Lost Horizon

Posted by: oldmariner

Lost Horizon - 09/30/10 02:16 AM

Lost Horizon, by Deep Silver

Where does one begin to dissect this game? It is a bit different as it attempts the feel of Indiana Jones featuring exotic locations, romantic time period and a rough edged flawed character. I will leave it to you to determine if they achieved that. A few reviews claim they missed the mark but I don't completely agree with that assessment. You cannot match a big budget Hollywood production with actors like Harrison Ford in a video game. They came close as we travel from Tibet,Hong Kong, Algeria, Berlin, Bavaria, India and back to Tibet. How many video games feature Tibet? You get to fly an airplane, ride a camel and climb a tree among other things.

How are the mechanics? Playing in XP there were no crashing issues and no slow downs. You need an agp or pci express video card with at least 64mb of memory and Direct X9 compatibility. 512 megs of ram, 4.5 gigs of hard drive space with a pentium 4 2ghz single core as a minimum. Not too demanding. The disc needs to be in the drive and it is alt tab or start key friendly for those fast walk through checks. The graphics are well drawn, sharp and quite detailed. You will notice subtle movement of clouds in what appears to be a stationary scene otherwise. Look at the detail you will be pleasantly surprised.

The voice acting is exceptionally good with none of the accents being overdone. One of the complaints I read panned the lip syncing as not very good when shown in closeups. Having read that before playing I noted the criticism was accurate. But quickly determined for me the complaint was reduced to nit picking. You really don't notice it unless you are looking to find fault. It is far less annoying than horrible voice acting featured in some games that sound like chalk screeching on a blackboard. We have good graphics, very good voice acting and that is just the start. What about the important issues puzzle and story?

Let's begin with the manual. Who reads those things? This one is quite thick and detailed. It even includes a "top secret" section printed upside down reading from the back. It features an over view of the story and offers some hints. Of course I did not see this until I finished the game, after all Adventure gamers don't read manuals. The opening screen features a movie theater with traffic out front. You can watch the truck drive by and German soldiers going back and forth all night. Nothing will happen until you click on the entrance then the game begins. The load game, options and main menu screens are found by clicking on the posters along the front of the building. There is a quit option stuck neatly on a lamp post to the right of the store front.

There are unlimited saves. At the bottom of the screen on the right are three icons. A crossed hammer and wrench is where you save games. You also are offered the option of an auto save when you quit the game. Next to that is a question mark icon offering game help. In the form of our lead character telling you where he needs to go. A third icon, magnifying glass serves as a "snoop key" which highlights the items you can access on screen. The space bar serves the same purpose. Next to that along the bottom of the screen your inventory is spread out. An interesting feature is when you end one chapter and enter another your inventory is often used up and close to empty. You never get over loaded with an endless supply of stuff. So as promised the nuts and bolts beginning with puzzles. Most of your puzzles are of the inventory type. The usual mix and match items to perform a function. One thing to be mindful of is when interacting with an item a right click generates a vocal description while a left click picks it up or uses it. Clicking an item in inventory often finds another object. Be sure to check everything. There is one simple maze, no timed puzzles and no sudden death. In fact when you walk into a room full of Nazis they never seem to notice you and will wait patiently while you do whatever you need. Take your time, explore. you will encounter a few stand alone puzzles and are given a choice to do the easy or hard version.

The story is quite detailed with very rich well developed characters. The premise is taken from that real old movie classic, ( 1937 ) The Lost Horizon. But if you were thinking it immerses you into the detailed world of Shangri-la and all the wonders found by the movie character, Robert Conway you will be disappointed. The location renamed Shambala is the same lost world but you won't see any considerable detail of that society or its beautiful gardens. The game opens with Richard Weston being under attack at a monestary in Tibet. It is his disappearance and the need for world domination by the Nazis that sets the basis for the game. Enter our anti hero Fenton Paddock who is tasked to race the Nazis to find the key that will allow access to this mystical world. You play three characters primarily Fenton Paddock who among other things is a smuggler. The idea is he's crafted with Indiana Jones in mind. Yes you can make that connection based on the time period and the character's persona. He is teamed up with a cute and thankfully not over done friend named Kim. You get to play both though not a lot of Kim. In the last chapter there is a small bit with Richard. There are seven chapters in this long entertaining game with many cut scenes. All the action is contained within the cut scenes. The dialogue is extensive at times but you can click through it. All dialogue is subtitled along the bottom of the screen. There are no real head scratchers with the inventory puzzles but they do get progressively more difficult as you go along. I was considering writing a walk through until I found an excellent one with considerable detail and helpful pictures. Link included here. Walk Through

