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Adventure Games Thread 2022 - We CAN use these things together

Finally getting around to playing Sherlock Holmes Chapter One and so far (I'd say about 7 or 8 hours in) I'm pretty impressed with it. It's got a level of investigation based puzzle mechanics that I'd love for other mystery adventure games to have even 20% of. Over the last few entries Frogwares has been stockpiling an arsenal of concepts for detective gameplay, and they put it all together for Chapter One in a way that's very satisfying. During a given case you'll be gathering clues, making logical connections, presenting evidence to follow leads, using focus abilities to follow a trail, eavesdropping on conversations, swapping outfits to question locals, making narrative choices to name the culprit, among other examples. It's a very interactive game, which everyone in this thread will know isn't the most common for an adventure game in its range of production value and the kind of mainstream aspirations that entails.


(There's a large variety of detective mechanics that keeps the sleuthing interesting & very interactive)
The story and writing are by and large very good as well. So far the "main" mystery is largely about Sherlock uncovering repressed memories regarding the circumstances of his mother's death. She died while Sherlock was young, that combined with trauma, and some mysterious withheld truths have created inconsistencies in Holmes' memory of events. It's a slow build, but an engaging one, and since this game has an open world structure with a lot of side content I've played through a lot of other -- more immediately gratifying -- cases along the way. Some of the cases have fallen victim to contrived writing. Without bothering to get into spoilers, there's one case in particular that really lacks a satisfying conclusion (I save scummed to see every potential outcome of the case). Plus you can just feel the writer pulling the strings to make things extra ambiguous in unrealistic ways. Down to two culprits having the exact same kind of poison darts. Thankfully that's been far from representative of the general quality, and that case has some really notable highlights (giant elephant sex balloon), but we'll see how things go moving forward.


(A few polish quibbles aside, the presentation of the game is very nice)
As of now, and I don't anticipate this to change really, I'd whole heartedly recommend the game. My biggest issues with it are performance problems and the combat is bad. But the performance issues aren't crippling by any means and the combat is basically a non factor, you can choose to skip it entirely. It's come up like 3 times in my total playtime so far. I do wish Forgwares would just drop the gunplay altogether, it's not a good fit for the series, but diminishing it so thoroughly as to make it basically irrelevant is a close second.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
Nearly 30 years later, I FINALLY completed Beneath a Steel Sky for the first time! When initially seeing it on the Amiga in 1994 it was awesome, and thanks to SCUMM VM, it is playable even today, on top of that being able to download and add the enhanced soundtrack only added to the experience, the next game in line I am checking out is Flight of the Amazon Queen, for the first time, and talk about contrast but the music in the version I have got from GOG is far inferior to the one in Revolution Software's epic game...wasn't there a better soundtrack released for F.O.A.Q? ***(edit: ignore that query, just found out about the version on Steam!)
 
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Nearly 30 years later, I FINALLY completed Beneath a Steel Sky for the first time! When initially seeing it on the Amiga in 1994 it was awesome, and thanks to SCUMM VM, it is playable even today, on top of that being able to download and add the enhanced soundtrack only added to the experience, the next game in line I am checking out is Flight of the Amazon Queen, for the first time, and talk about contrast but the music in the version I have got from GOG is far inferior to the one in Revolution Software's epic game...wasn't there a better soundtrack released for F.O.A.Q? ***(edit: ignore that query, just found out about the version on Steam!)

Nice, Beneath a Steel Sky is a really good time and the look of those painted backdrops with the little touches of animation is timeless. My favorite part is the random courthouse scene where all of Foster's dubious puzzle solving actions get pinned on some mechanic.

I think you're going to really like Amazon Queen. It's a very high quality Lucas-esque game from that era. Perfect for a new classic experience when you've tapped out a lot of the better known go-to games.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
Nice, Beneath a Steel Sky is a really good time and the look of those painted backdrops with the little touches of animation is timeless. My favorite part is the random courthouse scene where all of Foster's dubious puzzle solving actions get pinned on some mechanic.

I think you're going to really like Amazon Queen. It's a very high quality Lucas-esque game from that era. Perfect for a new classic experience when you've tapped out a lot of the better known go-to games.
Yeah plenty of adventures to get through after the Amazon there is the 2009 released Monkey Island games, not to mention the recent installment of Broken Sword, as well as Simon the Sorcerer!
 
Perfect Tides is out today! Very excited for this one, will likely jump in immediately after I'm done with Sherlock.


Also, a new trailer for the upcoming Crowns & Pawns. Showing off VA for the first time and it's good quality from what the trailer shows. Everything about the game continues to look like a fun, Broken Sword-esque, adventure.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I think it looks pretty good, but there's... something I find distracting about those pictures. Maybe a small hint of chromatic abberration? Or maybe I should cut the coffee.
 
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I think it looks pretty good, but there's... something I find distracting about those pictures. Maybe a small hint of chromatic abberration? Or maybe I should cut the coffee.
Yeah there's some kinda blurring/color distorting/something post processing effect in the corners of these shots.

So no worries, pour yourself another cup. Maybe two.
 
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Who's Lila is a point-and-click adventure where, instead of choosing dialogue options, you control the character's face manually.


Life’s never been easy for William, but today is special – a girl named Tanya Kennedy suddenly goes missing and the only thing Will's friends know – he was the one to see her last.

Will you remain secretive and make William act as though nothing happened, or will you let true emotions show through his mask?

In Who's Lila, a specifically trained face-recognizing neural network allows you to make this choice! In dialogue, instead of choosing a text option, input facial expressions by moving parts of the character’s face. The neural network will then analyze the emotion and output the result, thus progressing the plot.


Apart from the struggles provided by your own face, you will be met with a gritty dither-punk world of Who’s Lila. Prepare yourself for dream-like landscapes, surreal architecture, steam-filled factory interiors, and David Lynch-inspired beauty of the industrial and the mundane.

________________________________________________________________
«Sometimes there is fear in the unknown, but we are good detectives and we have to know everything»
________________________________________________________________
David Lynch

Will you make sense of this strange story, or will you lose yourself in the beautiful mystery? Will you try to discover every possible turn of events, or will you stick to a single storyline?
And most importantly, will you be able to answer the ultimate question:

Who is Lila?


Features:​

  • Neural network-powered emotion detection
  • 15 endings and choice-driven gameplay
  • Steam achievements
  • Ditherpunk visual style
  • 6+ hours of gameplay
  • Unlockable palettes
  • 50+ unique soundtrack pieces written specifically for the game
  • And more..
Out today. I think this game looks cool and the face manipulation thing was both humorous and unsettling in the demo I played, as I'm sure is intended. But with games like this, that rely on such a distinct gimmick, I always wonder if they'll remain interesting for an entire game. I may check this one out but I'll probably wait to see what reviews say beforehand.
 

