Around with Replicants
and Blade Runner
Imagine a game
that has a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. One that has characters
with personality. Imagine a game that will make you laugh out loud - a
genuine laugh, not some pathetic snicker. Imagine a game that looks good
enough to be in a movie theatre, with details and colour that you want
to keep for desktop wallpaper. Imagine voice acting that enhances all
of the jokes that have been placed in the story.
Imagine all of
this, and much more, and you've got The Curse of Monkey Island.
This is LucasArts'
third installment in the Monkey Island series. The hallmark of these games
has been intricately written storylines set in the pirate-infested Caribbean.
The hero, Guybrush Threepwood, is no Errol Flynn. Yet despite his simple
ways, he is a hero, protecting his girlfriend Elaine from the clutches
of the Evil Zombie Pirate of the Undead, LeChuck.
As the story starts,
Guybrush is captured and has to escape from LeChuck's ship. This requires
the right choice of tactics with your captor, a three-foot tall newly-recruited
pirate who is easily brought to tears. You eventually escape after a volley
of cannon-fire destroys a pirate ship nearby. Before leaving, though,
you find the largest diamond ring you've ever seen. Once you find Elaine,
you present her with the ring - only to find that it is cursed!
Elaine turns into
a solid gold statue and, as you go looking for help, she is stolen (after
all, she IS solid gold!). Thus begins the story; you take it from there.
The game is filled
with puzzles in the typical adventure game style. You have to find the
right object and use it in the correct location. Along the way you engage
in conversations with the various characters, and it is necessary to say
the right thing at the right time in order to proceed.
It's easy to learn
how to play the game since the interface is so simple. You just click
your mouse on an object and the action screen will appear. You can talk
to, use or look at an object or character. There are many logic puzzles
as well, including a lengthy insult duel against the pirate captains.
The game can be
difficult at times, but perseverance should get you through. There is
plenty of motivation, since each scene contains its own comedy and advances
There is a choice
at the beginning of the game to reduce the number of puzzles or to play
with every challenge thrown at you. It doesn't change the story to any
extent and is a nice compromise for the amateur and experienced gamer
to enjoy this title.
Another game that
will have you thinking is Blade Runner from Westwood Studios. This game
has been eagerly anticipated because of its "real-time" engine.
in this game act as though they have lives of their own. They carry on
whether you interact with them or not. As a result, their behaviour varies
depending on the way you deal with them, and with their own experiences.
Sometimes a character may have little impact on you, other times that
character may be crucial to you. There are 70 different persons in the
game with whom you can interact.
The game is, of
course, based on the classic 1982 Harrison Ford film directed by Ridley
Scott. You don't play the Deckard character, but a rookie named Ray McCoy
sent out to hunt the artificial human "Replicants." There are
over 100 scenes in the gorgeous 3D rendered Los Angeles.
the music, sounds and cutscenes all blend to create a real cinematic experience.
McCoy pieces together
clues through interviews and by collecting evidence. As the story evolves,
new areas will become available for you to explore, with more characters.
Depending on when you get there, and in what order, the characters may
have differing attitudes and information.
This game has
the same dark imagery of the movie along with the violence, language and
Fans of the movie
will love this game. If you haven't seen it yet, play the game anyway.
The introduction does a great job of setting the scene. You'll enjoy it
so much that your next stop will be the video store.
is a columnist for the Edmonton Journal. You can find more of his columns
can be reached via e-mail at StevenB@msn.com.
And for more computer news, visit JournalExtra, the World Wide Web site
of The Edmonton Journal, at http://www.edmontonjournal.com.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think