I sort of knew I was playing a Psygnosis game pretty early on with Sentient. I'd been playing the thing for around 15 minutes and I was still watching the introductory animation. Sentient is what you might describe as being a 'noble effort', though. It tries, at least, to be rather different from most other games around at the moment, taking a first-person Quake-style view (although not quite as advanced) and matching it to a deep and involving role-playing adventure, as opposed to a killathon. In fact, it's more along the lines of Origin's old classic. System Shock.
You play the part of a new arrival to a troubled spacestation and quickly find yourself in trouble when your shuttle crashes during docking. From there you have to deal with a mysterious virus attacking the crew and the sudden loss of the station's orbital path (putting it on a direct collision course with the sun), as well as a host of minor sub-plots stemming from each of the station's 60-odd inhabitants. Everything happens in real time and as with all good RPGs, Sentient has a fully realised 'world' taking place around you. Characters will behave independently of your actions. They all have their own 'lives' and you can interact with them as much or as little as you like. Essentially though, the more you put into the game the more you'll get out of it. There's the main plotline to deal with, of course, but you always feel as though there's something going on, wherever you are. Where Sentient fails is in its control method. It's also being released on the PlayStation and you get the feeling that the PC version was a kind of younger brother during development, as the controls seem very much geared towards the PlayStation gamepad. Sadly, on the PC it's very fiddly and would have benefited from a complete system overhaul. It's a great shame because Sentient is in essence a very decent game indeed. It's just that the suspicion keeps resurfacing at the back of your mind that you should buy a PlayStation instead if you want to really enjoy it.
Sentient promises to be a deeply involved adventure, and it lives up to that in a big way. Not only does Sentient have the largest amount of commands I've ever seen in a 3-D adventure, it boasts a huge number of endings, based on your interaction throughout the game. You are in control of every aspect of your being, right down to the expression on your face, which will either offend or placate certain characters. If you get lost, you can have an NPC lead to the right area or just give you directions. You will be able to embark on numerous mini-quests constantly, and depending on your choices, as well as the time it takes to complete them, you'll face a different scenario. I must warn you, however, about the choppy movement of your character. It seems that the collision detection is overloaded, causing many instances where a tiny corner can inhibit movement forward. Also, the graphics are fairly blocky considering the latest advances in polygon technology. Get beyond that, and you'll be able to enjoy Sentient over and over, as long as you take different routes to the path of enlightenment. And, as ashamed as I am to admit it. I can't help but take pleasure in being able to insult the rude, snooty authority figures who have the nasty habit of brushing you off.
Sentient gets some major points for originality. I've never played a game with so many different possibilities. Talk about a nonlinear Masterpiece-Sentient is it. Granted some of the graphics do look a little awkward along with the movement of some of the characters, but there's also a huge amount of detail. It's a strange one that's appealing.
Sentient is one of the more ambitious titles I've seen yet. This adventure game is large and epic. The quest is nonlinear, giving you plenty of freedom to do as you wish. The sheer number of conversational options show just how deep and involved this game can get. It does have a lot of slow and uneventful moments. For patient gamers only.
Sentient isn't a game for the masses. You don't wander around shooting stuff or dodging enemies. Most of the game is spent in conversation, with you collecting new bits of information like you would weapons or items in other RPGs. It's also the first console game that's based on a hard sci-fi story. But Sentient's slow game-play may turn many gamers off.
Gamers who have been starving for a real-time adventure full of intrigue and scandal-with a sci-fi feel-should look no further than Sentient by Psygnosis for the PlayStation.
The story begins right when a shuttle is making its approach into a space station that is slowly being pulled into a sun. Now gamers may wonder why a shuttle would dock on a ship that is going to be incinerated. The reason is that there are people aboard this shuttle who are going to help the ship in one way or another.
As the shuttle approaches, a problem arises and the ship crashes into the landing bay. This means death for all on the approaching shuttle-or so gamers may think.
Players control a medic who was aboard the crashed shuttle. He was the only survivor. (The reason why the main character survived is a mystery which will be revealed later in the game.) The reason he was sent to the space station is to care for those suffering from radiation sickness (from the approaching sun).
The graphics in Sentient are completely 3-D polygonal, similar to King's Field. There is a huge cast of characters, each with his/her own unique features-even his/her facial expressions change depending upon what you say to them or how they're feeling.
Unlike King's Field, there isn't a whole lot of action. But that's okay since Sentient isn't an action game-it's a sci-fi adventure. Don't worry, though, there is some death and destruction in the game.
The interface in Sentient is one of the most interesting ones EGM has seen in awhile. When talking to a person or computer, the main character, Garritt Sherova, is able to choose what he is about to talk about.
For instance, in some situations Garritt may want to talk to someone about an object he needs to find. In this case, a gamer can pick to ask "what about" and then fill in the blank with the particular object he/she is trying to get info on. This can also be done with person and places as well.
