Just finished this new game and thought I'd knock of a quick review without any spoilers.
It is point and click, no keyboard use. Inventory displayed on bottom of screen does not get in the way. Unlimited saves but with a caution here. Use escape key to pop up save/load/quit screen.Game auto titles saves in the format, "day 1 afternoon" based on where you are in the game. If you saved in this time period already add something to the save title. Such as "day 1 afternoon-2" or it overwrites your previous day 1 afternoon save. You do not get an overwrite message, the game only ask you "are you sure" when you click to save if it will over write. It caught me a couple of times before I caught on to that. The game is alt-tab friendly.
Excellent graphics with very good detail in the scenes. Also a plus, there are no overly dark areas limiting your vision when you need to do something. Lots of cut scenes with great detail and no you can't save in the middle of a cut scene.
Very good background music which does not interfere with conversations. Also subtitles spell out the conversations on the top of the screen. Voice acting is surprising good, not great, but good. I don't recall any clunkers or bad accents. Sound effects are not overdone and are effective. none of this interferes with your immersion in the story. In fact it complements it very well.
You play David McNamara a psychiatrist and five patients he is sent in to examine. The role of the Patients are played as each tells their story through flashbacks while they are confined in a hospital.
As mentioned above this is point and click without keyboard use. The puzzles are inventory based with some logic puzzles such as lock combinations, opening grates etc. Nothing too difficult and most of them are logical. No rubber ducks or outrageous leaps of logic. Better yet there is no place where you are rushed take your time, figure things out. No timed puzzles, no action or quick reaction stuff. Any of that is done in cut scenes.
Not going to ruin it here with spoilers. Like it says on the box you are sent to interview people committed to the hospital under strange circumstances. It seems no one can be trusted and the hospital staff you encounter suggests you can't trust them and you won't like them.
The story is engaging and will keep you guessing as you unravel what happened to these people. You play each of the people as they tell what happened to them in a flashback format. You as the doctor need to not only fight your own demons but those of the others as well. Did I tell you David is well hard to get to know? You may not even like him as his story slowly comes to light. You will most likely enjoy the ending as they do wrap it up neatly and don't leave you hanging. Oh there are a few items that leave you to fill in the blanks but nothing to disappoint.
There is a considerable amount of conversation. It serves to advance the story. There is no Question Tree where you select a lot of questions. The doctor asks on his own and only what he needs to know. It is not long winded and they seem to keep on the point giving you what you what is required. There are a lot of cut scenes and as I said the graphics are very good. The characters do have that strange way of walking but relax there is not a lot of running back and forth to make the game longer. How long is it? Well I'd say it is similar to Dead Reefs in length and allows a reasonable time of game play. There is some blood and gore but you don't see the violent action. In a few places you see the after effect.
It is not a horror game, it is a mystery which you must unravel. There is no gratuitous violence but there is violence. Some mild bad language but limited and it's possible you would not notice it. Nothing like Zack in TLJ.
All in all a very good game well worth the play. No it did not grab me like Gabriel Knight, it did not have the WOW effect of TLJ. The depth of story in my mind was less than that of Culpa. But those are games that don't come around often and this one is much better than most.
Edited by oldmariner (04/15/08 03:51 PM)