Genre: Horror Mystery
Release Date: July 2010
Victorian England was not a hopeful time for the average person. There was very little social mobility. If you were fortunate enough to apprentice to a profession, that was your profession for life. If you were fortunate enough to have a job in a company, that was your company for life. And if you were on the lowest rungs of society, there was no hope at all.
Alter Ego follows a murder mystery in Victorian England through the eyes of two individuals, each of whom are installed in their respective niches: Timothy Moore, who is an Irish orphan surviving by picking pockets, and the newly promoted Inspector Briscol of the Plymouth Police.
The story begins with Tim being arrested as a stowaway on a ship bound for Plymouth, England. We have to help Tim with his escape and get him connected with his friend Brian who has a plan to get them to America where opportunities are plentiful. In the process, the two of them stumble into a series a murders.
Meanwhile, Briscol is investigating the vandalism and apparent grave robbing of the recently deceased Sir William, a local nobleman with an ugly reputation. Just as the people who are connected with the case start dying, the Inspector catches and arrests Tim and Brian. Convinced of their innocence (of the murders, at least) Briscol cuts a deal with the two and allows them to help him with his investigation. And the plot thickens...
The game is very well-crafted.
You can see from the screen shots how pretty the graphics are. Every scene is professionally drawn with no hint of repeating textures. The characters are lifelike and move very realistically. I loved watching Tim climb out of the sewer drain.
The voice acting is superb. The accents are spot on and everything is said in the correct context.
The puzzles are all inventory based and quite fair. Sometimes you need to use an item for something it was not intended for, but in a world where you must make do with what you have it is all quite reasonable.
Game play is all point-and-click with no frustrations. Save games are unlimited and there is a hint key which highlights all the hotspots in a scene.
The story line is authentic, as it goes. Events unfold and people react as you pretty much would expect them to. The only “down” side (at least for us Americans) is that there is no great victory at the end. This is Victorian England and if you survive, you can consider yourself fortunate.
Bottom line? Alter Ego is a very well made adventure game and enjoyable to play. I recommend it without hesitation.
Final Grade: B+
Please Note: Some retail versions of this game use SecuROM 7.42.0001
If you liked this game, then
Play: Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis
Watch: The BBC production of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Read: “The Life and Work of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G.” by Edwin Hodder
Intel Pentium IV at 2.5 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2600+
Video Card: 128 MB VRAM – NVIDIA Geforce 6600 or ATI Radeon 9600 or better
1 GB RAM
3 GB free Hard Drive space
DirectX-compatible Sound Card
Direct X 9.0c
Keyboard & Mouse