I am a huge fan of adventure games and I’m always on the lookout for a new exciting adventure to put my brain into thinking mode. Alter Ego, developed and published by bitComposer Games, is set in the Edwardian town of Plymouth where the body of recently buried Sir William disappears under strange circumstances. This peculiar news would not stir much tremendous public interest if it was not Sir William himself. He was investigated several times during his life and although the police never managed to press charges against him, scary legends about his bloody crimes live on among the town people. There were only a few left who were willing to serve him and were brave enough to stand and look at his lifeless face. And most of them run away in horror after his death and the series of murders that followed it. Police are helpless and not able to move forward with the case. The town is thrown into a state of panic and fear.
As your adventure begins, you find your main character, who is a thief called Timothy Moor, being led off a boat to go to the cells wearing nothing but his underwear and some hand-cuffs. You have been caught stowing away deep in the depths of a ship and have been left beaten up with all your worldly possessions taken from you. You manage to escape the guards, dive into the sea and desperately swim into a near-by sewer entrance to escape.
The controls for the game are the traditional point-and-click style ones you’ll be accustomed to if you’ve ever played an adventure game before. There is no option to use a gamepad at all here though, which is a shame. The controls are simple and a nice feature I found is that, instead of using the kind of hint system that is often included in these types of games, you can press the F1 key on your keyboard and have the option to see the hot spots in each scene. This is handy and by just showning you the points of interest nothing is spoilt for you as you’re not told exactly what to do.
The graphics in Alter Ego are nicely drawn and give that Edwardian feeling to the game. If you are a fan of that era then this game might be the game for you. The one thing that drove me mad, however, was the poor acting. Your main character is Irish and I did feel his accent was far to over-exaggerated. The accents of the other actors in the game are pretty annoying too.
The whole idea behind Alter Ego is that while your character, Timothy Moor, seems like a nice guy as he talks to people, his thoughts are very evil. It reminds me of Jekyll and Hyde. His alter ego is not pleasant and he is deep down a nasty piece of work. He has a sidekick that you also get to play in the game on occasion who is pretty nasty too. Despite all this, I found the whole storyline to the game a bit boring and not the exciting fast paced adventure I was hoping for. Alter Ego fails to communicate much suspense, but at least there are sparks of personality. Timothy Moor’s brogue lends him some charm, even though the actor playing the thief is too laid-back during the times he should be communicating terror or annoyance. Having said that, the game definately includes scenes of tension and enjoyment.
Any fan of adventure games might enjoy this, but its not a Golden Joystick award winning title. However, if you are a avid adventure game player and love point-and-click games this game may be for you. It does kill a good number of hours and is not too bad if you can get past the awful, over-exaggerated voices.
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