The spirit of Dr Who lives! With The Journeyman Project you get the chance to play a character not dissimilar to a Time Lord though in fact your gang goes round by the far more impressive and upmarket name of the Temporal Protectorate. Your mission, if you decide to accept it, (he said in a hazy confusion of late '60s tv shows), is to guard history against the tamperings of persons less well adjusted than yourself. People, for example, who wish to tamper with the fabric of time and change history, thereby ensuring that Graham Taylor never gets anywhere near the England job.
Just when, through co-operation with the alien 'Cyrollans', humanity is about to enter a higher plane of existence, 'On the eve of humanity's transcendence into the heavens' no less, warning alarms sound. That ripping sound you heard was not the optimistically small pair of satin trousers you're wearing. It's the fabric of time being tampered with. That's torn it.
Time for a change
In terms of what you know at the beginning of the game, that is pretty much that. The Journeyman Project is a game of discovery. Not only do you have to stop people doing things, but first you have to find out what they're doing and how they're doing it. The game is completely non-linear with more than one solution for each problem. What there is no getting away from, though, is time travel from the prehistoric past to the post-historic future.
Not that the game encourages idle hopping from one time-zone to another. Your final score will suffer if you've flitted from time-zone to time-zone like a Tardis on acid. The criminally violent among you will be disappointed to learn that to score really highly you need to look for a peaceful solution to the problems you face. There's even a Ghandi bonus if all zones are completed non violently. Not something that will be awarded in the PC.
Being as how it's a cd-rom game, you'd expect Journeyman to have relatively impressive graphics. However, as you can judge from the screenshots, these are looking to be really exceptional. The interiors are all dim and moody, the exteriors exceptionally sharp and crisp. As well as the photorealistic 3D graphics there's at least 30 minutes of Quicktime video. If Graham Jarvis, who apparently guest-starred in the 'Unification' episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, is your idea of a major film star, then these video sequences are shot using major film stars. If not, then these sequences are shot using professional actors, some of whom have probably turned up on late night rrv cop shows or sit-coms. The team behind the game is obviously pretty impressed by the soundtrack, too, since they've included a hi-fi version of it on the cd.
It's usual in this office to take a slightly sneery attitude to Mac games. Whenever the team on our sister magazine The Mac bring a game to show us, we lean back in our chairs and smile superciliously. 'Oh that,' we say in our most patronising tones. 'That came out last year on pc.' Not so with The Journeyman Project. It's been out on Mac cd for about a year and has picked up some fairly outstanding reviews in the States. Will it do as well in the increasingly competitive pc cd world? In the manner of the Saturday film club, you'll have to wait until next month to find out.
Journalist redundancy shock
n an outrageous attempt to put hard-working computer journalists out of a job, Presto Studios, the development team behind The Journeyman Project, has included its own 'blueprint' of the game within the manual. This shows, through diagrams, screenshots and test screens, how the game moved from rough story concept, through 3D modelling and animation to the finished all-singing all-dancing product. A process of some 15,000 man hours.
All very laudable stuff, if not entirely serious - the picture illustrating 'concepts, gameplay and brainstorming' is of the team mucking about in a swimming pool - but these guys have clearly not heard of demarcation. Next time you see an out-of-work computer games journalist begging on a street comer, nudge your friend and say: 'It was the guys at Presto who did for him'.
Download Journeyman Project
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP