the voice acting was acceptable, cinematics were sometimes very strong and music was sometimes quite nice. but everything else was very disappointing!
the interface was one of the clunkiest i’ve ever seen in an adventure game. the game fully froze for 3 seconds every time you exit the inventory screen! the slowly responding animated cursor made finding hotspots even more challenging. the arrangement of screens in every location of the game created unwanted mazes. the entire game was plagued by extreme pixel hunting issues (would’ve benefited greatly from the more recent invention of a hotspot viewer).
the writing was poor. there was not nearly enough description in the game. there was no facility for getting a description of your surroundings or inventory items. puzzles weren’t presented well (or at all) so most of the time i didn’t really know what i was supposed to be doing.
the character lighting was quite suspect as ann remained somewhat bright even when walking through shadows. there were corners cut in animation. and gameplay bugs abounded—as unforgiveable as ann attempting to give an item to a female NPC and the message coming up “i don’t want to give that to him”. characters would sometimes talk about events you’d already changed as if they hadn’t been changed. QA was very poor indeed.
despite all this, some of benoit sokal’s charm still managed to get through, particularly in the design of the fantasy creatures of maurania and his trademark soft, misty lighting art style. but overall i was dumbfounded at how the creator of the syberia games could produce something as weak as this to follow-up. i suspect that much of the fault was to do with publisher deadlines and issues with production.
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Time Played: 10-20 hours