Recommended Spec P200mmx, 32mb ram, 4x cd rom, 2mb vram.
Played on P2 650, 128mb ram, 48x cd, ATI rage Pro video card.
It’s the only game where I have had to uninstall the first one before being able to install the second game. Weird!! It is totally mouse driven, first person perspective, but with some 3rd person cutscenes. You have a 2 part inventory, one for things you have picked up, the other for actions. Sometimes you have to combine inventory items, but this is accomplished by just putting one over the other in the inventory window.
I hadn’t read any reviews on this game when I got it, but liked the sound of it. You play as Tancrede de Nerac, a Knight Templar who has a grudge against the prophet Simon de Lancrois – yes that name is familiar, he is the subject of the Pilgrim story. These two games are a sequel to that. His nickname amongst the desert folk is As-Sayif, which means scimitar as he is lethal with this weapon. The first thing you are faced with is a maze of streets. Yukky I thought… but that was the only one in the first game. The city is deserted… but you can hear hammering in the distance. Once I found the source of this, I also found out that you could die quite easily within the first half hour of gameplay!! After that, I saved often, usually at the beginning of a new location and after completing a tricksy or long puzzle sequence. There are lots of places to explore, giving you mostly superfluous information about the inhabitants of the city, but that does give you background to the story. It also fuels your hatred of Simon. From the city, you continue your search for Simon, going from one location to the next in a very linear sequence. You can’t leave a location before completing that part of the story, so there is no chance of having to go back to a location far away because you left something behind! Most of the puzzles centre round ‘If you want help, then do this for me first’ . You are often given a choice of whom to trust, the consequences of choosing incorrectly usually result in your death… The puzzles are satisfying without being too easy in the first game, but there is one particular sequence where you are trying to work out where to go next… the clues are only given to you once you have worked most of it out for yourself!!! Very frustrating! Quick reactions are needed in the dream sequence, when you have to figure out how to vanquish your personal demons, with the help of those you have met, whilst hopping from one place to another. I spent about 5 minutes bouncing from one spot to another before I thought of checking my inventory J
At the end of the first game, you are left feeling unfulfilled…. Luckily I got both together so I could load up the second one straightaway. You pick up where you left off, still hunting for Simon. Again, you are plunged in the deep end, with a series of puzzles, a super slider puzzle included, but its not too difficult. You then face the pit of doom… killed me off a fair few times before I got my reactions in gear I can tell you!! Its best to sit down and plan your route on paper before trying it as you do have to jump quickly. Gets more fun from there on in… go meet the dames from hell……. Quirky puzzles, working out who wants what… but don’t get too passionate or you may just pay the ultimate price! You get your breath back after this interlude and on to meet some more folk who want something from you… moral conundrum coming up! Do you kill a friend or do you condemn yourself to a slow death from the Houris poison? OK, so you make the right choice and its off again on your quest. Oh nearly forgot, there is another maze, underground this time, but the tunnels are drawn in such a way that each location is different and you don’t get lost so easily. (thank goodness, I HATE mazes!!)
At the end, you are still left wondering just what happened to this incredible chap you have been following for the last few hours… room for another game there maybe!!
I didn’t find the games very long, but I did enjoy the scenery, racing through the desert on a grey steed, to the sound of beautiful evocative music. The other nice thing was that the voice acting was good…… our pussycat pal from Faust plays the main character. The main downside was the portrayal of the female characters. I always thought that Houris and the like were supposed to be beautiful, but they looked like they had been dragged through a hedge backwards!! Someone pass them a comb!!!
All in all, a fulfilling experience, if a little on the short side. I think it took me about 20 hours to complete both games, maybe that is being a bit generous! You do get wrapped up in the storyline though and want to see what happens next!