XIII

You’re the prime suspect following the assassination of the American President, you have to find out who’s framed you and deal with them. The story is in the American paranoid–prat traditional, and is so mind–numbingly simple it could have been plotted by Hollywood. Despite this, it is addictive; I found myself playing the game just to confirm whodunnit. I wish it hadn’t have been quite so obvious.

I love the visuals; the comic–book appearance is fresh. But after a while it becomes repetitive. Ok, so perhaps I was hoping for something with the moody atmosphere of Deus Ex, which is a little unfair. The play is pretty formulaic, but given the deeply cowardly nature of modern game design, that isn’t surprising.

The game has the following flaws:

  • The stupid AI has characters you’re meant to be protecting running into danger when you’re doing something else;
  • It has some silly design issues, such as no injury from a drop and death from a drop being pretty much an identical drop;
  • There are places where enemy characters can see you, but you can’t see them—not by deliberate game plot, but by poor design;
  • Save is broken; when you request a save, the game somehow manages to save a some random point in the past of the game. This is particularly annoying when your character is defeated by another game flaw; you end up getting bored to tears replaying bits of the game you shouldn’t have to replay until you can work out what the flaw is and how to avoid it. This is an acknowledged bug, but there’s no patch out yet to fix it;
  • The graphics engine, or the design, just can’t handle plants well, so it was a bit silly to set entire scenes in gardens. The engine used by Medal of Honour and Call Of Duty (Quake 3?) seems to do it better;
  • The game doesn’t complete. To suggest a sequel is planned is like suggesting the pope might be a catholic.

Until the save bug is fixed, there’s no point in playing this game seriously; I recommend you play it at muppet level and enjoy the style, the visual wham bang thank you wallop.

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