I have just finished Amerzone yesterday, and enjoyed this game so much, that I had an urge to write about it. I have never written a review before, so this is going to be a bit unstructued...
Overall impression : A great game, and a great experience! If you never played it, do it now! If you have, you're probably "seeing" the cutscenes in your mind right now.
Score : A
This is a strange beast. It's weird because when cut down to the elements that make an adventure game, most of them are mediocre and even bad. But somehow, the game has so much charm that all is forgiven. For this reason, I will not give scores to the elements.
The elements :
The story is good and with a lot of potential. Before you start out on your journey you already know most of it, and are intrigued by it.
Once you're on your journey, not much advancement is made in the story.
The gaming interface is simple and standard. The printed-matter interface is annoying. Once a page has been read, you can't go back. You will have to finish reading whatever you're reading and start over.
Also, at some point in the game, you have to operate the hydrafloat in a specific way. While it is clear what you must do, the interface there is so bad that it took me another session to manage doing it. And even then it was by accident.
The game freezed on me at least once on every session. Also, the cut-scenes were very blocky on my computer.
Turning down (to off) all graphic and audio accelaration didn't fix it.
The official support site claimed that the "blockyness" is a random bug that appears on some computers, and no solve it available.
Now we're getting to the good parts!
Even though the graphics were blocky on my computer, I was VERY impressed!
The 3D characters are almost nice (which is a big compliment to 3D characters!)
The scenery is amazing. While not as "sophisticated" as Myst3 Exile, it has the charm that the latter doesn't.
The animations sometimes stop, and the scenery doesn't look huge and endless like in Exile, but still, it looks ALIVE!
Moving aroung inside the river, you can really feel the water. touch the toads. avoid the mosquitos.
Was there any music doing game-play? I can't recall. I can only remember the sound effects which are nice. They are scene-dependant, and change according to your view, which is pretty standard. All in all, the sound complements the graphics.
There was some nice french music at the beginning and at the end credits.
Not very professional. I would have prefered have them in the original language, with subtitles. Maybe then the acting would have been better.
Still, there was a nice effort there and the result is satisfactory, since there are not a lot in the game.
This game is ALL about atmosphere, and this is where the game excells.
As I wrote in the opening, after playing this game, you will still "run" some of the cut-scenes in your head.
This game defines "immersiveness".
This is where the game lacks.
Almost all of the puzzles are pixel-hunting puzzles. This is not to say that objects are pixel-small, but rather that you need to find a lot of hard-to-find objects. Some are hard to find because it's dark, and some are hard to find because you won't be looking at the right direction. But once you find what you need to find, the puzzles are not a challenge. You will always know what to do.
The game has "it"!
That elusive thing that makes an adventure game a treat. It has it in bundles.
The game's "Itness" is one of the highest I remember playing.
While a game like "The longest journey" might score higher with me, Amerzone has more "Itness", which makes it a must-play.
Final score : A
Scores of other games I played :
DOTT : A+ ...Clever and fun
Myst : A+ ...Smart and original
TLJ : A ...A true adventure
Obsidian : A ...Original
Riddle of Master LU : A ...Great puzzles
Curse of monkey island : A ...Great fun
Exile : B+ ...A huge effort
Chronomaster : C ...Boring
Mission Critical : C ...Boring
Toonstruck : D ...Idiotic
Dark Seed 2 : D ...Boring
Game reviewed on :
Matrox MGA 200 8M