Secret Files 2 Puritas Cordis
This has been done before except Secret Files found a new villan in Puritas Cordis sort of giving a rest to the Knights Templar. This is not a knock toward the game at all we need diabolical bad guys who are over the top zealots. You cannot review this game without comparing it to the first. So the obvious questions begin with "well did it measure up?" For the most part yes it did, however, there is always a but, isn't there? That but is a big one, the game is rather short. On one of my play throughs I followed Bernard's excellent walk found on Gameboomers. Yes it was written for the German version of the game. Relax it is written in English. You can follow this guide quite easily as it appears there are few differences between the German and English versions. The walk through refers to items such as a "torch" where in the English version it is called a flashlight. I did not find anything that would really confuse the issue. But what about the game?
The interface including the graphics are pretty close to Secret Files 1. I did not notice anything that worked differently, there may have been something that slipped past. If so it was minor. The space bar highlights hots spots as well as a small icon in the lower right corner of your inventory screen. The inventory bar is placed on the bottom of the screen and disappears while the subtitles are displayed.There is also a hint section built into the game though I did not use it, after all I had Bernard's walk close by. The game of course is third person with graphics similar to the first game. Double clicking allows your character to run while right clicking an object provides views and left click picks it up. Double clicking on the exits grants instant access to the next room. There appears to be unlimited saves and an auto save function when you shut down the game. A pop up box gives you the option to use it or not. The dvd is required to be in the drive when you play but there are no passwords to enter when installing or starting game play. It is also alt/tab friendly which is quite helpful when using external aids. Some of you will be happy to learn Nina's voice is done by a different actress, gone is the youthful voice so many complained about. There were no "awful" voices used and I would rate the voice acting as professional. In my version of the game there were no glitches when played in XP. There was no awful spinning around or loss of focus in the graphics. All in all the graphics were crisp and clear well rendered which made for an enjoyable experience.
No spoilers here. There are several locations in this game divided into chapters. In order they are Christ College Cambridge, Cruise Ship, Jungle, Capsized and Shipwrecked, ( you think it is an island but it isn't ) Temple, Gatineau France, Paris and Puritas Cordis Headquarters. Believe it or not there is no arbitrary running around or back tracking. A little in Paris but they give you a clickable map to quickly teleport in an instant. The characters are many and you play at least five. Mostly focused on Nina and Max with a bit of attention on Sam, a female character that is used extensively in one chapter. There are two others used for a short period. The puzzles are the usual pick up everything in sight and use them on various objects to get what you need. For the most part they are logical and what is missing is the absurd tape a cell phone on the cat puzzle. I hope you are not disappointed, the creators must have been listening. There are a couple of password type puzzles where the needed numbers are gained in conversation with other characters or reading notes. You need to pay attention. There are no mazes, mini games or timed puzzles. Well almost no timed puzzles. The concluding puzzle while not timed in the classical sense requires you to multi task while being chased. You may have to do what is required in bits and pieces by doing part A then exit the room then reenter do part B repeat for C and D. It is not that bad and there is no getting killed and starting over nonsense.
So how does it compare? If you liked the first game you should enjoy this one. The story is quite detailed and will keep you going to see what happens next. There are a few moments here and there where you will scratch your head wondering "What! Where did that come from?" But they are minor. The one complaint is that this game is much shorter than the first, perhaps as little as seven and one half hours if you follow the walk through. There seems to be the right amount of conversation which is not too long or clipped short. With the addition of the subtitles and the ability to right click to skip through if that is what you like. A considerable amount of the story is told though cut scenes. They always seem to come up when you are waiting to save and call it a day. They are well done and not annoying. The ending oh yes the ending they did that right. You do get a detailed conclusion. Also a bonus Nina does a voice over while showing a still scene of each character telling you what happened to them. Finally you get a closing scene with Nina and Max. Once Nina satisfies your need for an ending a screen details your game play. No you don't get a score but it reports how many minutes it took you to play. Also informs you how many times you accessed hints and other details. All in all one of the better games of late and it compliments the first.
Just a note to address concerns about the length of this game. I noted above the length of time it took me with a walk through on a second time. I mentioned six hours, upon checking the dreaded certificate which reports in minutes I verified math was not a strong point. 446 minutes is a bit more than six hours initially reported I did make that change in the above text. The point is this game is a reasonable length but it does fall toward the short side. I did not find that to be a problem because this is a quality game and worth playing.
Edited by oldmariner (05/17/09 11:58 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification