The Moment of Silence - PC - Review
By now I’ve played my fair share of point and click adventure games. I have a good understanding of how the games will play out and what to expect from a point-and-click game. But for those that are unfamiliar with a point-and-click adventure game then I must point you in the direction of Myst. Myst was one of the forefathers of the genre by incorporating beautiful graphics, a mysterious story line and an easy-to-understand control system.
The name of the genre says it all; you simply point and click on items to interact with them in order to solve the mysteries of the game. But, does a point-and-click interface make the games easy? Not especially. This is why most point-and-click games are adventure/mystery games were you uncovering strange and unusual circumstances in the game. The basic premise behind most of the games is trying to figure out “what happened” or “who did it” or in the case of some games “what in the world is going on.” You will have to solve puzzles and find clues to unravel the mysteries of the game. But as I said earlier, I’m very comfortable with what a point-and-click adventure game will do.
So how does The Moment of Silence compare? It’s more of the same with hardly any revolutionary advances to the point-and-click genre. However, most point-and-click fans will tell you that it’s all about the story and the mystery. This is where The Moment of Silence has a chance to shine, because the story is well done and will keep you guessing for a long time. The story of the game revolves around your character, Peter Wright, and the events he witnesses one night. As usual Peter is having a hard time sleeping and he hears the elevator to his apartment complex. When Peter looks through the door’s peephole he witnesses a SWAT team breaking into his next door neighbor’s apartment. Soon after the SWAT team enters the apartment they emerge with a suspect in custody. Soon the suspect's son and wife come out to confront the SWAT team but with no luck. The wife and son enter their apartment and the SWAT team leaves, with only the boy’s teddy bear remaining in the hallway. This is how the game begins.
You will have to talk to more than 30 different characters to unlock the mysteries to why this person was taken into custody. To preserve the mysteries of the game I will say that this game reminds me of an episode of the X-Files. You will talk to characters that will mention alien and government conspiracies. The game is set in 2044 and provides a probable future that could exist. The government has implemented control over aspects of everyday life to make the day-to-day lives of citizens easier. For example, the government controls the Internet, which is called GlobalNet in the game. But think about that for a minute, if the government controls the Internet then who is watching over the government? What types of freedom of speech rights are left for citizens? All of these questions are issues that come up during the course of the game. The story line will keep you interested and always wanting to find out just what is going on. Unfortunately the rest of the game doesn’t live up to the lofty goals of the story line.
The whole idea of point-and-click games is to make the games playable to anyone that can use a mouse. The interface shouldn’t be a barrier to the game, but in The Moment of Silence the interface can be troublesome. But it’s a double-edged sword because the problem with the controls exists because of the best part of the game, the graphics. The graphics for the locations are gorgeous and beautiful. Almost all of locations are presented in striking detail, such as reflective surfaces. The details of the characters in the game doesn’t come close to the rest of the graphics. All of the characters looked as if they came from The Sims. The game does include some well-done cutscenes that should impress almost everyone.
However the camera angle is always static, which causes the problem with the controls. For each part of the game you went to there would usually be a different camera angle. You can’t change the camera angle around a stage and you’ll find yourself clicking on a spot to move your character only to have the character move nowhere. So even though I knew where I wanted to go I usually couldn’t “see” where I wanted to go. This would result in having to point and click repeatedly to try and get back to where I needed to go. It’s only a minor issue, but it was frustrating especially after going to the same locations several times and experiencing the same problem at each location.
The sound effects and voice acting in the game are well done for this type of game. The voice acting of your character was well done and he only had a few repeated phrases that became annoying. If you get stuck in a spot in the game then you will probably hear the same phrases from Peter over and over again, but this is usually the only instance. The rest of the voice acting in the game was well done as all of the actors did a respectable job. I did notice a few British accents in some of the voiceovers, which raised a flag since the game is supposed to be set in New York. The sound effects and music in the game fit nicely and came across loud and clear. Most of the music is ambiance, moody music to set the tone of the game.
The Moment of Silence will appeal to its core audience of hardcore point-and-click adventure game fans. It offers up a challenging and entertaining experience that will please the hardcore fans. For gamers new to the genre the excellent graphics will be the first attention grabber for the game. The story was interesting and will keep you guessing until the end. Even thought the controls weren’t perfect the game is still easy enough for anyone to pick up and play. The Moment of Silence doesn’t raise the bar on gaming but it does what it should well, which is providing an entertaining, challenging, mysterious and thought-provoking game.
Review Scoring Details for The Moment of Silence
It’s a point-and-click game, which I’ve probably mentioned enough in this review. The controls are easy but the static camera angle will cause a problem moving around in the game.
If only the character models were as detailed as the background graphics. The background and location graphics were spectacular at times, with rich and immense detail.
The British accent of the characters that are supposed to live in New York was a little strange. The voice acting was well done by the actors and the sound effects/music did the job of setting the mood of the game. The game just doesn’t offer a booming soundtrack or catchy musical score.
The majority of the game is spent trying to figure out or piece together puzzles about what happened to your neighbor. Some of the puzzles are straightforward but you will run across a few that will have you searching for a walk-through. The game is rather linear in how it progresses, meaning unless you figure out a particular puzzle you probably won’t move further along in the game.
It’s a point-and-click mystery/adventure game. It’s been done a thousand times before and probably a thousand more times from now. The story line is entertaining and will keep you guessing in the end, but that still doesn’t solve the basic gameplay flaw, the game itself. Some gamers love these games while other games are looking for something more modern with more gameplay elements besides point and click.
You probably already know whether or not you will buy this game. The majority of fans that play point-and-click adventure games love them and will buy them without any thought. You probably won’t be disappointed with The Moment of Silence since it fits in with similar games. Gamers that have never played this type of game will still find The Moment of Silence enjoyable but will still notice some issues with the game.