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Still Life Review

Developer: Microids Publisher: The Adventure Company
Release Date: April 15, 2005 Available On: PC and Xbox

Still Life is an investigative horror themed adventure, set in modern Chicago and 1920’s Prague. You will play as two characters, private eye – Gus McPherson and FBI Agent – Victoria McPherson. Through the game, you will solve the latest crimes to hit the streets, as well as seeing what happened to Gus back in 1920.

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From start to finish of this game, I was impressed. However, it did have its downfalls. These will be explained as I go along, so be sure to read the whole review if you really want to find out the ins and outs of this game.

I was thoroughly pleased with the graphics in this game. There are hundreds of different places for the characters to travel, many in each area (I’ll go more into that later). The backgrounds of the scenes were very clear and nice looking (as they always are in adventure games) but the characters also impressed me too. The faces as well as bodies were very detailed, each with their own look.

A big part in this game is the sound. Without it, there would be a very small element of horror and definitely no tension at all. This is one game you don’t want to play with your speakers turned off. The characters all talk (obviously) and all of the speech throughout the game is very clear and is easy to listen to. I didn’t come across an annoying voice once!

Gameplay scores high here. You get to play as two characters. When you first start the game, you wonder how. I began to concoct lots of different ideas about how it could happen. You start as Victoria, then you read your grandfather’s memoirs from his cases, this flashes back and you play as him (believe me, I didn’t give much away there so don’t go thinking I’ve ruined a surprise).

The storyline is surprisingly good and I like the way that both stories are inter-twined. The puzzles in the game are hard, something that is actually pretty rare. Although I call this a good thing, it can also be the total opposite, because the puzzles can get too hard to do. They all require thinking and patience – so you may have to leave it for a while then come back and work on it for an hour before you get it done. The feeling of satisfaction is worth it, however.

The crime scenes in the game are very real. The bodies are designed to make you shiver, and they do. This game does exactly what it sets out to do when they want to scare you. Think you’ve seen everything? Wait until you visit the morgue.

Still Life isn’t 100% original, the game isn’t the only of its kind, but it definitely rates very high amongst similar games. The story, however, is totally original and is excellent. Well written and it keeps you engrossed the whole way through. You will want to complete a puzzle so that you know what happens next.

The replay value on this game isn’t great. Obviously being one single storyline with nothing that could change throughout, I don’t think it could be very enjoyable a second time around. However, this game has a good length for a game of its type and will keep you engrossed the whole way through. I’d say expect about 20+ hours, unless you are super intelligent and beat all the puzzles as soon as meeting them.

Overall, I really enjoyed this game. Let’s hope more games build from this, maybe giving us some more play time and try and find a good in-between for puzzles – not too easy and not too hard. Like adventure games? Want a bit of horror? Maybe some good puzzles? Still Life was made for you! Buy it!

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.7
Written by Dean Review Guide