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#87333 - 05/22/01 09:43 AM Traitors Gate
esube Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/07/01
Posts: 2500
Loc: Central Pennsylvania
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.

esube



[This message has been edited by esube (edited 05-22-2001).]
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#87334 - 05/22/01 10:43 AM Re: Traitors Gate
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10305
Esube. oops you reminded me I need to go back and finish up TG.

I think EMI or something else pulled me away and I haven't gone back to finish up, get the jewels and tidy up. I certainly have seen my fair share of "got caught, killed ..." in this game. LOL I loved your description.

One of the things I loved about this game is how realistic it all looked and the attention to environmental detail. I really loved using the grapple and sliding up to and over to buildings.

It does remind me of Messenger. Probably why I liked the Messenger so much. Well I believe need to get back to the end game on this soon.

Thanks for the review!

Laura
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#87335 - 05/23/01 01:24 PM Re: Traitors Gate
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 34872
Loc: southeast USA
I liked the realistic environments, but I sure didn't like the way half the screen was taken up by the PDA interface. I wanted to see more. It felt rather claustrophobic to me, with the big PDA in the way. But then I get claustrophobic easily.

I didn't like that it was timed either. It's a hard enough game without being timed. Safecracker was timed too. If Daydream makes any more games, I hope they either get rid of the timer or make it optional. Someone in the adventure newsgroup found a way to increase your remaining time in Safecracker by editing your saved game file. I don't know if this is possible with Traitors Gate.

And those QuickTime transitions really were slow. Even if you skip them (by using the alt key when you click the mouse, I think), they insist on loading before they skip. And since they load off the CD, it really slows things down. Movement would probably be a lot perkier if there had been an option for a full install to your hard drive.

I don't like boring mazes, and the sewer maze was pretty boring. Dull grey dungeon walls over and over with little variation. One of the first things I did was to download a map of this maze off the net so I could spend as little time there as possible. There aren't many mazes that I like. The hell maze in Atlantis 2 and the 3D maze in Sanitarium were exceptions. And of course the maze in Discworld 2 was fun in its way.

I think Traitors Gate is worth playing once, but I don't think I'd want to play it again.

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#87336 - 05/24/01 03:54 AM Re: Traitors Gate
Ashley Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/11/99
Posts: 1764
Loc: Illinois
I don't normally like the genre that Traitors Gate and Safecracker fall into (short on plot, long on puzzles), but I loved both of them. I played TG as a loaner and liked it so much that when I found SC in the bargain bin I bought it and later bought my own copy of TG.

I've never been to England, much less toured the Tower, but I loved exploring it in this game. One of my fantasies since visiting Ludwig's German castles when I was 8 has been getting total access to explore a castle full of hidden passages and all kinds of history. TG definitely helped fulfill my dreams.
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Ashley

Well sure MIST is pretty, but egad is it dull!
-- Lost Welshman of Blood Island (CMI)

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#87337 - 08/30/01 08:42 PM Re: Traitors Gate
bj Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 375
Loc: La Puente, CA USA
I liked TG but I had a really wierd problem with it. ABout half way through the sewer maze went bananas. All of the directions were wrong tunnels went around in loops and sometimes you got to areas that simply should have not been there. Eventually I reinstalled it and it was alright until the last few minutes. I came out at the moat, had to go back in again to fetch something, and lo and behold the maze was completely garbled, I bailed out at that point since I was almost done anyway. The same thing happened in ROTS at the final maze. On the second pass it was ok. It made me swear off of Dreamcatchers though.

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