Advent Rising Review

Developer: Glyphx Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: May 31, 2005 Also On: PC and Xbox

After two years of development and a lot of hype, Majesco and Glyphx’s Advent Rising has finally released. Unfortunately, it falls well short of my expectations and I ended up vastly disappointed by almost every aspect of the game.

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Advent Rising tells the tale of the human race being worshiped and prophesied by millions of other races and species in the galaxy. The fish-like Aurelians visit the humans one day and educate them to their worshiping. In a twist of events, one race known as Seekers decide to go against these holy beings and begin destroying their homeland and spaceships. When Gideon Wyeth’s station begins getting hit by the Seekers, all hell breaks loose and a planetary war against the humans begins.

The story has been raved about for the two years that Advent Rising has been in development, but other than a few key gut-clenching scenes, it’s not all that different from any other game. Advent Rising has been called an “epic”, but I think it falls short of such a title. The reason being is because the story may be done well, but not much else is. Not only that, but I stopped caring about most of the characters because they just aren’t very interesting.

I figured that playing Advent Rising would have been a blast, had the frame rate been at least a constant 30 frames per second. Instead, the game stutters below any consistent rate at almost all times. The “revolutionary Flick Targeting system” is basically Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s Z-Targeting system in a faster fashion. It would work amazingly well if the frame rate would allow it. This isn’t the case. It might also work better if the enemy A.I. wasn’t inspired by a pet rock or a headless chicken. There’s no middle ground: I found that an enemy either: a) ran mindlessly, firing at anything around or b) stood there and took shots with almost no reaction. There is a first-person view option, but it is pointless, as it just doesn’t work as well in execution as the third-person view.

I’m glad that Gideon has access to a lot of stuff, but there’s almost too much loaded into the game. There are dozens of weapons, but only three or four of them are worth picking up. Each weapon can be “leveled up” for increased damage and secondary fire features. The same applies to Gideon’s deity-like powers, including a telekinesis lift, an energy projectile, a shield, and several more. By the end of the game, you have plenty of ways to dispatch your enemies — but there are almost too many things to use. I ended up using two or three powers and one or two different weapons at almost all times.

Along with the frame rate are some generally ugly graphics. The outdoor scenes look decent, but the indoor levels are chock-full of blurry textures and boring design. It’s too bad, because some of the game art is truly great. Fortunately, the music isn’t all that bad. The orchestra who was responsible for some of the musical pieces did a wonderful job. If it weren’t for the generic voice-overs, Advent Rising might have a category in which it does completely well.

Overall, I felt that Advent Rising came out of nowhere, despite its long, delay-filled development; it really appeared out of nowhere on the release date calendar. It is the first game of a trilogy, and I’m really hoping that the next two games don’t take as long and fix the many problems with this game.

Graphics: 4.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 6.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 5.7
Written by Cliff Review Guide

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