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|3 JUN 2005 at 1:20pm|
Posts : 801
Joined: 19 MAR 2005
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|I’m surprised no-one’s done a Still Life review yet O_o Anyways, before I begin, I feel it’s necessary to tell you my computer ‘power’:|
AMD Athlon 1700+ (working on 1.2GHz)
GeForce 2 MX
I have an optical mouse named Bob... not that it matters.
EXTRA: You can play the game with a tablet! Wheee! Gee, that was random...
Onto the review, then
I’ve been waiting for this game for so long – since Post Mortem came out, actually – and have consumed it in two days. I still remember the day I saw Post Mortem in a gaming magazine and I just HAD to have it. I was pretty sick when I started it. I couldn’t watch the screen without my eyes watering and my mom ended up helping me with the lockpick puzzle. The game had me. When I finished it, I thought “God, I wish there was a sequel...” but all the bad, bad reviews convinced me there *wouldn’t* be a sequel. I mean, who’d make a sequel to something no-one liked?
Last year, I was going through a computer/gaming magazine and a nifty picture caught my eye – it had cute red and pink tones and I started reading the announcement. “Blah, blah, blah... info, info, info... VICTORIA MCPHERSON”
I nearly fell of my bed. How DARE they use Gustav’s last name in some cheap new game? I was raging, but continued reading the text.
Then I went “Oh. She’s his granddaughter.” Mere two seconds later, I was dancing around the room.
By the way, the ‘cute’ red picture was a picture of S&M club - the room with handcuffs, bed and bondage gear. And that stupid puzzle. But more on that later.
I was sick this week (I still am...) and my brother brought me Still Life. Why do I always play the best games when I’m sick? I’ll leave that question unanswered... for now. The review, now.
Like you can see, my computer isn’t so top-notch. It’s three years old and it’s getting slower and slower every day. Poor thing ;_; But it handled the graphics pretty well. Actually, I played on Highest graphics and the game still looked splendid! Okay, the model edges were a bit jagged, but turning Anti-aliasing would mean death to my poor machine. My brother, whose computer is WAY stronger than mine, also had problems with Anti-aliasing – the graphics ran properly, but the cursor kept on lagging. I don’t know if this is a technical problem or not. Thing that *did* slow up my gameplay was all that fog in Prague – but anything with more than 256MB RAM should consume it without problems. It wasn’t terribly slow, but it was still somewhat annoying. A ‘bad’ thing is a locked screen resolution, but it’s not that bad.
*achem* The graphics, I said. The textures are very real-looking and high quality. What I simply loved were the small and almost unnoticeable animations, like the water or ivy leaves near Prague shore that discreetly flicker in the wind. There were also random birds, cats and people on the streets. And a lot more.
It was nice to see the inventory screen change its style between the time periods.
One really cannot complain about the graphics in Still Life.
They DO deserve a separate section. There’s a lot of in-game cinematics – some are long, some are short, but they all have something in common – they’d make a lot of top cameramen hang their head in shame. All ‘famous’ effect were used – from blur to ‘Bullet time’ (aka “The cool slow-downs you can see in Matrix”). Honestly, each and every cinematic looks STUNNING. Five stars to the animation team I loved quick (and smart) camera angle changes and all those cool effects. Hehe.
Old-school point-and-click system. It’s the best. When having a conversation, left-click is for plot-oriented conversation that is necessary (more or less) for the story, while right-click is reserved for personal “How are you the weather is nice today” questions. BUT there were a few aspects of gameplay I didn’t like.
Not being able to exit a conversation. Characters would exchange a few sentences and then wait for you to CLICK so they can continue their linear, scripted conversation. That was just plain... annoying. I loved the right-click thing, though, it brought a lot of life to the story.
It took me some time to get used to the inventory – it took ages for tips to show up and until like, half of the game I thought there were no tips at all. A nice feature was the 3D view of the objects, where you could zoom in, out and rotate them. Unfortunately, these features come in really handy only ONCE in the game, and that’s near the end. Really wasn’t my cup of tea, heh.
