Apology: I am currently playing The Messenger and it reminded me so much of Traitors Gate that I got to thinking about what I liked and disliked of that game, that I began to write it down. So now I shall inflict these thoughts on the patient Gameboomer audience.
Traitors Gate was developed by Daydream, the Swedish group that gave us the stylish Safecracker. It's a first person adventure, in which the adventure is to steal the Crown Jewels--yes, the real God Save the Queen Crown Jewels--out of the Tower of London--yes the real GSTQ Tower.
And boy is it real. I've been able to visit the Tower a couple of times, and the game seems absolutely, astonishingly, accurate.
Right down to the plaques on the walls and the displays in the cases.
Anyway, you aren't really stealing the Crown Jewels. That would be wrong. What's going on is that some other bad guy IS going to steal them, so you have to get there and replace the CJs with fakes that have homing devices, so he can be caught. All without telling Her Majesty's Government, or indeed leaving any traces.
So the game is pure adventure. You can't kill anybody, although you do get to zing a couple in the back of the neck with a sleeping dart. You sneak around, and break into safes, and unlock puzzle boxes, find keys and use fake key cards, and steal stuff, and figure stuff out. Do it wrong, and you get caught or shot, and back to the last saved game you go, with a dispiriting message to the US President of your failure. I got caught a lot. Save your games. A LOT.
You get a lot of cool spy stuff to play with, including a crossbow, and you can read about the Tower, and an awful lot of it comes in handy in solving the puzzles.
The main way of getting around from one building to another is through the sewer system, and the main fault of the game is that this is pretty slow and monotonous. The Quicktime transitions were, for me at least, a good deal slower than in other games, and I was pulling my hair occasionally when I had to make yet another trek in the muck. MAP THE SEWERS. You will thank yourself that you did.
The whole game is timed. That is, you have to get the whole thing done in, what, 6 or 12 hours of real time. But saving a lot allows you to explore at will, then do the right thing in a "main game" in a minimal amount of real time.
There are a couple of different endings, depending on how much you clean up after yourself. I admit to leaving a couple of things behind, because I couldn't stand to go back down into the sewers one more time. So I didn't get the best win, because I caused great embarassment to my government. But the US government should be quite used to embarassment by now.
But, HAH, I got the jewels.
Traitors Gate is great fun, is a great adventure game, but it does require patience, not just in the sewers, but in getting the sequence of your actions just right. But the realism, and the puzzles and the spy gear, and all, make this a real, uh, steal.
[This message has been edited by esube (edited 05-22-2001).]
"I could help you if I had my salmon"