Dreamcatcher, as has come to be expected of them, had the largest amount of adventure games of any company on display at E3. I must commend them for being the only company over the last few years to consistently release titles for us depraved adventurers. Although from now on, their adventure titles will be released under a separate label called The Adventure Company while Dreamcatcher branches out to releasing non-adventure games.
Most of Dreamcatcher's 2002 lineup was on display at E3 and I have put together a preview of all of the titles that will appeal to the adventure gamer. First up is the widely anticipated Syberia.
You play as Kate Walker, a young lawyer sent to a small alpine village in France to settle the acquisition of a toy company. Seems simple enough but you are soon thrown into an intriguing mystery filled with interesting characters and puzzles.
This third person perspective adventure game shares a lot in common with The Longest Journey as far as style and gameplay are concerned. The graphics are all richly detailed and beautiful. Combining those elements with a highly involving and immersive storyline makes this the most promising adventure game of 2002. It was certainly the best adventure game on display at E3 and every fan of the genre owes it to themselves to pick it up.
Syberia has already hit store shelves in certain European countries and Canada. It is slated for a US release this September.
Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Scarlet Hand
In this new installment of the popular game series, Nancy is working as an intern at the Beech Hill Museum in Washington, D.C. Nancy's learning experience soon turns into a case to solve when a series of thefts take place and the only clue left behind is a mysterious scarlet hand print. As Nancy digs deeper into the thefts, the knowledge she gains makes her realize that she may have unearthed a larger plot.
I've always thoroughly enjoyed these games and this looks to be the best one yet with it's major graphical improvement over the past installments.
Available Summer 2002
Next: Atlantis and Auryn Quest
Curse of Atlantis: Thorgal's Quest
You play as Thorgal Aegirsson, a Viking warrior at sea who has been set off course by a violent storm. Through this twist of fate he meets an old man who shows him a vision of the future. A future in which he is about to kill his own son. Thorgal must now return home immediately to banish the evil that shadows his family. To do so he will have to travel through time and space to solve the mystery of this disturbing vision.
Adding to this original story are great looking 3D graphics, challenging quests to complete, many characters to interact with, and multiple story paths that are integrated into the gameplay.
Available Fall 2002
This adventure game inspired by Michael Ende's novel "The Neverending Story," has been in development for quite sometime and is now at last being released with the title Auryn Quest.
This is an arcade-style adventure game in 1st person perspective, with real-time 3D technology allowing the player complete navigational freedom. Since the magic Auryn has disappeared, Fantasia threatens to be consumed by the Nothing - a powerful force that can level and destroy all in its path. Huge pieces of the land have already been destroyed in the never-ending battle for power. Starting their quest at the Temple of a Thousand Doors, the player will enter into six richly detailed surrealistic worlds with various puzzles and arcade sequences, the degrees of difficulty increasing with each task accomplished.
Available July 2002
Next: The Omega Stone and Pharoah's Curse
Riddle of the Sphinx II: The Omega Stone
In this sequel to Riddle of the Sphinx you will be able to search through the ruins of various historical and mysterious sites such as Stonehenge, Chichen Itza, Easter Island, The Devils Triangle and the ruins of Atlantis. This game allows you unrestricted access and exploration of archaeological sites that are currently not open to the public. Adding to the graphical beauty of this game are real-time environmental effects like rain, sun, and water, with full 360° exploration.
On your journey through these mythic sites you will discover a mystery involving Celtic Priests and Guardians that hold a secret that links all of these ancient civilizations together. If you are a fan of first person adventures, you will definitely want to give this game your attention.
Available Winter 2002
The Cameron Files: Pharoah's Curse
In this mystery adventure you must investigate the disappearance of a Pharaoh. Signs point to an ancient ritual used to invoke the mummy but you must piece together clues to discover the real reason why the mummy is missing. During your investigations you travel the Nile on a steamboat, explore the Cairo Museum of Antiquities and meet a cast of interesting characters all leading to solving the mystery behind the empty tomb.
This game features an original score with ambient sounds, a complex mystery with a touch of the supernatural to make for a rich storyline and beautifully detailed locations.
Available Winter 2002