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Atlantis Evolution

Score: 97%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: Atlantis Interactive
Media: CD/4
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure


Graphics & Sound:

Imagine yourself as a young 20-something-year-old photojournalist in 1904. You are on your way back home on a huge ship when a storm destroys the craft and all you have is your chest of possessions, your camera, and a rickety life-raft. Not long after being shipwrecked, you are sucked into a vortex and awaken in a land called New Atlantis. That is only the beginning of the huge adventure game Atlantis Evolution.

The graphics are nothing short of amazing. The models and scenery seem like something that would come out of Pixar. The sheer amount of detail in the charactersí clothes left me stunned. And Iím talking about in-game, not in the cut-scenes, though the movies arenít anything to sneeze at either. Atlantis Evolution is a graphical powerhouse, and I never saw any frame-rate problems, even with my laptopís less than stellar rendering power.

This game doesnít fall short in the sound department either. The voices are clear, crisp, and full of character, while the sound effects of the environments did a good job pulling me into the game. The music was very orchestral and allowed me to focus on the puzzles and challenges given to me.


Gameplay:

Youíre stranded in a strange land with people who are enslaved by gods who teach these descendants of Atlantis what it means to be humble. What can one man, seemingly inadvertently thrown into this lost world, do about this? Play the game to find out. Atlantis Evolution will take you into five different types of locations, each one huge and full of people and objects to interact with.

As you progress through the game, you will find out exactly what happened to the old Atlantis, and why the people feel they need these malevolent gods to keep themselves humble and without pride. You will meet up with each of the gods and learn about exactly what is going on behind the scenes. Atlantis Evolution has a wonderful story that will keep you in the game, trying to find out exactly what will happen next.

Evolution is a massive game at four discs. When I first picked it up, I realized I hadnít seen an adventure game of this size since Riven and Myst III: Exile. The six gigs of hard drive space is well worth it though. At first I thought that was ridiculous, but once it is installed, you wonít need to keep the discs on hand since the entire game is on your hard drive (unlike most PC games that require you to stick the disc in every time you want to play).


Difficulty:

The difficulty of Atlantis Evolution is right on. Most of the time, the puzzles can be solved quickly, letting you progress through the story at a reasonable pace. But when you are going to solve something fairly important to the overall story, the problem in front of you is tougher and requires more work than the rest. I found that there were only a couple of occasions when I was completely stumped and had to resort to a walkthrough of some type.

Game Mechanics:

Many adventure games are afflicted by a common problem -- the need to click on the exact right pixel to select an object. I am pleased to say that Atlantis Evolution definitely does not suffer from this problem. In general, once you find an item of interest, you can tell right away, and the entire item is clickable -- not just some small area inside of it. Another interesting feature of Atlantis is that it isnít hard to identify these items. Other games either have the special item glowing or it stands out in some other way. The objects of this game blend in with the background seamlessly, making them seem like a part of the scenery instead of part of a game. But oddly enough, I found that I never really overlooked any of these items.

Atlantis Evolution is a beautiful game filled with a ton of puzzles and hours upon hours of gameplay. This game is for anyone who loves the adventure genre.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 800 MHz Pentium III or Equivalent(1 GHz or Higher Recommended), 64 MB RAM (128 MB Recommended), 24x CD-ROM Drive (32x CD-ROM Drive Recommended), 32 MB DirectX 8.0 Compatible 3D Video Card (or Higher), DirectSound compatible sound device, 4.0 GB Hard Drive Space.
 

Test System:



Toshiba Satellite series laptop, Windows XP Home Ed., 2.0 GHz Celeron, 752 MB RAM, 24X DVD/CD ROM, 32 MB 3D accelerator.

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated