Adam’s Venture: Origins is a remake of the original three-episode series which was released from 2009 – 2012. The game is heavily puzzle based which sees you exploring a variety of interesting locations that feel similar to other treasure hunting games.
Adam’s Venture: Origins is set in the 1920’s and you play as a cocky main character known as Adam Venture. You also have a much more likeable sidekick known as Evelyn, of whom I actually preferred. The game sees you travelling and exploring different and exciting locations from London to Jerusalem. It follows the story of a religious group known as Clairveaux and it becomes your job to stop their devious plans. Overall the plot isn’t particularly original and doesn’t do a great job of keeping you interested throughout the campaign.
The game does take place in various locations around the world which I enjoyed as it gives the gameplay and environmental design some variety. When I first saw this game it looked pretty much like a mix of Tomb Raider and Uncharted, so I was expecting action driven gameplay and plenty of combat. The game however is much more of a puzzle game that range from easy to downright frustrating. There are elements of action in the game, but these tend to be more focused on sneaking and traversing environments as you move from one puzzle to another. Despite the lack of fast paced action or combat the game actually does some interesting things with the puzzle mechanics and is probably the games strongest asset.
I have to say that upon starting the game I instantly noticed the dodgy and at times tedious dialogue and writing of the characters. I appreciated what the game is trying to achieve and clearly takes inspiration from the likes of Uncharted and Tomb Raider but unfortunately it falls a little flat at times. The puzzles have some fantastic moments and clever ideas but the story, characters and adventuring aspects don’t quite work. The humour in the game doesn’t quite work and unfortunately the characters feel a little bit flat.
The gameplay in Adam’s Venture is basic but still managed to keep me engaged despite the fact that I went in expecting a completely different type of game. I’m a huge fan of the puzzle elements in Tomb Raider and Uncharted games and that’s what works best in this game. This game feels much more toned down than the other games I’ve mentioned, with no violence or weaponry. The game has a very linear narrative, with a much slower pace than you would find in other games of this ilk. If you like games that have puzzles and challenging ones at that, then this is a game that wont disappoint on that front. There’s a varied selection of challenges, but you’ll end up playing the same type of puzzle on numerous occasions which can get a little repetitive.
There is very little action in the game and when is does occur it requires little attention and no real difficulty. It’s a shame as the puzzles are so good, it feels like a missed opportunity and in my opinion if more attention had been added to this aspect of gameplay it would have created another layer of depth to the overall experience.
The game feels slow-paced in terms of its gameplay but it does a nice job of moving from one location to the next. As I said the gameplay and story is very linear and it would have been nice to of had a bit more freedom to explore each area. The Uncharted games are certainly linear experiences but they still allow you to have some sense of freedom and the upcoming Uncharted game looks to have even more freedom to explore, with small open areas. The environments in Adam’s Venture are actually really well designed and made me want to have the freedom to look about and discover things. There are no collectables in the game either, giving it no real replayability. Its things like this in the game that makes it feel like it has missed a really good opportunity at having a great experience rather than a fairly empty one. I often like linear story driven games when they are done well and have some kind of reason for the puzzles you face. The story here is short and only took me around 4 6 hours to complete. Like I said before, if the game had some open areas, collectables or reasons to explore it would have certainly added to the overall playtime.
If games are on the shorter side in terms of length I believe its important to have a strong narrative, for example a game like Gone Home is very short but manages to pack a real punch whilst having basic gameplay mechanics. That being said if you enjoy puzzle games then this might appeal to you. I just would have liked to have seen either more variation in gameplay, more freedom or simply knuckle down and have a fantastic story to accompany the decent puzzles.
The presentation of the game is a bit of a mixed bag to say the least with a really strong variety of locations that are set in an interesting time period. The locations and environments you visit play a part in the puzzles you need to solve which is a nice touch. I also want to mention that the environments and design of levels look great and felt reminiscent of the Uncharted series at times. The game certainly has an Indiana Jones sort of vibe about it with intriguing scenery and mysterious passageways. The characters themselves though don’t look great with stuttering animations, bland textures and at times pretty dire voice acting. I also noticed some significant framerate drops and screen tearing, but in general I don’t normally get put off by these types of issues if I’m enjoying the experience enough.
Overall the game is ok but not great. I went in expecting a slightly less polished Uncharted-like experience. I went in thinking there was going to be plenty of action with elements of puzzle solving but in fact it’s quite the opposite, with minimal action and a heavy focus on puzzle solving which isn’t a bad thing. It would have been nice to of had a bit more variation in terms of gameplay but the puzzles are genuinely interesting and often challenging. The game has some nice ideas but it feels like it misses the beat too often with dodgy voice acting, awkward humour and some performance issues. It’s a game that has some nice ideas, just don’t go in expecting an experience like Uncharted or Tomb Raider.
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