In Cold Blood
As we know now, adventure games were never really dead, they were just pupating, ready to burst forth from their cocoons as 3D action adventure butterflies. Broken Sword developer, Revolution, is the next gaming caterpillar to hop on the bandwagon, hoping that they can keep up with the times because, well, everybody else is doing it, aren't they?
Set in the near future, In Cold Bloods yet another spy game, with you, the personality-free John Cord, sent to investigate the disappearance of an agent in the fictional Soviet state of Volgia. Of course things could never be that straightforward and you soon uncover the megalomaniacal plans of, Volgia's leader, Nagarov, not known to be the nicest person on the planet A rather obvious fact since you begin the game in the middle of a tortuous interrogation with the man himself asking the questions. Thus the game unfolds through a series of flashbacks as you relay how you infiltrated several poorly guarded enemy installations before your obligatory capture. Sadly, the flashback structure just doesn't work because of the nature of the plot - if the story keeps going along the lines of ".. .and then I got shot in the head.. .oh, no, I didn't..." every 10 minutes or so, it kind of loses its point after a bit.
As an adventure game, things are really taking a turn for the worst. O peels yet another layer from the format, whittling the experience into its simplest elements: no more looking at or using more than one or two things in a room, no more than three items in the inventory (excluding your gun, ammo and medikit), and most of all, no difficult puzzles. Admittedly, I did get slightly stuck on the first mission, but once you've worked out the rules of the game world the rest of it passes along in a metaphorical flash. More than 50 per cent of the linear puzzles seem to take the form of using your wristwatch computer on any nearby terminal and pressing 'yes' to questions such as: "Do you want to disable the deadly machine gun?" As for the rest, aside from a clever one at the start, it's mostly the usual problems of ID cards and fuses. Overall, it took me about eight and half hours to get to the end without any real difficulty at all.
OK, so for adventure lovers, it's a bit of a disappointment, but what about the action side? Yes, you've guessed it, that doesn't deliver the goods either. If you've played any similar game to this, you'll know how the controls handle, ie not very well when running or in a fight. In addition, ICB also relies on superficial stealth to get you through, as you're able to walk behind enemies and knock them out (not that they notice you running up to them). It's a component that creates very little tension as the guards are all pretty easy to avoid or shoot down with little trouble. Good marks to the camera system, though, as there was never a time when I found myself shot at from off-screen.
Jack Of Two Trades
Whatever you want to classify the game as, instead of giving us the best of both worlds, Ogives a pale representation of both. It may secretly desire to be the next Metal Gear Solid, but it's not half as entertaining or action-packed. It may be attractively cinematic, but as the next generation of adventure game it doesn't make a name for itself.
Download In Cold Blood
Those UK purveyors of fine point-and-click adventures Revolution Software have decided to take the genre in a new direction with the cold war thriller In Cold Blood.
Previously well known for such oldies as Lure Of The Temptress and Beneath A Steel Sky. as well as two Broken Sword games, Revolution has been quietly working on In Cold Blood for three years and has only recently broken its silence. We're told the game will surface on PC in the autumn.
Set in the fictional Russian republic of Vogia, the game sees you in control of MI6 agent John Cord, sent out to investigate the disappearance of an American agent whose country is financing a bunch of freedom fighters. While there, he comes across a Blue Nephiline and is drawn into a race to retrieve the substance. Cord is caught, tortured and, somewhat predictably, suffers a bout of amnesia. But you soon come to realise this the least of his worries. Although mission-based. In Cold Blood expands the traditional adventure format
and takes much of its influence from games such as Thief, Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid and, for an adventure, will feature more than its fair share of stealth and action. What we are most intrigued by, however, is the story, which promises as much in the way of twists and turns as the soon-to-be-released Deus Ex. Professional scriptwriters have been on hand to provide the content and it is already evident that we have an extremely original game coming our way very, very soon.
Two months ago we brought you info on Midway's In Cold Blood, a Resident Evi/Metal Gear Solid hybrid developed by Revolution Software set in post-Cold War Russia. As British agent John Cord, you must revisit the events that lead up to your capture and uncover an evil scheme of world domination (see July's issue for more story details). We received a playable version this month and things are coming along nicely. The cinematic presentation is done very well--CG cutscenes keep the story moving, and all of In Cold Blood's dialogue is done solely in voice (with competent voice acting, thankfully). There are a few problems that will hopefully be worked out before the release date hits. The most serious of which is the character control, as navigating Mr. Cord is a frustrating task not made any easier by the fixed camera angles and press-up-to-move-forward control scheme. There might not be enough time to fix these problems, but fans of the genre might want to keep their eye on it this fall.
Take the best espionage and stealthy aspects of Metal Gear Solid, throw in the highly detailed static backgrounds of Resident Evil, and you'll get a rough idea of how this game from Revolution Software looks and feels. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that. In fact, the developer wants the game to be as engaging as some of the best films. In Cold Blood starts with the main character, British Agent John Cord, being tortured. To make matters worse, he has no idea how he got there, or why he's being tortured. As the story unfolds, you find out Cord was originally sent to Russia to gather information on the disappearance of a CIA agent, who was in turn sent in to investigate a secret technology. The story revolves around this technology, and how a Hitler-like dictator plans on using it in his quest to take over the free world. Like some movies, 90 percent of the story is told in flashbacks, and gets wrapped up in the last couple of levels. No publisher or release date has been decided upon yet.
Snapshots and Media
- Metal Gear Solid
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
- Metal Gear Solid Integral
- Metal Gear Solid VR Missions
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil 2
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- Resident Evil Code: Veronica
- Resident Evil: Dead Aim
- Resident Evil Directors Cut
- Syphon Filter
- Croc 2
- Lost in Time
- Myst III: Exile
- The Grinch
- The Ward