11/DEC/13

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narmical's Reviews
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narmical reviews The Last Express (PC-MAC)

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narmical said...

This game suffers from a server lack of Feedback and Intention. In some adventure games, when you click on an object in the game world, the main character gives you a little bit of a clue to its use though internal monologue. There is none here. In the first 10 minutes of the game you are presented with a dead body in your train compartment. I picked up the dead body and placed it on the couch. When i left the room, the conductor noticed the blood on my jacket and i lost. The feedback i got was "ditch the jacket". On my second attempt i then noticed a green jacket hanging on the wall. "Maybe i can change" i told my self. Nope, the green jacket was un-clickable. I was lost. What did i have to do? hide the dead body INSIDE the couch, then i could change clothes. There was no nudge from the game telling me to hide the body. a simple "i should probably hide the body first" from the character would have done the trick. But no. I needed magic knowledge about how European 1912 train couches worked, and designer mind reading powers.

On the plus side, the game is a "real time adventure game". If you just stand there, life goes on with out you. Which is really cool. Its also supposed to have branching story lines.

The time mechanic and the branching storyline both left something to be desired. The time mechanic relay fell flat when you ended up with nothing clear to do. There was no one left to talk to, nothing you could think of to explore, and you just wanted to get to the next scene. At one point, there is a concert that goes on for 2 and a half in game hours. The first time played this scene, i explored the train while most people were busy, found some interesting stuff, and then wanted to trade that stuff with some NPCs. Unfortunately they were busy at the concert. I had to wait 10 to 20 real minutes for the concert to end, only for my actions to result in a game loosing branch. A fast forward mechanic would have worked wonders at that moment.

When i heard branching storyline i had visions in my head of tree. Where each fork in each branch was a scene and there were many ways to make it to the end of the game, namely Constantinople. However what the game presented was more of a vine. There was one main stalk that started at Paris and ended at Constantinople. At various lengths down this main stalk there were branches that extended only for one or two scenes, ultimately ending short of Constantinople. I was expecting multiple ways to "win" but got multiple ways to "fail".

If time mechanic and branching storyline were awesome! that would get a 5. but the horrid feedback and complete lack of Intention score this game at 3. Its worth a play to the end, but i would not play it a second time.

Game Traits applied to The Last Express (PC-MAC) by narmical

  • The Setting:
    Pre-war Europe, orient express
  • Playing As:
     
  • Playing Against:
     
  • How it's Played:
    Retro point and click, Branching paths
  • General Tone:
    Mysterious
The Last Express

The Last Express (PC-MAC)

Genre/Style: Adventure/Interactive Movie
Release Date:
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