While the end credits are playing you are informed the bonus features are available. What may be an original song in the 1930s style is playing as the credits roll. It is quite well done. All in all this is very likely the best adventure I have seen in the last few years.
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 09/30/10 10:58 AM

An excellent review of Lost Horizon, oldmariner! I couldn't agree more.

Your mention of the movie brought back memories of Ronald Colman who played Robert Conway. A handsome man and what a voice! If he were around today, any game developer who could snare him to do the voice acting would be really lucky. (I have a feeling Mad would add Basil Rathbone to the list of great voices. <g> ) Adam Howden was terrific as Fenton, though, and just right for him so I'm definitely not complaining and I hope we hear more from him, preferably in a new game from Animation Arts.

I could do with more fast-moving, irreverent, beautifully done games like Lost Horizon. And did anyone notice? You didn't have to develop one picture! <eg>

Gil.

Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost Horizon - 09/30/10 12:12 PM

Traveler,

As a matter of fact I rented that movie from Netflix a few months ago, it is quite dated. I'd have to agree with Mad on Basil. A year or so ago I got the set of restored Sherlock Holmes movies, 13 or 14, as a gift. They are pretty good.

This game is a keeper, I am glad I bought the disc version.
Posted by: DanceWarrior

Re: Lost Horizon - 09/30/10 07:56 PM

Nicely done, oldmariner! A very enjoyable read! laugh
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/01/10 09:42 PM

Thanks for your comment Dance Warrior. This was a very good game.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/02/10 01:24 PM

Good review, thanks! I'm just starting this one and I've already enjoyed the challenge in the harbor. grin
Posted by: sarahandus

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/03/10 07:12 AM

I remember reading the book way back when, it fueled a passion for Tibet - along with millions of others.

I downloaded the demo and, while it was beautiful, I just couldn't take to it for some reason. Much as I'd like to. Guess I'll have to pass on this "Lost Horizon".

Part of the problem is my aversion to themes dealing with the war years.

Good review though.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/05/10 02:41 PM

Another great review, oldmariner thumbsup

You always tell me what I want to know about a game without overdoing the info grin

I haven't started this one yet but I'm sure I will like it as I'm so much enjoying just the anticipation wink

[And as for the one and only Basil ?? Yeah !! A voice and a half .... and, for me, the best Sherlock character ever !! praise
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/05/10 05:57 PM

An OT answer for you, Mad. I think the only thing wrong with Basil as Sherlock was his Watson. Jeremy Brett was blessed with both of his. They weren't cretins!

Don't anticipate Lost Horizon too long or the game will never live up to your expectations! <g>

Gil.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/05/10 09:23 PM

I am happy in my anticipation of Lost Horizon, traveler. Anticipation is part of the enjoyment for me thumbsup

[And Basil will always be my best Sherlock, irrespective of who plays his Watson grin]
Posted by: chrissie

Re: Lost Horizon - 10/13/10 05:02 PM

Thank you oldmariner for another excellent review! I think I will be definitely getting this one! smile
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/04/10 01:44 PM

I finished Lost Horizon this week and what a game !!

I enjoyed it VERY MUCH INDEED and must congratulate Deep Silver on an all round excellent production praise praise
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/04/10 08:32 PM

Thanks, oldmariner

Very Good review...I love the game..But ...I have only two complaint's...Each time the game goes to a different screen...I get the download thing....Which I hate..

I also find that the dialog is a bit too much duh
All in all it is a fantastic game...Having much fun...
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/04/10 08:42 PM

The download thing?