Out today. I think this game looks cool and the face manipulation thing was both humorous and unsettling in the demo I played, as I'm sure is intended. But with games like this, that rely on such a distinct gimmick, I always wonder if they'll remain interesting for an entire game. I may check this one out but I'll probably wait to see what reviews say beforehand.

wtf lol
 
Syberia: The World Before is the fourth entry in the two-decade-old Syberia adventure game series. It spawned from the mind of the late Benoit Sokal, and in Syberia: The World Before, Microids studio is keeping the flame of the narrative adventure game burning bright. With an intriguing world, engaging puzzles, and a fascinating narrative, I am genuinely curious to see how the rest of the story plays out and see how these characters' relationships intertwine after playing the opening three chapters.

The beginning of Syberia puts you in the shoes of Dana Roze, a young woman who is trying to build a career as a pianist returning to her home of Vaghen – a town facing tensions leading up to the Second World War. Unfortunately, out of the two hours I got to experience so far, I only played as Dana for a short period of time, and while I didn’t get too much out of her story, it did help establish some world building especially for someone like me who is new to the series.

I found the puzzles to be pretty straightforward early on, with tasks consisting of looking for a simple object to progress through the story like a pen or a key. But later on there were others that turned out a little bit more complex than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. However, at other times I found myself stuck due to a lack of knowing there was another piece of the puzzle that was available to me, or that it was easier to solve with a mouse and keyboard than a controller, the way I played most.

Benoit Sokal created a setting that is similar to what we know of the real world, but the industrial industry is more advanced where you will see automatons doing human actions such as driving vehicles and playing music. An ongoing organization brought up in this world is known as the Brown Shadow, which from what I learned is comparable to Germany’s Nazi party from World War II. I wouldn’t say they are a threat to the characters at large so far, but they are definitely antagonistic and seem to be a focal point in Syberia’s narrative.

Throughout the first three chapters I didn’t play only as Dana Rose, but also as Kate Walker, the main protagonist of the rest of the Syberia series. Her story began as a prisoner in a salt mine, where she quickly learned about the death of her mother. Thanks to her friend Katyusha, they come across an abandoned train finding a painting of our other playable character Dana and coincidentally enough, they look the same. This puts Kate on a mission to find the origin of this painting, who painted it, and who the mysterious girl actually is. That is the big part of Syberia’s story that has me so interested. We already know it is Dana and we play as her, so seeing how these two plot lines collide truly has me anxious to see where the story goes.

As you explore the world you will interact with a myriad of different objects and locations including a train cart filled to the brim with expensive antiques, shop stalls, gadgets, gizmos, and even an industrial piano.

Seeing how these two plot lines collide truly has me anxious to see where the story goes.

Syberia: The World Before doesn’t seem to be attempting anything groundbreaking for the interactive storytelling genre, but if you are a returning fan to the series or someone who is looking for something to fill that classic adventure-game-sized hole in your heart, then Syberia is something to be excited for. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of Dana’s and Kate’s adventure plays out when the game is released on March 18.
New preview for The World Before from IGN, it's mostly positive aside from the writer's challenge with some puzzles and spots where he felt KB&M controls were better suited than gamepad. The weird thing is throughout the entire video the frame rate is complete shit and the previewer doesn't mention it at all. It's to the point where I'm wondering if it's captured or rendered poorly because the demo runs better than this on my fairly mid-range PC. If the actual performance is this bad even for PCs IGN is using than this game is in trouble.
 

New preview for The World Before from IGN, it's mostly positive aside from the writer's challenge with some puzzles and spots where he felt KB&M controls were better suited than gamepad. The weird thing is throughout the entire video the frame rate is complete shit and the previewer doesn't mention it at all. It's to the point where I'm wondering if it's captured or rendered poorly because the demo runs better than this on my fairly mid-range PC. If the actual performance is this bad even for PCs IGN is using than this game is in trouble.

reviewers dont mention eprformance issues unless it suits them or it does not impact their standing with the publishers. Look at cyberpunk, look at horizon, and now look at elden ring. Nobody mentioned a shit about how buggy and shitty they ran but they were all 10/10. Anyway, that being said, I did toild you guys the performance seemed like shit whenever they showed it and not much has changed. Do ppl working from home not test the games properly anymore? Meh.
 
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reviewers dont mention eprformance issues unless it suits them or it does not impact their standing with the publishers. Look at cyberpunk, look at horizon, and now look at elden ring. Nobody mentioned a shit about how buggy and shitty they ran but they were all 10/10. Anyway, that being said, I did toild you guys the performance seemed like shit whenever they showed it and not much has changed. Do ppl working from home not test the games properly anymore? Meh.
But the weird thing is I've already played parts of this game that are also in the video in the prologue/demo and it runs way better than this. It's not a rock solid 60 but the IGN video literally looks like a slideshow, I don't get it.
 
But the weird thing is I've already played parts of this game that are also in the video in the prologue/demo and it runs way better than this. It's not a rock solid 60 but the IGN video literally looks like a slideshow, I don't get it.
I guess ull see when it launches or when ure getting it. Ill wait for your thoughts on it.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I started Perfect Tides and I will play it veeeeeeery slowly in the spare time between Genshin and Lost Ark (stupid FOMO).
Quick first impressions.
I LOVE the art style and the animation. I think that this and Thimbleweed Park are the only games that manage to capture the spirit of '90s adventures while staying new, modern and fresh. Characters and backgrounds look great and the use of color is fantastic. I also quite like the art style used, overall.
Writing seems excellent so far. LOTS of it, though, so I sometimes found myself skipping (and then going back and re-read it, because I never skip text in P&Cs
)
The soundtrack is mellow and pleasant. The setting of the game seems to be... cozy, welcoming and relaxing.
I hate the interface. I bloody fucking hate it. SCUMM would have been perfect for this game, but no, we got the cycle-action interface, where you waste mouse clicks trying to find the right icon. It's awful. Cherry on top, there's no hotspot highlight key.

Keep in mind those are extremely early feelings, I played like 30 minutes only.

Edit: A little weird side note - examining hotspots gives descriptions that remind me a lot of the first Larry, in in how they are verbous and... descripting. Al Lowe took his time describing stuff and adding little jokes everywhere, and PT does the same thing (minus the jokes). For example, let's say you examine an unimportant house in the background: whereas most games would give you a "this is a ruined house" dialog, PT could go on and say "This house was built at end of the first development cycle of the island, back in the '60s. It hasa been long since abandoned and it now lays ruined, and kids often go inside there to play and test their courage. You've never been inside of it" (I just made that up). This keeps giving me constant Larry EGA vibes.
Sorry this is me being weird, I guess.
 
