Monday, May 18, 2009

Advent Rising: A Game Taken Me By Surprise

When Nazarene (my loving other-half) and I went to Sim Lim Square to buy some stuffs, we saw this game store which sells a wide variety of PC games. Much to my delight, they also sell old games which I missed playing. Best of all, they were on sale (and my GF said she'll pay for it). Buy 2 get 1 free. A good deal, I should say. I took FEAR 1 and Broken Sword 3. Then I needed to choose the free game.

Then I saw Advent Rising. I was a bit hesitant, at first. I only heard about this game from my ex-colleague in Emerging Entertainment, Charles, a game designer who's a frantic RPG-er. Honestly, I only chose it to be the free game because of its intriguing orange-green DVD casing cover.

When I got home, I installed FEAR and Broken Sword 3 first. Installing Advent Rising to me was just an after thought. A week later, I pop in Advent Rising in my laptop. And after a few hours of playing it, I was taken a back... This game is a hidden gem!

I have to admit, the game is not easy to get into. The controls were quite complicated, but the next thing I know, they became 2nd nature to me. It's story.... one word... SURPRISINGLY AWESOME! (ok that was 2 words)

How this game intriques me was the way it's experience changes as it progress. If I could put it in a title, I'll dubbed it as "Game Evolved Within A Game". The game has also a final trick on its sleeves after the credits, but I won't it spoil for you.

Advent Rising was intended to be a trilogy. The game ends in a cliff hanger. But like the Back to the Future, with its famous 'To be continued...', the story satisfies its objectives within itself. Unfortunately, news said the sequel were cancelled due to its poor sales. But for now, I'll be positive about this, they WILL make the sequels.

Why didn't it sell that good? Maybe poor marketing strategy on the part of its publisher, Majesco or THQ. Kudos to the developer Glyphx, though. Maybe because of some technical hiccups the game has. But for me, I was bought.

I read some of the reviews of this game. Most of them shout 'rip-offs' or 'cliches'. But in reality, no ideas are new under the sun. I don't see, even if they're similar to other story, it intentionally ripping off other games. Uniqueness shouldn't be a standard but a plus. Otherwise, anything will be a rip off of something.

Underrated games are out there. Most of them were overshadowed by big titles when they come out (example: Psyconauts). My advise to everyone, don't just be interested on overly-hyped games. There are hidden gems out there. In this 'case', its an orange-green diamond.


Wideangle said...

I'm with you all the way!!! Advent Rising is one of the most ambitious games i've ever played. Even though it has its issues, Advent Risings charm overshadows even the worst frame-rate and graphical glitches. I had the Xbox version and found it, to my horror, unplayable. Like you, many years later I stumbled across the PC version in a bargain bin. Knowing that some of the issues were addressed after the Xbox launch, I went ahead and pick it up again. I slapped it on my Mac-Book Pro running boot-camp (which runs it very well BTW) and really enjoyed a second play-through. Actually it was my first full play-through (never finished the Xbox version). I'm not that hardcore and turned on god mode about 3/4 of the way through, which actually made the game even more enjoyable (try it sometime). I followed the Mustard Brothers (creators of Advent Rising) after there departure from Glyphx to the creation of their new company Chair Entertainment and the recent acquisition of Chair by Epic Games. I couldn't think of a better match for the two companies or a better opportunity for a resurrection of the Advent Rising franchise, if anyone can negotiate the IP rights i'll go with Epic any day. Even with Chair's recent E3 announcement of Shadow Complex and Epic's Cliff Bleszinki's showering of complements toward Chairs accomplishments, in which he directly mentions Advent Rising, I am once again filled with hope that a sequel or remake is still a possibility or maybe even on the horizon...

vidextreme said...

Wow. Thanks for the heads-up on the Mustard Brothers. I must watch that E3 video then. Soooo... much trailers to dig in, as always for E3. lol

I think anyone who commented badly on this game misses what its experience intended to be. Some say the game was too easy when the main character acquired powers. They don't get that was part OF the story itself. Powers of the humans. That established the point that humans are referred to be 'glorious' or a race that was a myth to them and some reverred in the game.

I don't even care if they develop it for XBLA or PSN. Of course, ever since I'm a PC gamer... but I am willing to switch just to continue the experience.

Dude (if your a dude), please post any upcoming updates on Advent Rising. Thanks again!

Wideangle said...

Hey Vidextreme,

Heres a link to that interview...

...I may be reaching but its exciting none the less.