Alien Virus is the latest interactive adventure from Vic Tokai. Set in the far future, players must travel from location to location collecting items and using them to solve the puzzles found throughout.
Alien Virus is pretty much like a lot of the computer adventures out there. In fact, it looks like a PC game. This title will be for the PlayStation, hence the realistic graphics.
While the plot details are sketchy, Vic Tokai is known for creating games that draw you in. We shall see if Alien Virus is a hit.
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You may have seen pictures of Alien Virus in earlier issues. Well, we recently received a 90 percent complete version to preview and here's the latest word.
Alien Virus is a point-and-click adventure game that uses a similar format to many of the PC graphic adventures. It will probably use the mouse when it's completed, but that hasn't been confirmed yet. You have a variety of items to click on. These will activate certain commands like Examine, Use and Open.
With these controls you are to navigate a space station while solving puzzles.
The plot Is encapsulated in the 15-minute introduction cinema. You are a worker for a company who must take a month-long voyage to see his girlfriend in a far-away space station. When you arrive, you begin noticing that things aren't exactly right. For example, the place is surprisingly devoid of human life.
The bulk of the game has you solving mysteries. In fact, you must find out how to jerryrig some batteries and repair a robot before you can leave the first room. You'll start feeling like McGyver after a few screens of playing.
The graphic style is dark, and you'll definitely get the creeps if you play this game with the lights off. The audio for now (who knows, it might stay this way) is simply a series of mechanical sounds, ranging from the drone of generators to the gentle throb of the ventilation system.
Overall, PlayStation owners might find a lot to like with this game. It provides a good scare, and it's a far cry from the bulk of action games plaguing the platform.
If you're looking for the thrill of Myst and the ho-hum factor of Monkey Island, then Alien Virus is your ticket. This action-deficient yet entertaining game taxes the brain but seldom taxes the thumbs.
As you travel the galaxy you come upon a stranded space ship. Helpful robots give you some hints to the fate of the ship's crew, but the majority of the clues are lying around waiting to be picked up.
Old rags, broken water bottles, and discarded battery cables are combined with other items to solve puzzles and open doors. As your sleuthing skills progress, you find more items and learn more about the aliens that invaded the vessel. All items are kept in an easy-to-understand menu at the bottom of the screen, making your search (and con trol) a snap.
The Fungus Among Us
The graphics are as static as a lame-duck Congress. You see one screen at a time-with no scrolling-and nothing moves in the backgrounds. Finding useful items is akin to looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Some things are so small, you may pass them over.
Slightly better sounds include plenty of voice and some pretty ominous background music.
Puzzle solvers and point-and-dickers will thrill over Alien Virus, but they won't be coming back for more with its one-time playthrough. Still, if aliens were after you, this would be the game to prepare you for it.
"Be vawy, vawy quiet, I'm huntin' awiens. Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh." Space-varmints aside, the atmosphere generated in Alien Virus has to be felt to be believed.
If Adventure games are your thing, if you think Hell and Lost Eden are a good reason to get out of the bed in the morning, if icon clicking makes you feel kinda tingly, then this game is most likely for you. Alien Virus,Vic Tokai's latest opus, is the PlayStation's answer to Zork. Or maybe not. One thing's for sure, it looks real nice.
Alien Virus is another game in a long line of move-and-click titles that have you puzzle-solving your way through hours of gameplay.The story has you investigating some mystery that has taken place on a space station. I'm not the swiftest of people, but I bet it has something to do with aliens.
Once in the docking bay, you must start your problemsolving. Using your powers of logic, you'll have to figure out ways of charging batteries, fixing robots and unlocking doors, using only a couple of items strewn about the docking bay. It is this type of puzzle-solving that drives Alien Virus. Much like 7th Guest, you move the crosshair around the screen and click on certain objects.The commands you use are minimal, sticking with your basic Open, Close, Use and Take. This makes for a very easy interface.
The overall look of the game is nice.The developers are trying for an atmosphere of the creepiest kind. Not only that, but each area is highly detailed, allowing the player to really scrutinize the surroundings. Other than that, though, Alien Virus falls right in with a dozen other adventure titles, moving along at a sluggish pace and following the same formula. In a review of Cyberia last month, we mentioned that that game managed to set itself apart by changing styles of gameplay for different parts of the story. It's ideas like these that make adventure games more interesting to the gamer. It looks, however, as though Alien Virus sticks to the same format as its predecessors, opting to keep the gamer plodding through room after room of point-and-click "action".
Looks can be deceiving. Alien Virus's story just might unfold into a gripping adventure, riveting the player to his or her seat.The genre, after all, relies more on plot than action, and its players look for that as the sign of a good adventure.
That Seven rating is a happy medium. Lovers of adventure games will relish AV, whereas action mongers will no doubt find it slow and extremely tedious.
In the tradition of Planetfall, AV has you exploring a deserted space station; deserted, that is, except for the aliens. An icon-based, point-and-click interface makes playing AV easy and fun. Each room is meticulously detailed and full of things to do, from killing aliens to basic problem-solving. Pick up items on the way and figure out how they can be used alone, or in conjunction, to overcome the numerous obstacles that lay in your way. AV is an engrossing adventure, well worth its price for enthusiasts of the genre.
Graphics - 8
Sound/FX - 5
Gameplay - 7
Rating - 7