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I started Perfect Tides and I will play it veeeeeeery slowly in the spare time between Genshin and Lost Ark (stupid FOMO).
Quick first impressions.
I LOVE the art style and the animation. I think that this and Thimbleweed Park are the only games that manage to capture the spirit of '90s adventures while staying new, modern and fresh. Characters and backgrounds look great and the use of color is fantastic. I also quite like the art style used, overall.
Writing seems excellent so far. LOTS of it, though, so I sometimes found myself skipping (and then going back and re-read it, because I never skip text in P&Cs
)
The soundtrack is mellow and pleasant. The setting of the game seems to be... cozy, welcoming and relaxing.
I hate the interface. I bloody fucking hate it. SCUMM would have been perfect for this game, but no, we got the cycle-action interface, where you waste mouse clicks trying to find the right icon. It's awful. Cherry on top, there's no hotspot highlight key.

Keep in mind those are extremely early feelings, I played like 30 minutes only.

Edit: A little weird side note - examining hotspots gives descriptions that remind me a lot of the first Larry, in in how they are verbous and... descripting. Al Lowe took his time describing stuff and adding little jokes everywhere, and PT does the same thing (minus the jokes). For example, let's say you examine an unimportant house in the background: whereas most games would give you a "this is a ruined house" dialog, PT could go on and say "This house was built at end of the first development cycle of the island, back in the '60s. It hasa been long since abandoned and it now lays ruined, and kids often go inside there to play and test their courage. You've never been inside of it" (I just made that up). This keeps giving me constant Larry EGA vibes.
Sorry this is me being weird, I guess.
A few things that make the interface less cumbersome are: you can click middle mouse to walk no matter what verb you're on (saves a lot of hassle constantly switching back to walk), and you can scroll the mouse wheel up & down to go between next and previous verbs (instead of right clicking to cycle through them all each time). There's not too many actions so once I got used to that I got comfortable with it.

I agree with you on the descriptive text. Although my point of reference for it isn't Larry, it reminds me of the elaborate descriptions and anecdotes from Gabriel Knight. It's also that second person narration, where the descriptions feel as though they're read by another person with their own POV, referring to the player character as "You," instead of their direct internal monologue. It's one of the things that made the Sierra games I've played, like GK1 or KQ6, feel like novels made into games whereas LucasArts games felt like Hollywood movies. Another game that gave me a similar vibe is Callahan's Cross Time Saloon, the amount of detail & jokes in those hotspots is insane.

Really looking forward to properly jumping into Perfect Tides and playing straight through it, finishing up Sherlock before that though. Which remains a really good game aside from the utterly trash (and thankfully skippable) combat.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
A few things that make the interface less cumbersome are: you can click middle mouse to walk no matter what verb you're on (saves a lot of hassle constantly switching back to walk), and you can scroll the mouse wheel up & down to go between next and previous verbs (instead of right clicking to cycle through them all each time). There's not too many actions so once I got used to that I got comfortable with it.
Thanks for the middle mouse button tip, that will help a lot. My problem with wheel scrolling is that I constantly go "the other side", which makes it even worse.
where the descriptions feel as though they're read by another person with their own POV, referring to the player character as "You," instead of their direct internal monologue. It's one of the things that made the Sierra games I've played, like GK1 or KQ6, feel like novels made into games whereas LucasArts games felt like Hollywood movies.
Oooh the second person! I couldn't put my finger on it, thanks for pointing that out!
 

Fuz

Gold Member
About Perfect Tides...

Everyone is a piece of shit. The devs might have overdone it.
 
New information regarding the Ken & Roberta Williams mystery project:
March 6, 2022

Our team continues to expand. We now have 15 people working on the game!

There’s a side of me that really didn’t want that. The original vision for the game was that I’d do 100% of everything myself. I wanted it to be a nice, small, simple project that would be something I could work on in my spare time. Unfortunately, or fortunately, things didn’t work out that way.

Roberta has a very high quality standard. She was the one who gave me the idea for what I should code, and when she saw what I was producing it was well below her minimum standard. She jumped into the game with both feet and basically said, “If I’m putting my name on it, it’s going to be something we can be proud of.” Many of the buyers will be buying the game because of our reputation from the old Sierra days and they will expect the same quality that made Sierra so successful. That meant hiring artists, professional voice talent, animators, more engineers, etc. etc.

Anyway, we’ve been secretive about what we’re working on. The biggest reason is that we haven’t wanted anyone to see anything until we had something we’re proud of. On March 21st, just a little over two weeks from now, we’re going to announce the game and show the first scenes from it. The entire team is working tirelessly to make sure that all of you won’t be disappointed with what you see. I’m typing this at 7:39am on a Sunday morning and there are other team members working. Roberta and I were at our computers from 6am until 11pm on Thursday night with the last few hours just agonizing over some sound effects.

The game is really coming together! Both the virtual reality and computer versions are looking amazing. There are some scenes in the VR version that still blow me away.

Our big announcement will be at the Game Developers conference on March 21st in San Francisco. Both Roberta and I will be there to show the game to the conference attendees as well as the press. On that date I’ll send an email to everyone who has registered on this site with details about the game. We’ll also open up a website which is dedicated to the game. I’ve been working with some video guys to put together a “launch video” that shows off the game. I saw the first draft yesterday and the video is a lot of fun.

Anyway, stay tuned, and make sure you register on this site. I can’t say much today, but LOTs of info is coming very soon.

PS All we’ll be doing on March 21st is announcing what we’re working on and showing some of the graphics and animation. The actual game won’t be complete until sometime this summer.

TLDR; Roberta's standards were too high for a one man project so they hired a team, now totaling 15, to work on graphics, animation, etc. They're showing the game at GDC on March 21st.
 

New footage from the upcoming Star Trek game from Dramatic Labs. The interaction we see here is standard Telltale timed choice fare, which makes sense considering Dramatic Labs is comprised of ex-TTG devs. Presentation wise it's decent, the expressions & facial animations are more fluid than I'd come to expect from TTG and Spock's VA is very on point. Seems to be focused on moral quandaries & space diplomacy rather than the action focus of newer Trek stuff, which is cool.

Environment art is lacking detail in a way that clashes with the character models, I'd say. Also the lighting is kinda flat. All that is subject to change, of course. It's hard to be super excited about this since how much I enjoy the game will depend on how tense the decisions are/robust the branching is. In a post Detroit world the standards are pretty high, and although I'm not expecting that much, I'm hoping the choice matter more than your standard Telltale game of old.
 
Eh, not a fan of Star Trek anyway so no loss however it turns out. I'll get excited by these type of games when I'll get the same quality as QD offers. telltale,ex-telltale,dontnod, etc have just never done anything better beyond their prime stuff while QD has managed to up their quality considerably with every new game. Excited about the new Star Wars tho will prolly see it in 5 years.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member

New footage from the upcoming Star Trek game from Dramatic Labs. The interaction we see here is standard Telltale timed choice fare, which makes sense considering Dramatic Labs is comprised of ex-TTG devs. Presentation wise it's decent, the expressions & facial animations are more fluid than I'd come to expect from TTG and Spock's VA is very on point. Seems to be focused on moral quandaries & space diplomacy rather than the action focus of newer Trek stuff, which is cool.