Gil.
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/04/10 08:46 PM

Yes...You get a black screen with a button that says Loading....Thats what I mean't...lol
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/04/10 09:03 PM

Oh, the dragon medallion. Gotcha. Honestly, I can't say that it bothered me but that's me.

Gil.
Posted by: Adam Beals

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/08/10 07:37 PM

I just finished this game today and loved it! Lost Horizon was long and engrossing, I just couldn't stop playing. The puzzles were tricky but not game stopping, and even better, the game ran with out any glitches or crashes smile. The finale was the one of the best parts grin I wish more games could be like this.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/09/10 12:50 PM

Thanks Adam, It's great to find a game that really pulls you in. wave
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 11/09/10 02:48 PM

"I wish more games could be like this."

I definitely second that !!!! tomato
Posted by: leo

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/03/11 11:50 AM

Just finished playing it today.

When a game is good, is good!!

I think everybody will be satisfied playing this game. Good amount of riddles, adequate difficulty to fit all tastes, travelling around the world, and a sweet taste at the end.

I will say no more... but if you haven't already, go buy this game and play it!! Such good productions are rare in our days.

Enjoy this game, and a Happy New Year to everyone!
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/03/11 07:15 PM

A great way to start the year, wasn't it, leo? Lost Horizon is just a marvelous game.

And with Black Mirror 3, a possible new game from Revolution, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes and the remastered Broken Sword 2 coming up, 2011 shouldn't be so bad either. <g> Here's hoping!

Happy New Year to you, too!

Gil.
Posted by: Tomer

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/11/11 10:50 AM

I agree, it's a very good game, BUT:

Don't you guys think that the story is a little "been there, done that"?

I for one have higher expectations (or hopes) from games, when it comes to originality. The game is basically one big assembly of very well-executed clichés, if you'd ask me.
Yes, it's pretty, characters are stereotypically formulated, and the game's neither too hard nor deadly easy (though I bet most of us started mixing out inventory with itself randomly at a certain point - and eventually it always works.) - but wasn't something very similar (minus the graphics) done before? Like, a hundred times?

It's always nice to stumble upon well executed games with a cute plot and cute characters. But unfortunately it doesn't really move me.
That's why I would prefer a game such as Gray Matter, even though I think it's execution is of lesser quality than of Lost Horizon's.

Lost Horizon feels like a game made in the beginning of the 90's, when everyone were excited about the fact that we can now do a James Bond game, save the princess style, only with much better graphics. And it indeed has a nostalgic touch to it.
So to sum it up - positive and nice game, definitely, but if that was the peak of story telling in this medium, I'd never be interested in the first place.
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/11/11 11:28 AM

As I recall it, at least 90% of The Longest Journey was cliché and I've never understood why people rave about it; it bored the socks off me whereas Lost Horizon kept me interested until the end. Evidently clichéd material doesn't turn everyone off; it depends on the way it's presented whether it appeals to you or not. You didn't like this one, I didn't like that one, go figure. It's interesting how people filter things through their own mental criteria.

Originality is hard to come by in any medium. Most things have been done before. (I would say everything has but someone is sure to clobber me with an exception.) It's the way they're re-interpreted that makes a song, a story, a game grab you or turn you off. Animation Arts did a great job with this game, I think.

Gil.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/11/11 04:10 PM

"Lost Horizon feels like a game made in the beginning of the 90's, when everyone were excited about the fact that we can now do a James Bond game, save the princess style, only with much better graphics. And it indeed has a nostalgic touch to it."

They're probably some of the main reasons why I enjoyed it so much !! rotfl
Posted by: Becky

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/11/11 10:40 PM

What made Lost Horizon interesting to me was the character of Fenton Paddock; I think there was more to him than just a cliche. His quips made me laugh and his reactions were not always what I expected. And the actor who voiced him did a great job.

