and the world took a bullet right in the head. At least that is what happened
in the futuristic universe that Ren Silver lives
in. She’s a private investigator. She’s got a gun and she likes to wear skin
tight jumpsuits. The world around her looks like a bleak Blade Runner homage
complete with hovering cars, rain, large face ads and a landscape full of
depravity. Good times for sci-fi adventure gamers everywhere.
Ren is on vacation inside a tourist colony on
Mars, her buddy Hacker drops a line to say Ted has been kidnapped. It turns
out that we like Ted and now we must find him. So much
for Ren’s rest and relaxation. Say that
three times fast. If you visit the official website, the story is broken down
with a little more detail. During World War II Germany and Japan were up to
no good involving some kind of genetic anti-aging experiments. These
experiments altered the future. And that’s all I can say. I will say no
Legacy Dark Shadows is a
third person point and click adventure game in the classic tradition of other
titles such as The Longest Journey, Syberia and
Gabriel Knight. Gameplay will be very familiar to
veterans and easy to pick up for newbies. You
simply point to a location on the screen and click. Ren
will walk to the indicated area. Double left click and
Ren will run. If you roll the cursor over a hot spot and click, a tri
menu pops up which allows you to look, take or talk. During conversation the
player merely chooses from a short dialogue tree. If you right click your
inventory pops up. The inventory interface also holds a camera and clue
collecting devices. That way you can pick up blood samples and bring them to
a lab and run tests and what not. Very CSI.
Puzzles mainly consist of
finding an item and using it in order to progress. For example, early on I
needed to collect a rope, a rock and a pipe while wandering inside catacombs
under a cathedral. Then I combined the objects in my inventory to create a
hammer. The hammer was then used to crack through an old wall in order to
complete a goal. None of the solutions are very difficult and occasionally
you must get past a large mutant monster by using your noggin rather than a
poorly placed arcade-like sequence.
Legacy has some memorable
locations like the dark foreboding rainstorm outside
Ren’s office and later on when you return to Mars. However nothing is
very striking or terribly original. That’s not meant in a bad way however,
Legacy does rely heavily on other sci-fi concepts that have come before it.
Such is the way of life. Blade Runner owes much to the silent film classic
Metropolis. Some gamers will scream rip off, others like me will acknowledge
it all as a homage and move on.
There is no evolution in
gameplay for the genre here and to be completely
honest the graphics appear dated. The voice cast is somewhat disappointing as
well. Despite all of these shortcomings I found the awkward quirkiness of
Legacy somewhat engaging. Some gamers will undoubtedly disagree, but I think
adventure game purists will appreciate Ren
Silver’s gawky, broken English charm. When it comes to adventure the story is
the thing we all look forward to. So much so that I think adventure gamers
are a little more forgiving when it comes to judgment than action/shooter
gamers. Legacy has a few interesting moments that will appeal to its core
Smooth interface and easy progression. Nothing seems impossible the first
time through although some object hunting is a tad mundane.
The graphics are not horrendous. However, in this day and age with
graphic engines such as Doom 3 and the beautiful Syberia
series we need to be honest. Legacy is a step below the competition. This
doesn’t ruin the experience, but it is noticeable.
There is a “Burglar” rap, dance song that you’ll either love to pieces or be
inclined to light your hair on fire after hearing it for the tenth time. The
tune is infectious and I really need it to stop playing in my head. Like
right now! The voice cast is not so good. The only exception is the main
character, Ren Silver. She may grow on you. She
may not. The broken English gets rather funny after a while. “That’s Ivan.
He is real boring.”
I dislike games
that are too difficult where the puzzles are completely out of left field.
Legacy is not one of those games. Odds are if you are stuck you missed an
item somewhere in Ren’s immediate vicinity.
Pure science fiction set within a traditional first-person adventure game.
Love it or hate it. There is no in between. One of the reasons I wanted to
play this game is because there isn’t a whole lot out there like it right
now. Of course you can always revisit past classics if you like.
Hardcore shooter fans will hate this game. Action/arcade gamers will be bored
to tears. But alas, Legacy Dark Shadows isn’t for any of them. It is
specifically, in my humble opinion, for adventure purists who have patience to
sit through bad NPC dialogue because the main character is endearing and in a
bit of a jam.