Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Moebius :Empire Rising

    whether you one of the fans Moebius? or want to find out about it, Moebius is an adventure game creation of Jane Jensen( creator of the brilliant supernatural series Gabriel Knight), we squealed and bounced up and down, shaking our fists with glee. Now Moebius: Empire Rising is finally here, and it' s pretty much another thrilling Gabriel Knight adventure in everything but name, complete with smart puzzles, freakish paranormal plot twists and a fair bit of obligatory globe trotting...

Story

      Moebius: Empire Rising stars a new protagonist, Malachi Rector, a pill-popping British antiques appraiser who gets pulled into a shady plot involving a secretive Government organisation and the unsolved murder of a politician’s wife. Of course, this being a Jane Jensen game, the plot soon twists in very unusual directions and keeps you clicking onwards to work out what the hell is going on.

     At the beginning of the game we absolutely hated Malachi. His upper-class nasal tones made our teeth grind, and he’s in all fairness a bit of a ****, to his long- suffering secretary and everyone else he meets.

   All the same, we pressed onwards, and strangely after an hour or so we found ourselves not really bothered any more. His voice didn’t grate like it used to, and after a while we even started feeling a little bit sorry for him. Here is one seriously conflicted guy, someone who has it all - talent, money, women, the works - but can’t even open up to those who’ve known him the longest. Tragic stuff. Whether everyone else will forgive Malachi for his flaws remains to be seen, but he certainly isn't the next Gabe.

  Moebius' plot is original and intriguing as you’d expect from Jane Jensen, although does sit on pause for a lengthy middle segment while Malachi conducts his investigations. It never reaches the giddy heights of Mr Knight’s investigations, but we found there was still enough suspense and intrigue to keep interest levels up, even though some of the cut-scenes and dialogue could use a bit of reworking.

  For instance, one scene where Malachi finds himself stranded in the desert makes next to no sense - not only does a friendly American soldier come conveniently hiking along for no apparent reason (can’t afford a car rental mate?), but Malachi decides to react to his offers of help by pulling a gun on him.
Then they laugh it all off, and the soldier fixes the car and buggers off again without asking for a lift.
Random.

Gameplay

Moebius’ gameplay is textbook linear point 'n' click stuff but the puzzles are, for the most-part, well thought out, with no reliance on completely random “combine the dog with the bacon to form a floatation device” nonsense. Instead, it’s straight-up amateur detective work, which has you interrogating or sucking up to various characters and searching for information on your handy virtual smartphone.Once or twice we were a little confused as to our exact objective, and on one occasion we were also blocked from progressing because of what appears to be a bug. We needed to meet a certain political figure, and a quick search of his name on our phone brought up a convenient rally the same day. But the rally didn’t open up as a location until we also clicked on the same rally poster outside Malachi’s office,

something we didn’t figure out until twenty minutes of aimless wandering had passed.

There’s also a couple of leaps of logic that you’ll need to get past if you want to be fully immersed - for instance, would a team of investigators really miss a vital clue at a crime scene, which Malachi manages to spot in a heartbeat?

Still, the occasional stumble aside, Moebius' brain-teasers are fun and it’s great how you can’t just pick
up every object you find, until they are needed to progress - after all, why the hell would you lug around
an oar, just in case it came in handy a few hours later? This also limits the amount of frantic “let’s try
every object in my inventory” clicking you can do, and makes you think carefully about everything you’ve
seen while exploring. There is a bit of unavoidable backtracking as a result, but the ability to fast-travel
with the map or double-click to hop around any scene helps to take the pain out of it.

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