Archive for the 'Gaming - PS3' Category

Lost: Via Domus (PS3)

61uyvjdhnfl_aa280_.jpgOK, so it’s not strictly film related, but it comes on a Blu-Ray for the PS3 so there is a tenuous connection…

I wasn’t holding out much hope for the Lost videogame - with such a rich ‘world’ to draw on, it seemed certain that the developers wouldn’t bother so I wasn’t that disappointed that they didn’t. With a handful of locations from the TV series (the beach, part of the jungle, the hatch, the Black Rock and a few of the Dharma stations), a few of the characters (mostly not even voiced by the real actors, and even when they are they sound nothing like their TV counterparts) and a plot that only grazes on that of the TV show, Lost: Via Domus is a disappointment from start to end (and the time between the two points is literally only a few hours of gameplay).

The graphics vary from outstanding (some of the cutscenes) to laughable - they’re glitchy and the collision detection is so over the top that you can find yourself stuck to the leaf of a plant. The areas that are in the game look nice, but they’re small and restrictive and the character animation and design is variable.

I played through hoping that the game might add some richness to the Lost universe - I wasn’t expecting answers, but I would have liked something to expand on the experience. However, the game isn’t really canon and therefore it could really have been set anywhere. You play the part of a Oceanic 815 survivor who has amnesia - the game uses the familiar flashbacks to fill in the gaps as the game progresses, oddly via you taking pictures with your camera to jog your memory. The storyline occasionally hints to the events of the show and gives a good idea of pacing and the rough timing of the games events, for outsiders however the cutscenes that carry these hints would be meaningless.

The sound design is good and full use is made of the surround effects when you are being stalked by the smoke monster - the game does excel here, but the effects themselves are lifted wholesale from the series so it would have been hard to go wrong.

The majority of the playing time is made up of frustrating segments where you have to repeat the same bit over and over again due to the unforgiving nature of the game. In pitch black caves with only a torch you must navigate nearly invisble potholes. You must hide from the black smoke frequently as there is no other defense and while it’s possible to kill any opponents you spot (two or three at the most) you can complete the game without doing so. Even the flashback scenes are mostly trial and error - and can become infuriating, not due to any skill being needed, but to the whole concept of spotting the exact second you need to take a photo.

The ending of the game is as disappointing, frustrating and confusing as the rest of the experience - without spoiling things, we don’t learn anything and the last second is a pure ‘Lost’ WTF moment - only this time we’ll never get any explanation.

In an age where free-roaming games feature huge cities and massive amounts of detail, a linear game that is both as frustrating and unrewarding as Lost: Via Domus should never have made it past the planning stage. With no real quality control and the perfect example of abuse of a licence, there is little to recommend this game to even the most die-hard of fans. At a budget price it would be too expensive, however at full price it’s plain daylight robbery. Avoid.

2/10 (only because of the sound design)

Posted on 1st March 2008
Under: Television, Gaming - PS3 | No Comments »

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