I agree with Tomer that, in terms of story, Gray Matter is a deeper game.
Posted by: meryl

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/15/11 11:46 AM

Oh Traveler !
I never thought I'd find someone who felt the same way.
The Longest Journey bored the socks off me too. It's one of several games I wish I hadn't wasted my time on.
Lost Horizon is the tops. I've only just started to play it. It ranks along with Barrow Hill, Rhiannon, The Lost Crown, Dark Fall The Journal etc in terms of quality though it's a very different style game.
Must get back to it now.
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/16/11 12:15 AM

Never feel alone again, meryl. <g> I've played some dumb games, some badly written games and some boring games but The Longest Journey takes the cake for being all of that, IMO. Lost Horizon, on the other hand, was fun from first to last and a joy to play. I know you're having a great time with it!

Gil.
Posted by: venus

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/20/11 08:53 AM

Ah, have to disagree on The Longest Journey. One of my favorite games of all time. I couldn't "put it down" when I was playing it, and had to see what happened next. grin Didn't find it boring at all.

I did love Lost Horizon as well, of course. It was my favorite complete game of 2010. (The Silver Lining gives it a run, but I'm going to count that one as a 2011 game ultimately. smile )

Thanks for the excellent review, oldmariner. I completely agree with everything you wrote, and I think this is Deep Silver's best game so far. I would play a sequel if one was made. thumbsup

Mad, I know exactly what you mean about anticipation being half the fun. yes
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/20/11 02:54 PM

"I know exactly what you mean about anticipation being half the fun."

And the culmination of all that anticipation is when you first open the game and there it is, ready to be experienced. Lost Horizon certainly doesn't let you down there. The opening screen with the theater marquee and posters is gorgeous and really sets you up for what's to come.

Gil.
Posted by: Lotus777

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/20/11 03:52 PM

Waiting with bated breath for mine to arrive from the UK... happydance
Posted by: venus

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/20/11 06:26 PM

Traveler, I'm very much with you on the opening screen! Aside from maybe The Lost Crown, I have never seen an opening screen that was so impressive. It really accentuates the movie-like feeling of the game, and the entire set-up in general makes you feel as though you are actually in a movie. In fact, talking about it is making me want to play the game again. grin

Lotus, hope it arrives soon! thumbsup
Posted by: lazydaisy

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/20/11 09:56 PM

Oh, meryl and traveler, I am so glad to meet you! I am playing The Longest Journey because "everyone" says it is the greatest game ever. I find myself getting bored with it even though there are some great effects in it and the story is intriguing. It has indeed been one of the longest journeys for me.

The Lost Horizon is waiting patiently in its folder for me to finish TLJ so I can start it. Now, after the great reviews on The Lost Horizon, I am even more anxious to get started on it.

Thanks to you all.
m
Posted by: traveler

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/20/11 11:09 PM

So, you don't eat dessert first, huh? Lol! Go ahead and have your spinach, m, Lost Horizon will be all the sweeter after that!

Gil.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/21/11 07:34 AM

venus smile

Did you ever play Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ??
That has a great beginning bravo

I often used to play the intro a couple of times before getting down to business with the game laugh

Cheers.

Mad grin
Posted by: meryl

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/25/11 03:07 AM

And I wish we had more hunky heroes like Fenton Paddock. (sigh....)
If the majority of point & click gamers are women , why on earth do the developers imagine we can get enthralled by a stick insect with a silly voice. (Nancy Drew, you are an exception)
It's just dawned on me that another reason I prefer first person - apart from the fact that it is more immersive - is that I don't have to see the heroine and see how stupidly inadequate she looks to hike two miles let alone perform tasks of "derring - do".
Does this sound like a rant? Sorry. Just give me a Robert Redford or Harrison Ford please.
Lost Horizon "rocks"!
Posted by: venus

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/26/11 04:05 PM

Mad, sorry I'm late replying to your post! I really need to check this part of the forum more often. slapforehead

No, unfortunately I haven't played Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. That game and The Dig are two older Lucas Arts games I want to pick up someday, as I've heard good things about them. I've only now started collecting the Broken Sword series, so I'll get to the old ones I missed eventually. smile I was more of a Sierra fan in general (though I loved Lucas Arts, too) so I have more of their games all in all. But even with their games, I don't have any Leisure Suit Larrys or Police Quests.