Environment art is lacking detail in a way that clashes with the character models, I'd say. Also the lighting is kinda flat. All that is subject to change, of course. It's hard to be super excited about this since how much I enjoy the game will depend on how tense the decisions are/robust the branching is. In a post Detroit world the standards are pretty high, and although I'm not expecting that much, I'm hoping the choice matter more than your standard Telltale game of old.
I can't stand the Pixar expressions.
 
I can't stand the Pixar expressions.
Mm, yeah, some of them are overdone. The guy beside Spock makes a regretful expression when he says "I didn't mean to suggest you were stuck in the past" that stood out to me in particular, clashes with the realistic style of the character models.
 
Finished playing Sherlock Chapter One. It's got some good twists and turns and the end of the game hits an emotional high note. The game's central thematic quandary is something like "how much will you sacrifice for the truth?" Frogwares uses Sherlock Holmes' POV to test principled dedication to the truth in various circumstances leading to a satisfying final choice. At least I can say I was satisfied with my ending. It's not without issues, some cases lack a satisfying/definitive moment where the culprit confesses their crimes. Each time this happened it felt kind of hollow. I think the interface could use some fine tuning, in regards to when & how it gives you information vs letting you discover things on your own. Of course the combat is awful (entirely optional, however). Despite any issues I have, though, Frogwares has put together an impressive game. Plus I've got more side-cases to go back and complete eventually and some of the games best cases are optional.

I'd say it's worth a shot for Sherlock Holmes fans definitely, and anyone who wants a good mystery adventure game will enjoy it as well. Looking at some responses online, those cases I mentioned where the true culprit can be left to interpretation aren't well liked. If anything, that'll be the sticking point for people who dislike the game but I think there's enough good content despite those cases that it shouldn't be a deal breaker.
 
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Finished playing Sherlock Chapter One. It's got some good twists and turns and the end of the game hits an emotional high note. The game's central thematic quandary is something like "how much will you sacrifice for the truth?" Frogwares uses Sherlock Holmes' POV to test principled dedication to the truth in various circumstances leading to a satisfying final choice. At least I can say I was stratified with my ending. It's not without issues, some cases lack a satisfying/definitive moment where the culprit confesses their crimes. Each time this happened it felt kind of hollow. I think the interface could use some fine tuning, in regards to when & how it gives you information vs letting you discover things on your own. Of course the combat is awful (entirely optional, however). Despite any issues I have, though, Frogwares has put together an impressive game. Plus I've got more side-cases to go back and complete eventually and some of the games best cases are optional.

I'd say it's worth a shot for Sherlock Holmes fans definitely, and anyone who wants a good mystery adventure game will enjoy it as well. Looking at some responses online, those cases I mentioned where the true culprit can be left to interpretation aren't well liked. If anything, that'll be the sticking point for people who dislike the game but I think there's enough good content despite those cases that it shouldn't be a deal breaker.

Watcha playing next? I bought that Dexter game but dunno if I'll get the chance to play it right now. Still, they deserve the money so no biggie but curious to see some thoughts on it.
 
Watcha playing next? I bought that Dexter game but dunno if I'll get the chance to play it right now. Still, they deserve the money so no biggie but curious to see some thoughts on it.
Gonna jump into Perfect Tides next, then play Dexter Stardust after that. Neither one of them seem exceptionally long so I figure I'll finish them just in time for Syberia on the 18th, or maybe a few days later.
 
Desolatium - SUPERLUMEN - 2022 - (Steam)

Yurukill: The Calumniation Games - NIS - July 5th 2022

To Hell With The Ugly - La Poule Noire, ARTE France - 2022 - (Steam)

DYSCHRONIA: Chronos Alternative - MyDearest,Inc - Winter 2022

Added some games to the 1st page list. Desolatium is a 1st person adventure in the 360 degree panorama style. It's got a cool looking, gritty, high contrast style and is based on Lovecraft mythos. It's also got a demo available on Steam that I'll probably check out eventually.

Yurukill is a hybrid escape JADV game + vertical shoot 'em up. Not a mix you see often, or ever. It's about criminals who are forced to participate in a weird carnival/death game scenario. They're paired with the victims of their crimes who have the control to kill them at any time thus must prove their innocence. The shooting sections happen when you dive into the criminals mind to uncover the truth. The strange, but seemingly interesting, mix of mechanics are detailed on the game's website. It feels like a combination of Zero Escape, Ace Attorney, and I'll just say Ikaruga since that's basically my frame of reference for bullet hell shooters.

To Hell With The Ugly is a game that was spoken about in the previous thread, but I didn't know it was scheduled to release this year. Gorgeous looking French adventure game with additional turn based combat. The color palette of vibrant reddish-orange and dusky greens is so effective. You play as a guy named Rocky who get drugged and wakes up in a strange hospital, solving the case of your own obduction. There's also a demo for this one on Steam, gatta get on that.

DYSCHRONIA: Chronos Alternative is a VR mystery adventure. That's also playable in non-VR on Nintendo Switch (hopefully PC as well but I didn't find any concrete info on that). The game's website promises puzzles to solve, choices that impact your investigation, and reasoning showoff's against the city's supreme authority: a futuristic A.I. It's coming about episodically on PC and as a complete package later on the year on Switch.
 
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Played through Perfect Tides and it’s fantastic. It manages to capture a time and place so believably that it almost feels as if you’d really lived there. The level of detail, and the choices of which details were highlighted, is impeccable. The scenario is so believably rendered that I have no doubt you’ll be reliving your own moments when ostensibly harmless words made you feel slighted, when you lied about yourself to look cool, when you couldn’t bring yourself to say how you really felt, every fight with a family member, or regrettable outburst—all the small moments of that awkward middle period between childhood and adulthood that you usually (and mercifully) don’t recall, viscerally reemerging in waves of nostalgia thanks to the believability and human quality of the writing.

Perfect Tides is a “warts and all” coming of age story you rarely see, especially in popular media. Mara isn’t the sort of awkward you get in a Hollywood movie or popular streaming series, AKA “quirky.” Mara is an absolute neurotic mess, the real deal. In truth, she’s so anxiety ridden that playing as her could almost be too dour, were it not for the fact that the writing in Perfect Tides is as capable at drawing comedy from its scenario as drama. I belly laughed almost as much as I teared up playing this game.



Gameplay wise it’s not especially challenging. The game is open-ended but its design is not akin to a Ron Gilbert style puzzle box. The tasks you necessarily must complete to finish the game are pretty simple. But there’s a lot of optional interactions, many of which you’d likely miss the first time around, that effect how certain scenes play out and if you get the best ending. So while finishing the game is fairly simple, doing everything you can is a more of a challenge.

