Inca II: Wiracocha
The first Inca game found you roaming, in a Latin American sort of way, through futuristic outer space, fighting, solving puzzles and the like. The graphics were stunning but it was lacking in tight, addictive gameplay. The sequel, Inca II, has been touted as more of an interactive movie than a mere game, with 100 per cent extra free sound and graphics to boot.
In the future, the Incan civilisation will once again rule all (although whether this is set on Earth or not is a little vague). Having pissed-off the arch-villain in the first game, your hot-headed son does the same thing this time round and, as a result, plunges you into a massive war with the evil one's forces. Using your Incan technology and the mighty Tumi ship, you've to either battle through wave after wave of enemy attack-craft, or find a way to get to the villain's hideout and put him out of commission for good.
That's about as clear as a pair of 120 denier opaque tights, I know, but the plot is so surreal it can't help but be confusing. I wish we could all go back to the days when plots revolved around an alien ship moving slowly down screen while you shoot it from below. Or how about that one about eating dots in a maze with ghosts, or the one with the gorilla...
You see, Inca II is the computer gaming equivalent of Twin Peaks or Wild Palms — confusing, stylised to the point of pretentiousness, but nonetheless enjoyable. Enjoyable, that is, in the cult classic sort of way. Just as Twin Peaks had two different audiences (those who waved banners and wore T-shirts with the slogan 'We Killed Laura Palmer', and those who sneered disgustedly and wore T-shirts printed 'Who Gives A Toss About Laura Palmer?'), so, too, does Inca II. Not, I hasten to add, that it can be called a classic. Rebel Assault, X-Wing and even Wing Commander II all have better space combat and there are far more challenging adventures to be found (Lost In Time for one). Despite that, I did, when all's said and done, enjoy playing Inca II. Of course I know more than one person that thinks it's as dull as particularly cloudy dishwater so there you go. It all just boils down to taste.
The thing is, I enjoyed playing it for review purposes. I hadn't spent 55 quid on it. Plus I enjoyed it for precisely seven hours and 42 minutes before reaching the first truly tricky puzzle. Until then it had been not so much a walk in the park, as a day out at Kew Gardens.
But what of this 'interactive movie' business? Movies rely on their storylines being rewatchable. Be honest, how many times have you seen Star Wars? I can see myself going right the way through Inca II within two days. Pretty long for a standard film I agree, but not when you consider that I can't honestly see myself returning to it. It's down to the poor storyline again. Coktel Vision's weakness is that, in introducing technically clever elements, it has a tendency to let the quality of the gameplay lapse. The Goblins series of games shows that the company can produce playable games when it doesn't have fancy graphics and sound to grapple with. Work on the storytelling and the graphics will take care of themselves.
So is it or isn't it?
Is it any good? Does it warrant a purchase? Should you invest in the software? At the price and for all the faults in the : overall presentation, I don't think I could honestly say 'Go out and Buy, Buy, Buy!'.
Download Inca II: Wiracocha
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP