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The Da Vinci Code Review

Developer: The Collective Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: May 19, 2006 Also On: PC, PS2 and Xbox

The biggest movie of 2006 has so far also been the most controversial. The Da Vinci Code, considered heresy by the Catholic Church, has been condemned by Catholics around the country and The Church even put pressure onto Sony to put a warning at the beginning of the movie that it was a work of fiction. Oddly enough, while most of the story is intact, The Da Vinci Code game aims to steer clear of any controversy by changing the names of Opus Dei, among other things. The question I have is why someone would be interested in the game if they have not read the book or watched the movie. It is quite frankly a waste of your time.

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If you are not familiar with the book, Opus Dei is the Catholic organization that author Dan Brown portrays as a power-hungry organization sanctioned by The Church, which uses lethal tactics to reach its goals. Its members practice corporal mortification, a sort of self-sacrifice where a metal chain is whipped on your back to inflict pain. I won’t delve too deeply into the story, but it tracks a professor named Robert Langdon who gets rapped up in murder investigation in Paris. He quickly finds himself in pursuit of the Holy Grail.

Langdon, whose likeness and voice are not that of Tom Hanks from the film, will travel to numerous locations across France and England, including The Louvre (where you start), Saint-Sulpice cathedral and Westminster Abbey. The strength of the game surrounds the puzzle-solving aspects. There are a nice mix of puzzles to be solved, some requiring intelligent guessing, while others you will have to look for the answers in writings.

While The Da Vinci Code does employ a combat system, it is incredibly weak and only detracts from the experience. You don’t fight people in the traditional sense, but instead will have to go through repetitive button combinations. If you get the combination right, it will trigger a sequence and you’ll need to keep pounding the guy. You also have the option to throw him, which can be useful if you want to just run away. The enemy AI won’t even notice you after you get so far away from him.

All in all, I was a big fan of the book and I liked the movie as well, but the game suffers from poor combat and the occasional instance where you know what to do in a specific room (in one it’s as easy as sliding through a vent), but you have to do something else first to satisfy the game. This game is more annoying than it is fun. It has long load times, dull graphics and none of the voice actors are from the movie. Go out and buy the book instead.

Graphics: 4
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 3
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 5
Final: 4.6
Written by Kyle Review Guide