The biggest drawback to its design is that early on there’s moments that are too lacking in direction. As the game progresses it gets better at laying out an explicit goal, though. So even if you’re wandering around the island a bit, you at least know what you’re working toward.



I’m really happy with how the game turned out, an early contender for one of my favorites this year. It’s a testament to the kind of personal, small stakes, stories adventure games can tell. And that’s not even getting into how great the art and animation can be.

IDK if Meredith Gran and the Three Bees team have any plans to make other games in the future, but I hope they do because this was great.

(cross posted & mildly edited with my post on the agers forum)
---
There's also some new info on Nirvana Initiative detailed in a freshly translated Famitsu interview, curtesy of "the batts 490."



Quick takeaways for folks who can't be bothered:
- NirvanAI got the greenlight from ChunSoft because of long tail sales of the first game via word of mouth.
- Story takes place in both the past (recently after the events of AI) and present (when Mizuki is 18).
- Uchikoshi says there's 1.5 times the amount of Somnium's in NirvanAI
- More variety & types of mobility in Somnium parts, like flying or swimming through water.
- New elements in Investigation parts such as "Wink Psync," a simpler version of normal Psyncing where you can uncover if a witness is lying.
- Other additions such as recreating the events of a crime as a TV Drama (pictured at the top right of pg.2)
- Tama originally wore an aoi dai, Uchikoshi's peferred fashion for women, before her design changed to an "American Cop" style

The QR code at the bottom right of pg.2 was recreated and it leads to this video lol. Danjin44 Danjin44 Fuz Fuz

The "Wink Psync" mechanic reminds me of how Ace Attorney two added the psyche locks for a bit more variety to in investigation parts. A good move IMO. The team is speaking confidently about this game topping the first. Okada mentioned an ending so shocking (and so Uchikoshi) he wishes he could play it as a fan with no foreknowledge. All things they would say from the position of marketing a new game, but I'm eager to find out if it's genuinely the case.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Man, you're fast.
Mara is an absolute neurotic mess, the real deal. In truth, she’s so anxiety ridden that playing as her could almost be too dour, were it not for the fact that the writing in Perfect Tides is as capable at drawing comedy from its scenario as drama.
Still going very slow. I just reconnected my internet and the way Mara went from love to doubt, thinking Staggle might be a loser and not wanting him anymore is pretty great and kinda shifts the perspective on her. Still think that how everyone around is a piece of shit to her, even her friends is overdone a bit, though. Side thought: there are a few characters that are really shitty, although in a subtle way: Simon's old boyfriend and that MTV pedophile, wonder it there's more to come.
Yeah, the game's biggest drawback is how sometimes is unfocused and you don't really know what you're supposed to do. I think it just want you to wander Perfect Tides and see what's going on around.
Kind of fun and depressing at the same time, so far. It's great.
 
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Man, you're fast.

Still going very slow. I just reconnected my internet and the way Mara went from love to doubt, thinking Staggle might be a loser and not wanting him anymore is pretty great. Still think that how everyone around is a piece of shit to her, even her friends is overdone a bit, though. Side thought: there are a few characters that are really shitty, although in a subtle way: Simon's old boyfriend and that MTV pedophile, wonder it there's more to come.
Yeah, the game's biggest drawback is how sometimes is unfocused and you don't really know what you're supposed to do. I think it just want you to wander Perfect Tides and see what's going on around.
Kind of fun and depressing at the same time, so far. It's great.

There is more to come, some harrowing ups and downs for young Mara's social life. After the Staggle infatuation of the first two seasons, a lot wild stuff comes up and there's a lot of those subtle moments. One of the best bits of subtle characterization IMO is that they make Mara sympathetic, while simultaneously not ignoring her flaws. That she's often so caught up in her own anxiety that she dismisses or straight up doesn't consider the problems of people close to her. Which plays well into the final task of the game and whether you manage to complete it (which I'll need to replay to do perfectly).

Playing through the game about one and a half times, I increasingly appreciate the game design. Having less explicit "road block to progression" puzzles and more optional interactions that change how certain scenes play out is a really great way to handle a slice of life story in an adventure game. Because you don't have to contrive overly intricate puzzle scenarios that'd clash with the story, but there's still some depth to it. Isaku had some of that in addition to the more standard puzzling. And now that I think about it, it reminds me a lot of structure of Colonel's Bequest. How you could get through that game doing the bare minimum, but if you wanted to solve the mystery fully there were a lot of other things to figure out. Plus the environment in that game was also a fairly open ended, medium sized, location that changed over time. I know Meredith Gran was inspired by Sierra games, I wonder if she ever played Colonel's Bequest.
 
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Played through Dexter Stardust and had a good time with it, the game has some significant drawbacks, but overall it's a fun & upbeat space adventure with good pacing -- plus some cool tunes. You play as Dexter, who basically sells knickknacks door-to-door but in space! Along with his best friend and inevitable love interest, Aurora, he delivers packages for his uncle Jedo. The game's set in the future, several decades after humans made contact with an alien race called the Vreesians, who wiped out all life on earth save for a few survivors. Humanity is far from extinct since many lived off of earth by this time. It's not long before Dexter encounters a Vreesian robot who makes cryptic reference to his long lost mother and some urgent task at hand, setting Dexter and Aurora on the path to their larger adventure.

The plot, all things considered, is fairly standard. It's well done and keeps the revelations coming at a steady enough pace to maintain your investment. The writing has charm, it over estimates how funny constantly referencing Tacos is, but I never found it grating. A good amount of the jokes land well enough, but the comedy is held back by the game's biggest flaw: voice acting. Dexter Stardust has some of the most uneven voice acting I've heard in a while. Topping off at "decent" with characters like Dexter or Jedo, and sinking to "how did this make it into the game?" with characters like Aurora. I still enjoyed my time playing in spite of this, but it's seriously not good. It's not even the actress' fault, she's clearly not a native English speaker and sounds like she's struggling to get her lines out. So any shot at comedic timing is almost literally shot dead. I get it, indie team, small budget/no budget -- but grabbing almost any other random person would have yielded better results.


It's worse by comparison because in almost every other regard the production of Dexter Stardust is quite slick. The character designs are appealing, the soundtrack is really good, the cutscenes are well put together, BG art is in an attractive clean style, even the menus have good presentation to them; with an aesthetic that makes the game feel like the first season of a streaming series. The animation is limited and consists mostly of motion tweens, but even so game looks and feels great.

I liked the puzzles, too. There's nothing above and beyond in the vein of MI's insult sword fighting or AA's courtroom battles, but mostly everything is solid. Except for this one part where you have to pour hot sauce on a pink flamingo, and instead of being able to use one of the many pink flamingos on a certain screen, you need to find the special flamingos hidden somewhere else. I will say that the sign-posting can be a little bit too blatant sometimes. The characters will blurt out hints that would be better left to an actual hint system. Still, it's some solid traditional adventure puzzling and I had a good time with it.


