Adam’s Venture: Origins – Deluxe Edition is the latest puzzle exploration game from the Adam’s Venture franchise. Adam’s Venture: Origins – Deluxe Edition claims to feature “new, next-gen visuals, new gameplay and new animation work which makes it into a true next-gen experience.” That’s a mighty claim, so let’s see if it lives up to expectations.
First off, we need to get the graphics out-of-the-way. Put simply, I would definitely not describe them as “next-gen”. There are parts of the game where there seems to be translucent boxes blocking out some portions of the screen, other times there are parts of a character that will appear long before the rest of it. Some parts of the game as well as parts of the characters can appear incredibly blocky at times. It’s a very dark game (visually), with most of the gameplay being set in caves or at night. This can make it a tad annoying, and at times difficult to play.
The gameplay itself was sound. The puzzles posed a challenge, yet were still possible with a little effort. This meant the gameplay was neither frustrating nor boring, resulting in enjoyable puzzles throughout. The plot is vaguely interesting, with enough information to keep you from quitting, but not so much as to keep you on the edge of your seat; This is hardly a plot that you feel should be made into a movie any time soon, though it feels like some movies inspired it, but I’ll leave that for later.
The soundtrack to the game is what you would expect for a mystery adventure puzzle game; it’s well put together background music. The voice acting also seems to be reasonably good, though the responses that the characters have whilst waiting for you to do something seem to be a bit limited, but that’s down to writing I suppose.
Now I said earlier it has a few tones reminiscent of movies. What I mean is that the general theme for the game, the plot, the character interaction it all feels like Indiana Jones is the protagonist in a National Treasure movie. There’s a guy with a grappling hook (rather than Indy’s whip), who is searching for something from the Bible. He then runs around solving intricate puzzles and evading secretive organisations in order to unlock the mystery. I’m not saying I don’t like it, or that it ripped anyone off, the combination of character and plot makes it it’s own thing and it is an interesting plot. There’s just a sense of familiarity within this game.
Now we do need to take a look at the cost of Adam’s Venture: Origins – Deluxe Edition and it’s value for money. The game can be purchased for between £20 and £50 dependant on the edition and vendor. Let’s meet in the middle and call it £35. Is this game worth £35? Well, it’s a lot of money for a game that boasts next-gen visuals, especially when I would only apply that phrase to some (but not all) of the game locations, certainly not the characters.
The graphics drag this game down, they really do. The rest is good. The story is interesting and the puzzles are great. The main risk for a puzzle game is that the puzzles can feel forced or unrelated to plot, but these tasks are well embedded in the plot, which means that the puzzles add to the game, rather than spoil it. It isn’t great value for money; we’re still a way off this game being a bargain. But maybe it’s worth the cost, if you like the game.
Overall, if you have played any of the Adam’s Venture games before, or are a big fan of puzzle games in general, Adam’s Venture: Origins – Deluxe Edition may well be for you. I do like puzzle games and to be honest, I did enjoy this game. It’s losing a lot of marks with me not because it has poor graphics (which I believe it does), but because it promises good graphics and fails to deliver. It is still playable, but it feels more like a last-gen prequel than a next-gen origin story. The game doesn’t deserve a bad wrap, after all it just seems that the developers have decided (quite rightly) that the puzzles are the main priority in this game, but have lost sight of the overall experience. This is the kind of game that is enjoyable, but is maybe better noted as a sign of things to come; if they keep up the good work with the puzzles, but put more effort into the aesthetics, the next installment by developer Soedesco could be one to really watch out for. I think overall this game could be improved upon with the finishes, but at its heart it’s a well made game. With a few improvements it could be one of the best.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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