reviews\ Nov 18, 2001 at 7:00 pm

Project Eden - PS2 - Review

Project Eden takes place on a future earth plagued by overpopulation.  To deal with this problem mankind builds skyward, creating huge multi-layered cities, and though Eden may accurately describe the top levels, the lower levels are more like hell.  You and your team are members of the UPA, a police organization charged with keeping the peace.  Right now your chief concern is the Real Meat Plant.  There's been a disturbance; the plants gone haywire and the techs they sent in to fix it have gone missing.  It's your job to find out what happened.

Project Eden opens with a beautiful FMV and continues the game with expansive 3d environments were the smallest crack in a wall can be the key to victory.  The four controllable characters are part of a team, each with unique abilities so that each one will have to be used at different times.  In addition there are many areas where multiple characters will have to be used to accomplish a joint goal.   Unfortunately the game offers little in clues when it comes to figuring out what you have to do and the targeting system (needed not only for combat but to interact with any object) can be extremely finicky.  This is definitely one where a walkthrough comes in handy.  However this is also where it's most innovative and creative game feature comes into it's best use.  With up to 4 player simultaneous cooperative play your friends are right by your side to figure it out and laugh at you when you are stumped...  Of course you could just leave them locked in a room full of toxic gas...   However even with your friends taunting..err..I mean help, the story line moves exceptionally slow.

Graphically, it performs well except in certain circumstances, like when the sprinkler system is activated.  Then you are treated to something that should never happen on a console...lag.  However, instances such as this are rare and items like the giant meat log make up for it.  The sound quality is decent but not memorable unless you’re talking about the damn alarm that keeps blaring (you can turn it off, have faith).

Conceptually the idea of the underside civilization is nothing new.  Neither is the Idea of team based gaming.  However, the one thing that makes this game leaps and bounds ahead of the pack is the 4 player simultaneous play.   This is the first console strategy/survival game to have such a feature, and it's fantastic.  The only problem is the screen splitting which often makes minute visual cues even harder to pick up on.

Project Eden is a monumental effort that incorporates new elements of gameplay into an accepted genre.     

Install: N/A

Gameplay: 7
Several lapses (finicky target system, tiny visual cues) draw the steam out of what could be a must faster paced game.  However the use of the characters varying abilities and the multi player system make up for it's other shortcomings.

Graphics: 8 
Solid graphic

Sound: 6
Not bad but had they paid more attention to it, the atmosphere of the game could have benefited greatly.

Difficulty: 6
The puzzles are not difficult once you realize how to access them.  However making sure to notice every misplaced grate can be annoying.

Concept: 7 
Innovative game options.

Multiplayer: 9
Great cooperative play.  Split screens make things difficult sometimes.

Overall: 7
It's a massively built game but it seems more time was spent on creating the city than creating a driving story.


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