Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok




Genre:   Adventure

Developer:  Wax Lyrical Games

Publisher:    Iceberg Interactive

Released:  February 2011

PC Requirements:   Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, Pentium 4 1.0 GHz or 100% compatible CPU, 1 GB RAM, 1.5 GB available hard disk space , 128 MB DirectX 9,0c compatible video card with shader model 2.0


Additional Screenshots






by Rushes


Your host for this evening.

The Utopia -- a magnificent building of imposing merit designed by the architect Baron Wittard -- stands unoccupied and abandoned to decay a mere few years since its aborted grand opening day. One thousand luxury apartments, shopping malls, entertainment complexes -- and rumour of a malevolent ghostly energy which may or may not be responsible for a series of mysterious civilian disappearances within the area.

You, as a magazine photographer ostensibly on a new assignment to shoot the grounds and interiors of the forgotten building, become embroiled with discovering the truth and putting past events to rights before the evil forces within spiral out of control.

Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok is an immersive first person adventure from developers Wax Lyrical Games and publishers Iceberg Interactive.

The Baron will have his trinkets.

So here’s the score. The game plays with full 360 panning, with forward movement by left clicking. Mouse sensitivity can be adjusted. Getting around is perhaps a little ponderous; there is a slight pause after each left click before anything happens. The cursor is centrally locked; however a right click will allow independent cursor movement and access to the main menu icon and inventory at the top of the screen. A further right click returns the cursor to central locking position.

Gameplay is solitary and nonlinear, with pleasingly atmospheric and nonintrusive intermittent music. Your only companion (if you can consider him as such) is the Baron in the form of a talking amulet, who guides and offers advice along the way. The game is subtitled. There are just eight save slots which may be overwritten.

Baron Wittard has to be experienced to truly appreciate its ambition and scope. The Utopia is sprawling, immense and intricately detailed. You can tangibly breathe the dust and neglect, the peeling paint, the scattered and long forgotten personal belongings of visitors, workmen, employees. And yet some plants thrive, or at least hang on to some tenuous thread of life. How could the building itself decay so terribly and so quickly? As the player capers down flaking corridors -- pockets stuffed with magical runes discovered en route, which must all be “dissolved” within specific and various other objects in order to ultimately defeat the negative energy -- well, it’s easy to be sucked entirely into the whole enjoyable ridiculousness of it all. You’re buddies with a talking amulet! Lesser mortals than you would have turned tail long ago. Have a cookie.

Very little needs picking up into inventory other than the runestones, as a result of which there is far too much essential note-taking. I filled pages with screeds of scribbles, muttering darkly as to why it was not possible to pick up documents into inventory and examine them there at leisure. Baron Wittard is an extremely information-heavy game; having such a feature would have helped immensely.

There are two possible game endings, good or bad, the only difference to the end cut scene being a few lines of dialogue.

Sliders and levers and Hanoi, oh my.

My mental equilibrium is in temporary tatters. The puzzles in Baron Wittard are a Bit Hard and require Much Thought. That’s a wonderful prospect for some, an intimidating one for others. If your gaming needs call for quick gratification and easy results then this is likely not the adventure for you, unless you prefer to press your nose to the walkthrough. There are number puzzles, spatial, memory, a Hanoi of evil repute, and levers and buttons of the “push one and see how others are affected” type. Two particularly demonic sliders will poke their tongues out, one of which being the game’s conclusional puzzle. Professor Rubik himself would burst into tears at the sight of it. Having said all that, the resulting triumph and pleasure of solving a testing puzzle is well worth the twinge of the entrance fee.

There are no mazes, timed puzzles or game over scenarios.

My eyes! My beautiful eyes!

Permission requested to affably poke either the Baron or his ghostly Nemesis in the virtual solar plexus for the most appallingly deliberate flickering lighting in certain areas of the game. I do appreciate that the Utopia is now running from its emergency power generator and therefore (no doubt) there must be flickerage of some sort -- but verily, I say "Ouch!" I found it physically painful to deal with. Not only that, but the player is on occasion expected to examine, read and decode documents in the same lighting, which is many times worse and merits a further prod. 

That which should work but regrettably does not.

Happily, I uncovered no hiccups, bugs or glitches whilst playing Baron Wittard, which ran smoothly from start to finish.

Overall, a game packed with visual delights and cerebral stimulation/bamboozlement for the brave hearted adventurer.

Grade: B+

I played on:

Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3

Intel[R] CPU T2050 @ 1.60GHz

2.00 GB of RAM

NVIDIA GeForce 7500 LE, 512MB

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