What also annoyed me was the blinking hand that showed up every time you were able to use an object somewhere. They could’ve put a huge red blinking arrow pointing at the object in question with words “USE AN OBJECT HERE” written over the screen. The hand made the game way too easy, for some – or was just plain annoying, at least for me. *sigh* Oh well, I guess those who have just started playing adventures found this quite handy. Hehe, handy.
There was a “You can’t pick up this object before you check out that other object” a few times, but it’s really not worth mentioning.
Overally, the gameplay isn’t that bad.
|3 JUN 2005 at 1:21pm|
Posts : 801
Joined: 19 MAR 2005
Status : Offline
It’s a good one. A really good one. Not that we haven’t seen it before, of course, but it’s still darn good. I loved how it switched from present day’s Chicago to 1920s Prague – it added so much depth to the whole game! And of course, there was Gus. Hehe. Gus. I love that guy.
A lot of players complained about the ending. I was unfortunate to spoil myself the ending before actually playing the game, but in the end, I loved the ending. It was a little abrupt, yes, but I still liked it. I know that the company ran out of many and had to cut at least two chapters, so I can’t really blame them. They did a good job nevertheless. Also, the ending is pretty much screaming “Seequeeeeeel!” but Lord knows what will happen now that UbiSoft has bought them.
All in all, it could’ve been worse. Remember Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. They CUT the game. It was released six months before it should have been originally released. Eidos was greedy, wanted money (simultaneous release with the movie...) then dumped Core Design. Uhhh. Whatever. It was just an example what cutting can do to a game.
You either solve them right away or run around the house muttering something about baking brownie cookies. Seriously, the Brownie Cookie puzzle has to be one of the most annoying puzzles in the game – it makes no sense whatsoever, and it’s pretty much consisted of trial and error. Or looking up walkthroughs, whichever floats your boat.
After solving a few brain-cracking puzzles, I went all “jawdrop” when I saw a SLIDER PUZZLE in the fifth chapter (out of seven chapters). My first thought was, “Oh no, do they EVER leave out slider puzzles?” My second thought was “Sigh, let’s solve it -_-;”
My favorite puzzle has to be the one with statues. I thought it was beautiful.
So, the puzzles. Like I said, they’re either way too easy or way too hard. Some are nerve-wrecking, but eh, they’re okay. I was glad there was no pixel hunting, like in Post Mortem. That painting-and-candle puzzle gave me nightmares.
Voice acting – brilliant. Except for that police guy, he was really... strange.
Humour is on the level. It’s quite morbid, but since I love morbid humour, I can’t complain =P
The only thing that irked me was some unnecessary swearing. Like, when you meet the policeman at the VERY beginning of the game and right-click... you get SWAMPED with a bunch of fucks and shits for NO reason. I dare compare it to BloodRayne. Read the BloodRayne review on JA.com and you’ll understand...
Splendid. Atmospheric. Discreet, but beautiful. You won’t even notice it, but it’s there. I think I noticed a few tunes that were similar to tunes from Syberia and Post Mortem. There was one ANNOYING tune, though, the one when you solve the laser puzzle. Ugh. I don’t want to hear it ever again >_>;;
You can rarely see characters with a developed personality. At first I thought I was going to hate Victoria – but after only few minutes, I fell in love with her. And so I did with everyone else (exceptforthepoliceman. And the boss. But he was there to be hated, hehe). Besides the two main protagonists, Clarice was also my favourite. I think they should’ve explained why she had a hard time talking to her daughter, but I guess it was just another thing that got cut? I don’t know, but it’s a really big, gaping hole to me.
Ever character has a big, glowing aura of personality around them, Victoria especially. It was fun to see her in both job and home surrounding. I’m glad she wasn’t portrayed as a classic “Shoot all, solve all” FBI agent who is no more than skin-deep, personality-wise.
”It’s a prequel, not a sequel!”
Call it whatever you like, but it’s linked to Post Mortem, more or less. Actually, they copied off a few puzzles from Post Mortem. Let me remind you... The Cookie puzzle – does anyone remember the alchemy puzzle? Yeah, it’s a replica, only more screwed up. And the lockpick puzzle... oh please, we’ve had it in Post Mortem too! Still Life one is harder, though. I found it amusing to see the painting of the Head of Baphomet. “Beatrice” painting? Does anyone remember Beatrice from Post Mortem? I know it’s not her, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Gus is there, too. I probably wouldn’t have played the game if he weren’t in it.
