Titanic: Adventure Out of Time
|a game by||GTE Interactive Media|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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"The past forever locked in regret. But what if the past could be changed?"
Your game life begins in London during World War II (April 14, 1942 to be exact). You live in a small, cramped apartment complete with cockroaches in the cupboards and an unhappy landlord. All around you are references to your former life -- that of a secret service agent. Something dreadful happened on the RMS Titanic 30 years ago today that led to your termination. Termination has been extremely painful for you as evidenced by all of the concerned mail from friends and mementos from the Titanic that you still have hanging around after all this time.
Suddenly, an air-raid siren is screaming. As you turn to escape, your window crashes in on you. Miraculously, you are alive, but you are no longer in your apartment. Through some strange natural phenomenon, you have been hurled back through space and time, to the decks of the Titanic no less. Perhaps this is a second chance? Or maybe just a dream ... is it possible for you to change the future? Could you prevent World War I, World War II, or the Russian Revolution? Only time and a little sleuthing will tell.
Movement in Titanic occurs in the first-person perspective. You will use the keyboard to move forward, left or right (can't go backward, strangely enough) and the mouse to open doors or manipulate objects. Using both the keyboard and the mouse was awkward at first, but became second nature soon enough. Once I became used to the controls, I was able to kick back and have some fun. GTE has thoughtfully included a tour of the ship and tour guides. These were very helpful and enabled me to quickly get my bearings and locate key areas of the ship. The tour allowed you to look closely at the layout of the ship and even inspect the furnishings. Located at the bottom of your screen is the obligatory inventory bag, a watch (crucial toward the end of the game), and a map. The map is perhaps the most useful of these items. Not only does it help you to locate rooms, but you can also use it to speed jump from one deck to another, saving countless hours of running up and down stairs.
The most enjoyable part of the gameplay was the interaction with the characters. In most adventure games, the characters are mostly there for atmosphere or plot support. In Titanic, the characters are the game. They respond accordingly to what you tell them (you'll have a number of phrases or questions to choose from). Think carefully before you speak, though. Once I angered one of the ship's officers, and it took me much time and haggling before I could get back into his good graces. You must listen carefully to the passengers' conversations and comments, then do a little old-fashioned investigating to discern your next move. Titanic provides you with multiple endings; which one you get depends on which subplot you choose to investigate and how well you succeed. There are three items you'll need to get off the ship before 2:00 a.m. -- the Rubaiyyat (a book), a painting, and the Russian Czar's notebook. Any combination of these, including not getting any of them, will result in a different ending to the story. I had such a good time watching how I changed the world that I replayed the end of the game several times until I had seen each ending.
The graphics of Titanic are very impressive. All the areas looked extremely well-rendered. I had a terrific time on the tour, just looking around for about an hour and trying out the electric camel and the Turkish baths or looking at the china and salt and pepper shakers in the Cafe Parisian. I even tried my hand at a little boxing.
While the graphics were terrific, though, the stop-motion animation used for the characters' dialogue was jittery and distracting at times. It reminded me of that Peter Gabriel video ... um, Sledgehammer, where he mouths words using hundreds of still picture captures of his face showing different emotions or mouthing different vowels. Cool in a video, but not in a conversation.
The audio effects in Titanic were great. All the sounds I expected to hear were there -- doors opening, elevators moving, bells ringing and even wind blowing when on deck. All of these, combined with many other sounds, made for a very convincing audio illusion. The music was constant but nice, and it seemed to represent the time period well. It flowed in the background, and I appreciated the option of turning down just the music.
The game came with a folding disc flap and a Windows installation guide. Both were helpful and informative, designed to give you the information you needed quickly. Beyond this, they were not above the norm.
486/66, 8 MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM drive, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, SVGA video, color monitor Windows compatible sound card
Recommended: Pentium, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive
Reviewed on: P-120, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, Diamond Stealth 64 PCI
I found Titanic to be a thoroughly enjoyable and and thought-provoking game. I would recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by the Titanic or into mystery solving. Intrigue abounds here, and just when you think you know what to do next, something else pops up. I give Titanic: Adventure Out of Time a score of 93 -- subtracting a few points for frequent disc switching and the sometimes strange character animations.