Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Dig

Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: November 1995
Systems: PC, Mac
ESRB Rating: K-A

In a nutshell: In space, everyone can hear you talk a lot.

0:00 Don't know much about this game, but the LucasArts and "Steven Spielberg" names on the CD case convinced me to throw down the $1.20 asking price at the thrift shop.

0:01 The camera pans over a stormy night with soaring clouds above "The Borneo Deep Space Observatory." String-heavy music in the background. "Of course I miss you, darling," says a radar operator. "This is the loneliest place on Earth. Most exciting thing that happens here is a day when it don't rain." Suddenly, a new object appears on the radar! "What the heck is that?" Earth collision possible... odds of impact are 1 in 1!" according to the screen. "THE DIG" appears in big letters against a black background.

0:03 "The asteroid has been named Atilla after the leader of the huns," says a TV commentator over video of a rocket launch countdown. The rocket launches, and we cut to a press conference. "If the shuttle is the last hope of the human race, then it will have to do the job, won't it?" says Commander Lowe. The voice acting has a cheesy but sincere quality to it. The low-res animation does the job, but the mouths don't even come close to matching the speech.

0:04 Reporter Maggie Robbins is in charge of laying the nuclear charges that will destroy the asteroid. Also, a candidate for Congress is part of the mission. This is starting to seem a little contrived. "We wanted the best and brightest for this mission," the square-jawed Lowe explains. "My job is to keep everybody alive. I don't have to be brilliant, I just have to be careful."

Read the full review at Crispy Gamer


Ronald said...

Loved this game back when it came out. Can definately see that the pace might drag a bit, but it gets better once the AlIENS! bit gets explored a bit more. you have to be a fan of old school point and click adventure games though, otherwise you'll be suicidal when it gets to the harder puzzles.

Voice acting for Lowe was done by the guy that did the T1000 in Terminator 2, so the jaw isn't fictional!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I tested this one! And in fact, it's how I first met my wife, who worked on it.

I disagree about the writing though. The 1st script was mediocre, then they handed it to Orson Scott Card, who made it worse! The guy has a tin ear for real dialogue, and I can't imagine trying to deliver it believably.

What made the game succeed, though, was the integration of story and puzzles. If you could excuse the dialogue and some wooden animation, it was a good ride.