There are various levels in the Space Station to which Garritt can adventure. These levels are split up between different branches like engineering. science and medical. There are also plenty of security guards walking around giving Garritt a hard time.
The head of security, Jurrell Ramin, is suspected of a conspiracy. One of the plots that Garritt can venture upon is to find out what Jurrell is hiding.
Another plot that can be interacted with is one that involves a space fungus that is quickly taking over one of the levels and eventually the entire ship. Garritt can choose whether or not to stop the fungus. By choosing to stop it will yield a different ending than if he failed.
The shortest possible game that can occur is probably close to 20 minutes according to Psygnosis. The longest game is much longer than that, but since Sentient has 10 endings, who knows how long it'll take to get to the end of all of these?
Sentient also features some hidden goodies to spice things up a bit. Some include a Big-head Mode and Widescreen (or letter-boxed) Mode and a nonsense code where all of the characters talk like they're crazy 0*6., they talk about pink butterflies and bread that talks to them).
During the game Garritt will fall in and out of consciousness. During these trippy dream sequences, there is a maze that gamers can find their way through. If they do. a special FMV clip plays that gives them a hint or two. There are several opportunities to find these clues.
Players can choose to have a certain personality when talking to various characters. There are nine personalities altogether that include angry, sarcastic, normal and happy, among others. Some characters are submissive, so talking to them with an authoritative tone will yield answers, while talking to someone who is confident using a commanding tone will do more harm than good.
Sentient may prove to be one of the more interesting titles to come out. As more info comes to us on this title. EGM will gladly pass it along.
- MANUFACTURER - Psygnosis
- THEME - Adventure
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Sure 3-D adventure games are fun, but what really makes Psygnosis' latest release a winner is the beautiful graphics and the in-depth story line. The action takes place in a space station where a red alert has just started. You have 72 hours to decide who lives and who dies. The clock is running, and the future is in your hands. In Sentien bring their wits along for what looks to be a ride they won't soon forget.
Psygnosis has a new adventure for both the PC CD-ROM and the PlayStation called Sentient.
Something is drastically wrong on Space Station Alpha and time is running out. Due to an unknown danger, the lives of thousands hang in the balance. You only have 72 hours to save them.
Using advanced graphics techniques, Sentient looks awesome. You must fully interact with the cast of characters that span the colony.
If you've been wanting a futuristic thriller, Sentient looks like a winner. Check out more info on this title as it comes in.
This graphic adventure combines action, strategy, and role-playing with real-time gameplay, where characters make game-altering decisions while you're playing.
Sentient takes RPG/adventure gaming to the limit with an improved artificial intelligence that makes the game different every time you play. When the game begins, you're stranded on a space station that's falling into the sun and you've got to figure out how to keep this from happening. After that, a sun, a space station, a plague, a photograph, a crash-landing, a case of mistaken identity, a resurrection, a haunting dream, a mask, and a race against time are all plot elements that shift and twist randomly--it's never the same game twice!
Once Sentient begins, you've got a full range of options as you explore a vast space ship, interact with nearly 60 characters, each with unique personalities, and explore over 200 different locations. Will you take the easy way out and save yourself, or choose the courageous route and save the entire ship? Only time will tell.
Sentient is a well-crafted, immersive sci-fi thriller. Fans of complex strategy will enjoy this thoughtful RPG-like adventure.
A careful search for information drives the gameplay. You're a medic who's crash-landed on a troubled space station that's not only on a collision course with the sun, but also has a murderer aboard. You conduct a first-person exploration of the station's six levels, interview the crew, and look for items so you can save everyone within 72 hours.
Easy-to-use menus facilitate your hunt for clues. With these effective controls, your character can form long, complete sentences and perform a multitude of simple tasks in his search to uncover the info needed to save the station.
The sound is the game's weak link. There are few voices, and the music isn't always appro priate for the slowly building strategy. Conversely, the graphics are strong, especially the detailed rendered 3D environments. The crew's goofy faces, however, are a letdown.
In Sentient you encounter no monsters or mayhem--you use your mind, not your trigger finger. But the intricacy and suspense make the brainwork rewarding (and replayable, too, with six endings).
- Eavesdrop on conversations to learn about plot developments and traits of characters you'll soon meet.
- In the mazes, use the lighted columns as markers and work your way toward the center until you reach the inner gate.
- The intro isn't just for show--it gives you clues you can follow up later.
- Ask questions using various facial expressions (press L1 or L2 as you speak), and you'll sometimes get different responses.
When disaster strikes on a mining colony in space, you must make the right life-or-death decisions to survive. Sentient's combination of adventure, strategy, and RPG gaming happens in real time. While you explore and interact with other characters, they're doing the same with one another in different areas of the colony. As the plot develops, you're drawn into an intriguing whodunit that spins to a conclusion at a pace that's beyond your control.