actual action moments in gameplay (as is common today), the scenarios and situations are action packed. Hostages, terrorists, gunfights and the like. This may not be a neccesarily bad thing, it does create the tension, but when you go from one dangerous situation to another, it gets tired.