Some other things...
...that are worth mentioning. It’s not a game you’d buy for your eight year old cousin. There’s a lot – A LOT – violent scenes and blood in it and to be honest, that ending scene of Chapter Six wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see. Ever.
Random use of cool tools was fun. I loved the whole thing with Luminol and ultraviolet light. It brought back memories of CSI to me
Rating: 9/10 for weird puzzle difficulty shifts and gameplay.
PS. We want a sequel! Or two
|13 JUN 2005 at 9:17am|
Posts : 1842
Joined: 8 MAR 2005
Status : Online
|Just finished it: I loved it until the last chapter...then it all started to go a bit wrong... |
You didn't mention that EVIL action sequence with the robot--not only did it have horrible laser-dodging and horrible controls, but it didn't even tell you where you were supposed to end up!
I guess the puzzles must have been mostly easy because I did the whole first 6 chapters without a walkthrough (I'm very proud of myself ) I did the gingerbread man puzzle in the second try (would have been first if I knew what mollasses is, stupid Americans >) but it was stupid--the only way to solve it was to know how to bake. The lock picking puzzle was very annoying, I didn't understand the instructions and it took me hours to do.
It had the best movies I've ever seen in a game (I liked the DV-camera effect and the Ring-effects ripoff). The music was nice and not intrusive like it was in Syberia. The voice acting is a hell of a lot improved since Syberia, but it irritated me that all of the Czech characters had American accents.
Graphics were very nice, but some of the characters, like Victoria's boss, were very shoddy. I liked the little touches such as the random background characters and Victoria's bunny slippers when she's at home.
The game was very very linear at times, and the conversation system bored me. I was like: "If I can't choose what to say, why do I even have to click? You might as well do the whole conversation without me." The back-to-front inventory system annoyed me, as did the "USE AN ITEM HERE!!!!!!!--->" icon. But I managed to completely overlook these.
The ending was extremely disappointing, and the game was far too short (about 10 hours). I also would have liked more forensics stuff--they should let you play the game as Claire!
...not to be confused with Keira Knightley
|13 JUN 2005 at 3:24pm|
Posts : 801
Joined: 19 MAR 2005
Status : Offline
Originally Posted By chris156 (13 JUN 2005 9:16am)
damn, I knew I forgot something! yesh, i HATED that part -- i used like 50 robots just to figure out i CAN use arrow keys to move the lil' buddy around. and then i beat that part. hehe. my trusty arrow keys =D
I suck at baking, so the brownies puzzle was way too annoying. As for the lockpicks... the instructions had nothing to do with the real thing i just went by trial and error, heh.
Ooooh, I agree with you on the forenzics stuff! Maybe I played a bit too much CSI, but that would have been a wonderful addition to the game =D I was all happy when I had to take fingerprints... XD Claire is so awesome. I hope we get to know her better when (if) they make a sequel..
|7 JUL 2005 at 8:49am|
Mr. WrecksSpace Cadet
Posts : 118
Joined: 5 OCT 2004
Status : Online
|Yee haw, y'all!! I just finished Still Life and had to come in here and give my 2 cents of mouth on it...|
I found this game to be incredibly. I won't go into the details because I'd be duping exactly what Donna stated above, with the exception of....
Graphics - I have a 128Mb ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, a gig of RAM and a Pentium 2.4 so I had zero slowdown throught the entire game. What I did notice was a few polygon splines protruding from Vic's head in the Office portions of the game. Not quite sure what would cause this "stray hairs" effect, but it was minimal and didn't take away anything from the gameplay itself. Otherwise, beautiful 2D backgrounds with some so-so 3d models, with the exception of Vic and Gus, who looked great.
Cinematics - ditto what Donna said. Extremely well done as well as adding some electricity to the game.
Gameplay - I had no real problems with it other than the standard "I don't need that or have anything to do with that yet, so go do some stuff and when you come back and touch this I'll take it or actually do something with it" type annoyance. It happened on only a few occasions so it wasn't a constant "not this again" type gameplay problem.