Ah, you guys don't know what you're talking about! The Longest Journey is one of the greatest games of all time, and everyone should know this. evil

(Only kidding, I know everyone has different tastes. wink I mean, I don't like coconut, and a lot of people thing I'm strange. grin )
Posted by: Lotus777

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/26/11 04:14 PM

Hummm, I don't like coconut either and I did enjoy The Longest Journey. As my Grandmother used to say, "Tastes differ." And Venus, my Lost Horizon arrived. Now if I can only screw up the courage to finish the last timed part of Still Life 2....!! rolleyes
Posted by: venus

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/27/11 12:00 AM

Lotus, maybe there's something to that. lol

Glad to hear your copy arrived! Hope you enjoy it! thumbsup

How are the timed elements in Still Life 2? Are they very difficult? I have that game, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Still have so many games I need to get to. smile
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/27/11 08:00 AM

venus smile

I like coconut and I very much enjoyed Lost Horizon and I love all my oldie Sierra and LucasArts games !! lol
Posted by: venus

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/27/11 10:50 AM

Mad, that's the best way to be, I think. grin Did you also enjoy The Longest Journey?

Oh, I love Lucas Arts, too! Grim Fandango is one of my favorite games of all time. Still very interested in the Lucas Arts games I missed. yes

I always envy those who enjoy solitary first person as well as inventory based third person. Twice the adventure to enjoy. Of course, then it would be twice as expensive, too. lol
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/27/11 09:15 PM

Hi venus smile

Yes, I did enjoy The Longest Journey but I have to admit I enjoyed it more on the second play laugh

And as for 1st person and 3rd person games both ??
Well, been there, done that and am now BROKE of course !! rotfl
Posted by: Lotus777

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/28/11 08:43 PM

Hi Venus, Just saw your post and the timed parts of Still Life 2 aren't too bad until you get to the end. (Up to that point you can restart a saved game if you mess up.) I confess to using the WT a lot with this one and the last two are where things get kind of dicey. I think it is just me but I have been really weird about even trying to do this as if you don't make it there is only one more chance or the game ends in a bad way. So I have been stalling for about two weeks which is totally ridiculous. I need to just do it regardless the outcome and get on with Lost Horizon, lol!!! hardwall
Posted by: Darleen03

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/28/11 08:46 PM

Finished the game today....

I was very satisfied with the ending...I took my time on this game...Because it was worth it..

A very enjoyable game.... bravo
Posted by: mgriffith67

Re: Lost Horizon - 01/29/11 10:18 AM

I myself am in the middle of playing the game. I am enjoying the heck out of it. I love the "Movie" feel to it. Even my kids were watching me play and trying to guess at which crazy inventory items to use and mix. I have been laughing my rear off at the silly inventory uses and watching with anticipation the cutscenes. The scenery is beautiful and the dialogue fresh and spicy. I am taking my time clicking on things just to hear the comments. This one may become one of my favorites!! Oh and I also enjoyed the longest journey too. But , I love story driven games. Its just my own preference. I am waiting to order Dark Star as well. I love cheeesy sci-fi stuff. Should be fun to watch and play. Then again I will play almost any adventure game some good some not so good. I do like playing games I enjoy though. This ones a keeper and will probably replay it several times.


OK Correction , I finished the game and it is definitely going down as one of my favorites!! Loved everything about it. Will definitely play it again!!
Posted by: venus

Re: Lost Horizon - 02/13/11 12:05 PM

Mad, I envy you and don't envy you at the same time. rotfl

Lotus, now I'm the late one who missed your post. lol Sorry about that! slapforehead Thanks for the Still Life 2 info. I'm probably going to play it through with a walkthrough just to see the story. I won it in a Gameboomers contest (which I was thrilled about, since my fiance had been wanting the game so badly thumbsup ), so I definitely intend to persevere with it at some point. I have a collection of games I have to get through, and it's among them. Fiance just likes to play games with me after I finish them anyway, so he doesn't have to solved the puzzles himself. lol The original Still Life is one of his favorites. Glad you enjoyed Lost Horizon so much anyway! thumbsup

Mgriffith, I also favor story driven games, which is why TLJ is one of my favorites. And Lost Horizon is way up there, too. Glad you enjoyed it so much. thumbsup