Egypt III Review
We find ourselves surrounded by the pyramids of Egypt, but not on a sightseeing trip, there's a mystery to solve?
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 2nd June 2004
- Developer: The Adventure Company
- Publisher: Mindscape
- Release Date: 14th May 2004
When it comes to adventure games, especially of the point and click variety you either love them or you hate them. Egypt III manages to substitute action with an intriguing and original story line so even though the pace of the game is somewhat slow the backbone of the title manages to keep you drawn to its progress.
The story line behind Egypt III revolves around Ramses II who is nearing the end of his life but still holds on to the hope of extending his reign. In an attempt to prolong his life Ramses makes a deal with the Sun-God Aman-Re in which he must build a temple in exchange for longer life but things do not go to plan when a series of apparent accidents plague the construction of the building. In order to investigate the problems surrounding the temple the Pharaoh appoints a young magician going by the name of Maya to eliminate the obstructions preventing the temple from being built and to find out exactly what it is that seems to be standing in the way.
The bulk of the game involves you, as Maya wondering around ancient Egypt in a first person perspective talking to various people, completing tasks and solving puzzles. Manoeuvring your character around the games environment is made easy thanks to the simple control system in which you only make use of the mouse. Movement is achieved by pointing and clicking the left mouse button whilst the right button brings up a convenient full inventory containing everything from objects you are carrying to a list of goals and various other information.
Whilst placing the cursor around the screen the image will change to indicate that an object can be interacted with, a place can be travelled to or a person can be spoken to and whilst easy to get to grips with it does take away any feeling of freedom in the game as only specific areas can be explored. Once stationary Maya can look around herself in a full 360 circle but in most games like this you can walk over and examine something even if you know it’s not relevant, in Egypt III however you are restricted to doing what needs to be done. It saves time and the necessity to think I suppose but the choice to explore a little would’ve been good.
The game is kept fresh with the use of puzzles requiring a little thought from the player, one example of the games puzzles was when I opened a basket only to be bitten by a snake, I then had a small amount of time in which to look up a cure and then gather all of the ingredients and mix them together to save myself from death. Some puzzles seem relevant to the gameplay but others come across as pointless and unrealistic, for instance a whole scenario to achieve a simple task when in reality a simple approach would have had the job done in no time at all.
My main complaint about Egypt III is the ease of it, the game offers no challenge and more or less plays itself, when passing something you need Maya will point out that you need it without allowing you to discover the object for yourself, after completing specific tasks others come up immediately and the game literally stops you from doing anything other than the next task, no wondering off, no going the wrong way, the game is basically like a movie in which you have been asked to act out. Some people may like the relaxed nature of this game whilst others may find it tedious and may bore of it quite quickly.
Egypt III takes place in a nicely detailed and on the most part varied environment, textures are smooth and clean and character models are designed and animated nicely. The games audio is also pretty good with the sounds of people going about their work and the sounds of animals and other in-game objects been portrayed brilliantly. Voice acting is also good with no corny or over-the-top dialogue.
On the whole Egypt III provides a decent adventuring experience set in a historically correct ancient Egypt. Whilst a little slow paced the game does offer a little variety in the form of puzzles and although the path through the game seems very ‘forced’ it is still intriguing to play through if just for short periods of time.
Review Score: 6.6/10
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