Control - Point and click. Both Vic and Gus would at times get stuck on the environment and need a bit of maneuvering to get from one place to another, but again, minimal in frequency.
Story - Sucked me in like a Hoover on a dust bunny. It was raw, mature and no-hold-barred in it's delivery and subject matter... just what I needed after Grim Fandango. Loved it. I personally felt the ending tied up most of what I was questioning other than that fact that ****SPOILER**** you never see the face of the bad guy in the present day. I was hoping to see it, but didn't happen. Still, though, I liked the ending indeed.
Puzzles - If I ever have to do another lock-picking puzzle like that again I'm going to eat my left arm off and throw salt on the raw flesh left over. Other than that, most every puzzle was either logical in nature or was a peice of cake... I'll withold any puns on the baking puzzle.
Everything Else - superb voice acting for the main actors, sub par for the others. Balanced character development that built up throughout the game. Keeping the names in order was a bitch at times, but in defense of the game, it's due to my lack of brains.
Overall, I give it a 9/10 as well. Kudos to Microids, once again, for delivering the goods en masse.
Now I have to install Post Mortem and grind through that... which, after playing Still Life, I'm anxiously awaiting.
As a footnote, DO NOT LET ANY OF YOUR KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF 16 or 18 PLAY THIS GAME... but you adults, have at it.
|18 OCT 2005 at 4:11am|
Posts : 20
Joined: 18 OCT 2005
Status : Online
|I am right NOW at the VERY end of this game....or at least I think so....LOL. I'm at the part with the spider-like robot that you have to get through a room with lasers in it.  No, that doesn't qualify as any kind of spoiler.)|
Anyway...I ADORE this game! It is one of the best I've played in some time. As a matter of fact, I've been playing MMORPGs for awhile now, and THIS little gem has just renewed my love for adventure games again! I liked Post Mortem, but in my opinion....Still Life is much better. Some of the problems they had in Post Mortem are gone now (like characters talking about things you didn't know about yet, and other equally weirdish things).
I think Still Life is what happens when the fans are LISTENED to.
Love it! MUST HAVE MORE!!
Presently playing Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft obsessively....as well as any other good games that appear on the horizon. I love all genres!
|19 OCT 2005 at 5:22pm|
Goddess of All Things MagicalSchattenjger
Posts : 1565
Joined: 27 MAY 2003
Status : Online
|I loved Still Life! yes, I want more and more games like this! |
I'm playing The Moment of Silence right now. and it seems rather dull in comparison to Still Life.
&&&&Listening to XM Radio Starbucks Cafe Channel 45&&[IMG]http://img227.echo.cx/img227/8458/dancelikenooneiswatching6ld.png[/IMG]
|24 MAY 2006 at 5:18pm|
Posts : 10
Joined: 22 MAY 2006
Status : Online
|I loved Still Life and can just agree with most said here. (Except the Cookies....i liked it very much and loved it at the second try, just like Chris said, damn americans putting stuff like mollasses into cookies ^^)|
I'm looking forward for buying Post Mortem, even if people say its not as good as SL.
The robot-puzzle, well there is some explaination for the controls and also some small button on the Controls-table which shows u where to.
But i also needed some while to guess the right way to get there.
I realy hope UbiSoft will make some sequel for that game. (What about some petition?^^)
9 out of 10 like everybody said before. 8-)
/edit: I played TMOS before and think the gameplay is better, and the story is way longer, even not that uptieing and well flowing (but neithertheless thrilling).
By the way excuse my bad english, i am original german and havn't had much chances to speak or write this language in years. ^^
|17 OCT 2006 at 10:16pm|
Posts : 1
Joined: 22 NOV 2004
Status : Online
|Hmm I thought the game was o.k. but not spectacular. I also found the voice work to be very jarring in the 1920's. The dialogue and the voice actors just did not "fit" to the time period. I was also annoyed that everyone spoke as if they had a college degree, not to say that prostitutes can't be clever but...|
I do have to mention that I don't understand why everyone complained about the baking puzzle. Even if you have only watched your mother bake cookies you should have a general idea of how much of what goes into a batch. Plus words like sift make it pretty obvious then you would be dealing with dry products cream definately butter and liquids etc. I think it is unfair to call it a bad puzzle just because some people don't have good all around knowledge. But I will step off the soap box now and say that I liked Fahrenheit better for being a movie/adventure game. I just thought the puzzles weren't that great and never got that hooked into the storyline.
