Traitors Gate 2: Cypher Review
By Monica Bair |
I can count on one hand the great point and click adventures that have been released in the last 2 years. That is a sad state for this genre. With that said, here we have a new title from 258 Productions published by The Adventure Company. Traitors Gate 2: Cypher features some decent puzzles but not much else. The graphics are average quality, the storyline is irrelevant and there are game stopping bugs. So, the count doesn't go up with this one.
As an Agent codenamed Raven, you are tasked with infiltrating a terrorist compound in order to save the world from a devastating virus. Your mission objectives are to obtain a copy of that virus and switch out a motherboard with another containing a homing signal so that strike forces can attack with accuracy. Located next to this compound are the ruins of an old pyramid. By entering the pyramid and making your way through it, you will be able to discover a way into the enemy base and complete your mission.
The setting allows for the types of puzzles you would expect--puzzles that make sense in the context of an ancient society creating several methods of protecting their dead - ala Indiana Jones. One of the first puzzles even has what appears to be a hologram of a god that tells that challenges you - but be careful, failure is not an option (i.e., save before you try). Each room in the pyramid is a puzzle to be solved. Doing so opens up new rooms or grants you items needed to progress. Some puzzles, if not completed correctly, can result in your death. Death is actually pretty common in this game--which is strange because there really isn't much action to it. If a puzzle has you stumped, reading an old tattered journal will often reveal clues as to how to complete it.
All control is keyboard based, save for the camera controls which can be done with the mouse There are some puzzles which will require you to look around the room--but they are rare and the mouse is very seldom used. There's no inventory in the conventional sense. Instead, items you pick up will be used when you are in the right location. Also, as the game is keyboard based instead of mouse, there are no hot spots. When you are in the right place to take on a puzzle or view something, hitting enter will cause an action to occur. All objects that can be interacted with are obvious, though, so this isn't as frustrating as it might sound. What is frustrating is the lack of a quick save and quick load feature. Traitors Gate 2 could have truly benefited from it.
The graphics are nice enough. The environments are in full 3D and you can explore every area of each room. The camera angle is behind the character normally, but switches to a better angle when appropriate. The change from the old, broken areas of the pyramid to the shiny office areas of the compound is also quite well done and the contrast is lovely. There are very few cutscenes and their only purpose is to relay what little story there is. This part of the game could have seen huge improvement. The sound effects are good, the music is nearly non existent and there is no voice acting to speak of, so there is also room for betterment with the sound.
The one area of the game that one might expect to just be perfect, especially with a point and click adventure of this type, is stability. Unfortunately, Traitors Gate 2 is anything but. It is full of bugs, like falling through floors, and there is even one bug which prevents players from continuing. Most players are plagued by this showstopper, including this reviewer. In order to make it past this part, I had to go find a save game from another player who happened to be lucky enough to not hit it. Otherwise, the game would have ended very early for me.