GameNow WP Theme

Dark Light
Still Life 2 - PC Review
Review Score:

The killer has no originality

I have had a very mixed bag with point and click adventure titles. From the frustratingly annoying Wallace & Gromit, to the endearing but brutally difficult Pirates of Vooju Island. That’s without even delving into the four disc marathon that was X-Files or the original Monkey Island series. Whilst the games do have a place in my heart, the cliches are becoming somewhat of an annoyance now. The sequel to Still Life arrived back in 2009 however we’ve only just got our hands on it thanks to the delayed European shipping date. Iceberg Interactive have a broad spectrum of games in their portfolio, we’re about to review another game they published soon, Sail Simulator 2010. Needless to say, it starts off with real promise, and I emphasise the word “starts”.

Now if only I could get outside.

For strangers to the 1995 original, you are an FBI agent who is tracking down a serial killer in town who has taken a liking for killing woman. Sadly it’s not a long distance lorry driver from Ipswich, that would of just been too good a plot line. How this ties over from the first game is simple, at the end of Still Life you never actually see the killer die, just him fall into the freezing river. So right from the off the plot twists. Just a note on the opening cut scene to the game, the one to bring you up to speed… it sucks. Sure it was 1995 but Microids (the developer) could have at least rendered the video at a higher quality. Nonetheless, on with the review.

In the game you play two characters ,Victoria McPherson who was star of the original (FBI Agent) and news reporter Paloma Hernandez. Paloma gets kidnapped by the killer, but instead of the killer being intelligent and disposing of his victims quickly, he decides to have a little fun with her and toy around with her and sparing her life for escaping room after room of traps. So you get a mixture gameplay styles here, the general adventure play with Paloma and the more CSI type, police investigation style with Victoria. Unfortunately it’s repeat, repeat, repeat. I’m not saying that everything is blindingly obvious, but you are essentially doing the same thing re-packaged to progress the storyline. Generally you’ll be mixing items together, trial and erroring your way through each room or looking hard for clues to spot in a room with tech gadgetry. I do like the cell phone and voice recorders which store the games objectives, additional notes and the work Microids have done with adding in additional information and quirky pieces using the FBI computer. It rolls together nicely. In fact the actual narrative is pretty good, voice acting is adequate and the pacing between the two characters keep the plot on edge.

What about the killer? Well no points for originality. The killer looks like he’s come out of My Bloody Valentine whilst torturing his victims through a SAW omnibus. I can’t believe how similar some of the traps and inflictions are to the kind of actions Jigsaw make. For instance Paloma will get injected with poison at one stage and threatened to be gassed. Yes that’s SAW II right there. There are a couple of annoyances I found with the game and one of them is the size of the inventory. You often have to place items into a conveniently placed cupboard or shelf, so you can fit a mattress inside an inventory. Then you’ll have to re-arrange your inventory to make way for a fire extinguisher etc. It’s tedious, especially when you have to travel around different rooms mixing items together, it just feels like a cop out to draw the games length out and that goes with some of the forensic clues as well. Hard to spot? You bet!

Still Life 2 5.jpg Still Life 2   PC Review

Talk about live in a shit hole, get it together luv!

The game has nice audio on the whole, the music creates great atmosphere and the ambience of creaking trees and busy streets at night give lend the game a real gritty feel. Graphically it’s all very grimey for the most part and as you play through the game you’ll notice some areas looking similar in style. It would have been nice to skip dialogue whilst mid-investigation as often when you think you’ve found all the clues, you haven’t and when you try to progress through the storyline by force, it just doesn’t happen. So what else can I say about Still Life? Well, there are also a few puzzle elements here too that make use of your memory and visual stimulus and whilst for the most part they aren’t the easiest to figure out, they are a lot more managable than some of the stupidly absurd puzzles found in Telltale Games portfolio.

Overall Still Life 2 falls into the same old adventure game cliches and lacks originality, however what it does do is create an engaging game which you can’t help but want to play to the end, no matter how mind numbing some of the gameplay can be. Definitely worth a play but a purchase? That maybe pushing it.

VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Still Life 2 - PC Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
blog comments powered by Disqus
Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Digg button Youtube button