For me the game was an overall 7.
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy. Charlie McCarthy
|21 JUL 2007 at 1:57am|
Posts : 2
Joined: 21 JUL 2007
Status : Online
|This game sucks the fat one in respect of actual gameplay.|
There is absolutely no gameplay whatsoever, this game is so linear and telegraphed there the illusion of choice and puzzle solving is but a thin disquise.
The graphics are lovely, the plot intriguing, the puzzles very few and far between, there is no game exploration you can get through this game as quickly as if you were using a walkthrough, the reason being its completely linear in nature, there is no choice of location (you are told where to go all the time) there is no choice of dialogue you just have to keep clicking through it (how dull) the in game puzzles are very easy, the objects you collect are almost always used imediatley and hardly ever combined (you have to put the film in the camera, and fill a mug with coffee.... oooh! how imaginative) this game may as well have been a video for all the control and variation, there is no red herrings no dead ends and no fun.
If you do play this game you will probably play it to completion, which seems a strange thing to say considering how little enjoyment there is from the gameplay. What this game does have in its favour is that its pretty, its interesting, its easy and its short, other than that don't waste your time and money watch a dvd instead its just about as interactive (and working out how to use the remote is probably as complicated as the puzzles in this game).
|21 JUL 2007 at 7:00am|
Posts : 5586
Joined: 4 MAY 2007
Status : Offline
Originally Posted By zediculus (21 JUL 2007 1:57am)
Too funny - it's still one of my favorite games, and I play a lot of games. Just to clear up a minor point of curiosity - just how does one telegraph a game?
there is no red herrings no dead ends and no fun.
I'm sorry that's just an odd statement - you don't mean that you like dead ends do you? I suspect you used a walkthrough if you thought the puzzles were too easy. As I recall it had a couple nice ones (the lock pick and ring puzzles weren't too bad, and the laser puzzle was just plain fun).
All in all I thought it was a fairly good game -
|16 FEB 2008 at 8:50pm|
|Deleted User||I just simply adored this game. None of the posters above seemed to appreciate the depth the art aspect lent to this excellent game.|
I found the controls to be smooth and intuitive, and I think that complaining about the flashing hand and the clicking in conversation is really searching for fleas to pick off a well polished game.
The to-and-fro between Gus and Victoria's stories also lent interesting depth to a gut-wrenching story, and I found the game to be very immersive.
Most of the puzzles were fun, with the exception of the lockpick and the little laser-dodging robots, the latter of which had me pulling my hair out in frustration! [smiley=hair_pull.gif] I suppose every good AG has to have one Evil Kanevil of a puzzle, eh?
For such a relatively old game the graphics were excellent. The game ran very smoothly and I didn't encounter a single bug.
In one aspect I agree with some of the earlier comments in the thread, in that it seems a shame that some of the content was cut, and the ending was certainly very, very unsatisfying. W00t, though, it has been announced that a sequel is finally in the works, and we should hopefully be seeing more of it in the next year or so.
Apparently a lot of the loose ends from SL will be resolved in the sequel.
All in all, I found this to be a memorable, satisfying game, and I, for one, cannot wait for the sequel.
|27 MAY 2008 at 4:38pm|
Posts : 403
Joined: 27 MAY 2008
Status : Online
|Still Life was a decent game, but it lacked any real resolution to the plot (in fact the ending was terrible, bring on the sequel!) and really - nothing happened over the course of the game. It felt more like I was playing to finish the game, rather than playing to see what happens next.|
The puzzles were pretty good too, loved the lockpick one. I *hated* that baking one though, and the one inventory puzzles requesting we find a knife. I mean....it's a kitchen. Why isn't a kitchen knife good enough? Things like that take me right out of the game.
Overall you could do worse, and it was very enjoyable. Looking forward to the sequel.
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