I suppose by favorite thing about Dexter Stardust is just that it's consistently light and pleasant. It was especially nice to play after the emotional nuke of Perfect Tides. All the characters in the game feel like friends that really get along, hanging out on a fun adventure. There's a cool surf-rock vibe that permeates the whole thing. In short: it's fun. The game ends teasing the next "season" of Dexter Stardust adventures and I'm absolutely on board for that. If you don't find some of the shoddy VA to be a deal-breaker, it's a solid recommend. I'd give it a 7/10.
 
Smattering of adventure news & announcements:

Short (reviews clock it at 2~3 hours) comedy adventure game about finding your pants came out recently. Steam reviews are positive and it looks solidly made to me. Dunno if I'll get around to it with Syberia dropping tomorrow and other releases on the horizon but it could be cool.
---

Remake of the 2012 freeware adventure "Ib" was announced. For a while I've had a mind to dive into some of this oft overlooked scene of adventure games. There's a lot of these top down adv games with aesthetic similarities to 16 bit JRPGs. Since many of them are horror stories, they've found niche popularity with general horror fans. But the most popular one is probably still To The Moon. It's kinda funny that 2019's fantastic Beautiful Desolation got a lot of flack for having a similar aesthetic to isometric cRPGs like Fallout, while being an adventure game, but these titles don't draw the same ire. Not sure if there's anything to make of that, I'm mostly just salty that Beautiful Desolation didn't get the reception it deserved lol.

In any case, I think the art of this remake still looks pretty amateurish but the freeware title does have a good reputation and the new version boasts a list of improvements:
This game is a remake of the 2D exploration-adventure title Ib, set in a creepy, mysterious art gallery and originally released in February 2012. Virtually all of the graphics have been updated, with many upgraded and additional effects as well.
  • Significantly improved screen resolution and graphics allow players to experience a
    classic in a whole new light.
  • Brand new graphics for maps, characters, and stills.
  • Addition of all-new and redesigned pieces of artwork.
  • Further improvements upon the original concept of making the game enjoyable for
    Players of all level through optimizations to the many puzzles in-game.
  • Brand new puzzles, effects, and tricks that were not present in the original.
  • Addition of “Smooth Mode” for improved visibility, allowing players to spot small items more easily and view the many pieces of artwork in greater detail.
  • New “conversation system” allows companions to offer hints and engage in conversation.
  • Brand new BGM composed specifically for the remake.
--

P&C ADV drama "The Safe Place" is about a man who accidentally kills someone. The act is witnessed by a little girl who agrees to stay silent about the crime in exchange for help with her own problems. This is by Anate Studio, who also did Little Kite. I played some of that game a few years back and it was similarly bleak in tone. Not a bad game, though. Apparently this game is part of a trilogy that's connected to Little Kite as well.
---



Foolish Mortals is a paranormal adventure with a hand drawn cartoon art style reminiscent of Don Bluth's films, and of course Broken Sword. Hopefully it looks as good in motion as it does in stills, unfortunately there's no video of it currently. Which kind of makes the 2022 release window seem a bit improbable. Either way I like the art in this one enough to keep track of it until release.
---
Also, in very incremental NirvanAI news, SpikeChunsoft have put out their own update detailing the new game mechanics of the upcoming Uchikoshi mind-fuck.
Moving between Dreams and Reality to Get to the Truth
In AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative, the two main protagonists Mizuki and Ryuki are members of ABIS, a special investigation team inside the Metropolitan Police Department. Along with their AI-Ball partners Aiba and Tama they are tasked with solving the bizarre Half Body serial killings. The game consists of two parts. The "Investigation" part takes place in the real world. Here players will examine crime scenes and listen to testimonies. In the "Somnium" part, players enter the dream worlds of suspects and key witnesses. Moving back and forth between the two parts, players can obtain the clues that can help them solve the case.


*All screenshots are from a development build and are not final.

Investigation Part: AI-Ball's New Capabilities
During Investigation, the story unfolds as players navigate the real world, examine crime scenes, and conduct interviews with suspects and witnesses. The main protagonists Mizuki and Ryuki each have a prosthesis in their left eye socket. This prosthesis or “AI-Ball” is equipped with advanced artificial intelligence, as well as visual functions such as X-ray and thermal imaging that can help them uncover clues.

For the sequel, AI-Ball’s features will be expanded. New capabilities include “Virtual Reality” in which special visual functions are applied to an entire space, while “Truth Reconstruction” reproduces an incident as if it were a scene from a television drama. The new “Wink Psync'' function will let players easily read the thoughts of others. Recognizing the lies and concerns of other parties will help move the investigation forward.



Somnium Part: Who hasn’t dreamt of flying?
During a Somnium, players can uncover new clues. Agents or “Psyncers” use Psync machine to enter the dreams of suspects and key witnesses. In the dream world, Mizuki’s AI-Ball Aiba or Ryuki’s AI-Ball Tama appear as women and assist their agents by conducting investigations on their behalf. The Psyncer can stay in the subject’s dream for only six minutes. The dream world’s structure is based on the subject’s personality and memories, and each world has its own rules. The object of a Somnium is to enter the deep consciousness of a subject, and unlock “Mental Locks” that hinder the investigation, all within the time limit.

The Somnium parts of this game will introduce new aerial and underwater dream worlds. In the original title, players could only move about on land, but with the introduction of upwards and downwards movement, players will experience a much richer variety of dream worlds.


About AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative
Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered. The left half was never found…until six years later, completely fresh with no signs of decay. Now, Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki, along with their AI partners Aiba and Tama, are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings while unveiling the mysterious plot known only as the Nirvana Initiative…

AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative will be available for Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam® on June 24, 2022 in North America and Europe.

Pre-order AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA Initiative now. See the official site for retailers. Physical versions published in European regions by Numskull Games.
It's mostly the same information that was in the Famitsu article, but mentions an additional feature added to the investigation part. "Virtual Reality" wherein AI-Ball functions like X-Ray or thermal vision are applied to the entire field of view, and presumably used to complete some investigative task. The screenshot shows one objective being "confirm status of body before combustion."
--

Microids put out a long form sit down interview discussing Syberia The World Before (which releases tomorrow). The English subtitles are a little iffy, but Microids said they're improving them on Steam. So maybe by the time you see this they're already better. The most interesting part for me was at the end where the interviewer asks if the team will be continuing the franchise in the aftermath of Benoit Sokal's unfortunate passing. The question was directed to one person in particular (their name unfortunately escapes me) who had worked closely with Benoit for over 10 years. His answer wasn't direct but it seemed to indicate that they possibly would make more games going forward.

