Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another World: 15th Anniversary Edition

Developer: Delphine Software
Publisher: Interplay
Release Date: 1991 (original version)
Systems: Windows (reviewed), roughly 10 billion others.
ESRB Rating: T

In a nutshell: Death, dead-ends and disintegration rays

0:00 I never had much interest in this one as a kid, but today, it's considered one of the classics of the medium, and highly influential on everything from platformers to adventure games to survival horror. At $10 on, I couldn't resist. (By the by, the game is also known as Out of this World in the States).

0:01 No loading, no company logos, just the stylish, angular Another World logo zooming in to reveal the menu screen. In the background, a hand-painted scene of a blasted landscape with rocky outcroppings and a few odd-looking figures.

0:02 Since this game is almost 20 years old, my crappy computer can actually run it at full 1280 x 1024 resolution. Feels nice to be relatively ahead of the curve, for once.

0:03 A black car screeches to a halt outside a rectangular building. A dark, thin figure walks in (nice cinematic camera angles) and goes down an elevator. The elevator doors open and we see our protagonist, with shocking orange hair and a simple black T-shirt. The blocky, polygons and solid-color textures remind me of a darker Super Mario 64, in a way.

0:04 Our protagonist enters a keycode into a number pad and some laser system IDs him biometrically. "Good evening professor." says a screen. "I see you have driven here in your Ferrari!" A scientist with a Ferrari? I guess this game really is science fiction.

0:05 This guy has a cool 3D volumetric display, but it can only display shades of green, like a 1970's APPLE II monitor or something. Anyway, he alters some particle accelerator parameters and runs an experiment. I think I know where this is headed...



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