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PC Preview: Loch Ness (c) Wannadoo

by Patrick on Dec. 5, 2001 @ 6:45 p.m. PST

LOCH NESS is a pre-calculated 3D Warp game in which the player plays the part of the hero in a first-person view. During the investigation the player has to collect a certain number of objects in an inventory which he then has to use judiciously. In order to proceed with the investigation the player also has to question various people who will give him clues allowing him to continue his quest. Does this adventure game have what it takes to stand out ?

Chicago detective Alan W. Cameron receives a telegram from the famous physicist Allister Mac Farley in which he is requesting Camerons help.
Apparently there is increasing number of ghosts and supernatural phenomena at the Devil's Ridge Manor (more than usually?). Since Cameron has family roots back in Scotland (and the manor..) he decides its time to take some vacation from dusty ol' Chicago and head down to his place of birth.

Although upon arrival the old physicist (Allister Mac Farley) has disappeared and Alan is greeted by Farley's neurotic wife. So, in old fashion adventure style its of course up to you to solve this mysterious puzzle. Are there really supernatural phenomena or is it fabricated/a setup? Or perhaps both? (Input Scary Music Here).

Loch Ness is a 1st person 3D adventure game, Yes 3D, which normally isn't my cup of tea but I will get back to that. As in all adventure games you need to talk with people and investigate every little thing in order to make progress in your investigation. The speech in the video sequences are easy to understand and well done although I hope they will make it possible for people to choose subtitles in the ready version. Sounds such as doors opening are creepy and of course they should be, after all you ARE in a dark old Scottish castle :)

When playing you will notice how every part of the Manor has its own sneaky and scary sounds, I could have sworn I almost felt someone walking behind me hmm..

The interface is similar to the one in MYST III : Exile, you see things from Camerons point of view through his eyes and you can move around in a full 360 degrees. This means you have a lot to look at and this game is filled with beautiful surroundings. You control everything via your mouse, the pointer will indicate if you can move in a certain direction and, likewise to MYST III : Exile, you move Picture by Picture meaning : you point in a direction, click and swoosh, you're there.

During the game you will find items to pick up and save for later usage. All items gets saved in the usual "Inventory" which is easy to access by simply clicking the right mouse button. In the Inventory menu you will find various things to look at, not only the items but also notes that our dear detective wrote down during the course of the game.

The only bad thing I can say is some of the game play. For instance you enter the cleaning room, and you see a ladder which leads to a unknown location. But you cannot climb up on it because you haven't solved a certain puzzle or it isn't time for that right now. Things like that usually make me go crazy because the ladder IS there, tt leads SOMEWHERE.

Will it lead to somewhere else when the time is right ? I think not :) It's just small things like that, certain doors (like the entrance door to the Manor...) that you cant open because you haven't come that far yet in the game. Better to leave them "locked" or something, than just the "Cannot open Right now" sign that pops up. Maybe I'm just ridiculous, mail in and let me know :)

Overall this is a game I definitely want to finish. Creepy sounds & music kicks in during the right moments and the animations are very nice.
My disappointment with "Mystery of the Druids" vanished as I started to play this. This could just be THE adventure game people have been waiting for!

Publisher: Wannadoo
When: December, 2001

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