It'll likely depend on the reception of The World Before. Which, speaking of, early reviews are pretty positive. With 10 reviews so far the game has an 81 on metacritic and an 80 on opencritic. That's obviously subject to change with more coverage but it seems, at the very least, that Microids has avoided another Syberia 3 level disaster.
 
Smattering of adventure news & announcements:

Short (reviews clock it at 2~3 hours) comedy adventure game about finding your pants came out recently. Steam reviews are positive and it looks solidly made to me. Dunno if I'll get around to it with Syberia dropping tomorrow and other releases on the horizon but it could be cool.
---

Remake of the 2012 freeware adventure "Ib" was announced. For a while I've had a mind to dive into some of this oft overlooked scene of adventure games. There's a lot of these top down adv games with aesthetic similarities to 16 bit JRPGs. Since many of them are horror stories, they've found niche popularity with general horror fans. But the most popular one is probably still To The Moon. It's kinda funny that 2019's fantastic Beautiful Desolation got a lot of flack for having a similar aesthetic to isometric cRPGs like Fallout, while being an adventure game, but these titles don't draw the same ire. Not sure if there's anything to make of that, I'm mostly just salty that Beautiful Desolation didn't get the reception it deserved lol.

In any case, I think the art of this remake still looks pretty amateurish but the freeware title does have a good reputation and the new version boasts a list of improvements:

--

P&C ADV drama "The Safe Place" is about a man who accidentally kills someone. The act is witnessed by a little girl who agrees to stay silent about the crime in exchange for help with her own problems. This is by Anate Studio, who also did Little Kite. I played some of that game a few years back and it was similarly bleak in tone. Not a bad game, though. Apparently this game is part of a trilogy that's connected to Little Kite as well.
---



Foolish Mortals is a paranormal adventure with a hand drawn cartoon art style reminiscent of Don Bluth's films, and of course Broken Sword. Hopefully it looks as good in motion as it does in stills, unfortunately there's no video of it currently. Which kind of makes the 2022 release window seem a bit improbable. Either way I like the art in this one enough to keep track of it until release.
---
Also, in very incremental NirvanAI news, SpikeChunsoft have put out their own update detailing the new game mechanics of the upcoming Uchikoshi mind-fuck.

It's mostly the same information that was in the Famitsu article, but mentions an additional feature added to the investigation part. "Virtual Reality" wherein AI-Ball functions like X-Ray or thermal vision are applied to the entire field of view, and presumably used to complete some investigative task. The screenshot shows one objective being "confirm status of body before combustion."
--

Microids put out a long form sit down interview discussing Syberia The World Before (which releases tomorrow). The English subtitles are a little iffy, but Microids said they're improving them on Steam. So maybe by the time you see this they're already better. The most interesting part for me was at the end where the interviewer asks if the team will be continuing the franchise in the aftermath of Benoit Sokal's unfortunate passing. The question was directed to one person in particular (their name unfortunately escapes me) who had worked closely with Benoit for over 10 years. His answer wasn't direct but it seemed to indicate that they possibly would make more games going forward.

It'll likely depend on the reception of The World Before. Which, speaking of, early reviews are pretty positive. With 10 reviews so far the game has an 81 on metacritic and an 80 on opencritic. That's obviously subject to change with more coverage but it seems, at the very least, that Microids has avoided another Syberia 3 level disaster.

Foolish Mortals looks awesome. Hype
 
The World Before is out now. Im going to start it up later today. Hopefully it's a good entry into the series and fitting sendoff for the late Benoit Sokal.


Chinatown Detective Agency also announced it's release date with a new trailer. It's slated for release April 7th.
 
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Fuz

Gold Member
Done with Perfect Tides.
Oh man, am I gonna miss it. It really hit the spot and made me very nostalgic. I wanted to stay there indefinitely. I need some sort of sequel right now.
I fucked up a lot and missed tons of optional puzzles, but they REALLY are obscure - apparently I failed at developing the photo, although I was sure I followed the steps thoroughly. And how the fuck could I have imagined I needed a cart of soil from the forest to grow stuff? Problem is, those puzzles only give you a very small window to solve them, then they're gone. And it's all very unclear: as an example, I let the photo to dry thinking maybe I would have been able to pick it up the day after. How silly of me. The game suffers a bit from being sometimes unfocused and unclear, leaving you alone without any clear objective or guidance... hey, just like Mara!
The writing is stellar, I googled Meredith Gran (never heard of her and her comics) and now I wonder how much of the game is an autobiography - it's just too focused, believable and relatable - too real sometimes. Mara is not a bidimensional character, she's a mess, confused about herself and with complex feelings and thoughts. It's sad, depressing, sweet and fun. I wasn't that impressed with game writing since Disco Elysium.
Also, again, the graphics are really good and there's lots of excellent animations.

Also I kinda ruined the 02.mp3 scene with a really, really silly song. I replayed it.
 
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The World Before is out now. Im going to start it up later today. Hopefully it's a good entry into the series and fitting sendoff for the late Benoit Sokal.


Chinatown Detective Agency also announced it's release date with a new trailer. It's slated for release April 7th.

Let us know your thoughts on it. Also glad to see ppl enjoying perfect tides. Guess now I have 3 classic p&c adventures to play now. Hopefully Syberia is good as well. Steam reviews are saying its good with some performance issues(fuck Unity).
 
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Done with Perfect Tides.
Oh man, am I gonna miss it. It really hit the spot and made me very nostalgic. I wanted to stay there indefinitely. I need some sort of sequel right now.
I fucked up a lot and missed tons of optional puzzles, but they REALLY are obscure - apparently I failed at developing the photo, although I was sure I followed the steps thoroughly. And how the fuck could I have imagined I needed a cart of soil from the forest to grow stuff? Problem is, those puzzles only give you a very small window to solve them, then they're gone. And it's all very unclear: as an example, I let the photo to dry thinking maybe I would have been able to pick it up the day after. How silly of me. The game suffers a bit from being sometimes unfocused and unclear, leaving you alone without any clear objective or guidance... hey, just like Mara!
The writing is stellar, I googled Meredith Gran (never heard of her and her comics) and now I wonder how much of the game is an autobiography - it's just too focused, believable and relatable - too real sometimes. Mara is not a bidimensional character, she's a mess, confused about herself and with complex feelings and thoughts. It's sad, depressing, sweet and fun. I wasn't that impressed with game writing since Disco Elysium.
Also, again, the graphics are really good and there's lots of excellent animations.

Also I kinda ruined the 02.mp3 scene with a really, really silly song. I replayed it.

I fucked up the photo the first time as well and wound up only having a gift for Timothy during Hanukkah. I did actually figure out the soil, though, since when you "look" at the forest ground the narration says this. There's so many things I missed though, wrapping the presents, actually getting on MTV, other vegetables to grow, judging the competition, befriending the school store kid, etc. Which made replaying the game a lot of fun. Since I was so invested in the writing & characters, seeing how those optional objectives changed scenes around/opened up different sub plots was a big reward.

There's for sure a tinge (or maybe a tinge and a half) of autobiography to Perfect Tides. If not in all the particular details, certainly the broad strokes of being an awkward, confused, and outcast teenage girl addicted to the internet in the early 00s. It's definitely written from the perspective of someone who's "been there." Being a long time fan of Gran's best known work, the comic series Octopus Pie, I know she's made other characters with their own mess of details feel just as real before. Though, I will say Perfect Tides is the best display of her writing chops to date. Octopus Pie started more as a gag strip, and over years morphed into a thoughtful examination of mid 20s urban life. PT has a clearer goal, more focus, and benefits from it.

Unfortunately I'm not too hopeful on how successful the game will be. It's flying under the radar even more than I'd expected (doesn't even have a metascore), though John Walker did write a glowing review for it on Buried Treasure. I just hope there's some incentive for Three Bees to keep making games. I think Meredith Gran has a real knack for games writing and it's crazy to think of where that could go since this is her first stab at it.

Not to be so self-referential, but when I wrote this in the OP:
...the genre is host to all sorts of unique stories and worlds that couldn't conform within the mold of other game genres. For this, as well as many other reasons, adventures have sustained a dedicated niche of gamers who play them for those unique experiences and unforgettable worlds.
A game like Perfect Tides is exactly what I was talking about.
 
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At a guess, I'd say I'm about halfway through Syberia: The World Before now. I like it a lot so far. The game is a slow build, it's rather methodically teasing out the mystery surrounding Dana Rose and her connection to Kate Walker. I could imagine someone getting impatient with this, but I consider it the right move. One of the most damning things about Syberia 3, barring all the technical issues & evident budget constraints, was that the plot lacked the sense of a grander purpose. In the original Syberia the mystery surrounding who Hans was, where he went, and why, was teased out in tidbits of discarded writings, in the impressions of those who had met him, and in the image you made in your own mind of "what person must've been behind all those intricate clockwork machines?" The plot had significance to the amazing locales you explored. By comparison, 3's Yokol migration story just felt like something thrown together because Kate needed another journey for the sequel. Which is why it's very satisfying to see Microids understanding the appeal of the first games. The World Before has you, once again, uncovering the past of a mysterious person and visiting lovingly crafted locations where they left their mark. Plus there's a deeper level of examination into Kate as a person and how her decisions have impacted her life. I don't know if the series can ever succeed the original Hans Voralberg plot. The contraptions that serve as the basis of Syberia's gameplay and much of the world's appeal will always be more a reflection of him over any new characters. However the developers have succeeded in crafting a journey for Kate that feels genuinely important again, all while giving me some of my favorite Oscar & Kate moments in the series to date. That's more than you can likely ask for out of a franchise that, by all rights, ended perfectly with 2.

The only real issue I have with the story is that Kate's inciting motivation to embark on the journey is weak. Kate makes a promise to her dying cell-mate that she'll find the girl in a picture. A picture they'd been looking at for like half a minute. It just didn't make any sense to me and the acting in that scene was not powerful enough to sell me on it either. Were you really so blown away by the picture that it became the most important thing to you during your final breath? Fortunately a parallel motivation for the journey emerges after a bit. One that's far more convincing: Kate is chasing the high of adventure to avoid coming to terms with the guilt of abandoning her friends and family -- especially her now deceased mother. Funnily enough, I had just decided this motivation was my head-canon before the game actually acknowledges it in a dialogue sequence later on. I only wish more emphasis was put on this over what they highlight in the initial scenes because it works way better.



But what of the gameplay? Well, that's a slow build as well. Up the point I've just stopped, things are now getting more complex. At around the 4/5 hour mark, The World Before introduces a new character switching mechanic. You change POVs between Kate and Dana, using knowledge of the past to solve puzzles in the present. (not a story spoiler, but just in case you're avoiding gameplay surprises). Where I'm up to it seems as though they've just set up a big puzzle with this mechanic but we'll see how that pans out. In the earlier stretch of the game it's all very easy. The puzzles in Syberia were never the hardest in the adventure genre by any stretch. But you had to make use of things across a wider span of game environment. There's much less back-tracking in The World Before's environments. So it doesn't take as long to figure out what to use and where. Some of the puzzles were still entertaining despite the lack of challenge. I'm thinking of one in particular where you activate and chase armadillo Oscar around Vahgen to no avail. Others, aren't anything to write home about. Plus, the way the game implements QTEs can be clunky sometimes when playing with a mouse. Though, you can play the whole game with mouse only (so far) which is a plus.

I've seen in Steam reviews that clock the game at 16+ hours. I'm like 7 hours in and my hope is that the puzzle depth goes up a notch or two as they sink their teeth into this new mechanic. If that pans out I'll be satisfied overall. There's more I could say about the characters (I think Dana's romance subplot has genuinely good chemistry to it), the cinematography (it's directed beautifully), the score (best in the series bar none), and most importantly the setting (absolutely nails the detailed, larger than life locales that make Syberia a special series), but I'll leave it there for now. Really good and on pace to be great depending on how things develop in the next half.



Oh yeah, and I've encountered no glaring technical issues so far. The framerate struggles in one area and a few cutscenes randomly but aside from that I've had no issues and encountered no bugs.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
Yeah, that's unexpected. Maybe they're just testing the waters before more projects.

By the way, would the new Syberia be enjoyable for someone who doesn't remember anything at all about the first two and never played the third?
 
Yeah, that's unexpected. Maybe they're just testing the waters before more projects.

By the way, would the new Syberia be enjoyable for someone who doesn't remember anything at all about the first two and never played the third?
You for sure don't have to play the 3rd game at all. All you need to know about what happens in Syberia 3 is that Kate wound up in prison.

Not remembering anything about the first two games, I'm not so sure on. One of the cooler things about The World Before's story is that it takes the grand adventure that Kate went on and flips it on its head, to tell a more introspective story about Kate as a person. I think the events of the game itself are still interesting and fun to experience but that added layer of emotional connection really works for me.

Maybe that still comes across with the context they give you, but I have a feeling it might not.
 
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You for sure don't have to play the 3rd game at all. All you need to know about what happens in Syberia 3 is that Kate wound up in prison.

Not remembering anything about the first two games, I'm not so sure on. One of the cooler things about The World Before's story is that it takes the grand adventure that Kate went on and flips it on its head, to tell a more introspective story about Kate as a person. I think the events of the game itself are still interesting and fun to experience but that added layer of emotional connection really works for me.

Maybe that still comes across with the context they give you, but I have a feeling it might not.

I'll have to watch a summary of the events of the first two games as well as I remember nothing Too bad no one bothered giving them the modern treatment. Last time I checked you cant even run them in win10.
 
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