The land that PC gaming forgot. Preview

The land that PC gaming forgot.

For years now, people have been asking why there are so few games like Final

on the PC. The answer has something to do with silly demographic

reports, but don’t tell that to the folks at Eidos and Ion Storm. Their upcoming

RPG, Anachronox, looks to take the successes of the console games and

move ’em on to the greater potential of the PC.

The Rosetta

Stone. The Ark of the Covenant. Dinosaur bones. Bah! Pieces of garbage. These

“artifacts” pale in comparison to Mysterium Technology, or MysTech. What exactly

is MysTech, and why is is so great? Who knows. It’s supposed to do something

REALLY impressive, and I bet some long-dead Alien race is behind it all.

But this much I do know – MysTech has something to do with the ancient

city of Anachronox. This seemingly difficult to pronounce city has crumbled

away, destroyed by plague and left to waste.

Among the ashes lies Sylvester “Sly” Boots. Sylvester Boots has a money problem (kind of like Sylvester Stallone if he keeps on making bad movies). The only solution for Sylvester is to get a job, but somehow he finds himself embroiled in a quest to uncover the mystery of MysTech.

Anachronox is an RPG running on a heavily tweaked version of the Quake

engine. But rather than lining up your crosshairs to frag, movement is

handled through the happy marriage of third person control coupled with a point

and click interface. It’s similar to the kind of thing found in adventure gaming

and it’s very smart. For example, walk up to some colorful alien and your ‘arrow’

will appear. Click that extraterrestrial and you¹ll start talking to it. ‘Natch.

There’s even a clever rationalization on why there’s a pointer flying about.

Apparently, this ‘pointer’ is actually Sly’s dead secretary, Fatima Doohan,

digitized into a Cordicom LifeCursor. I gots to get me one of those!

You can control up to three characters at a time, with a total of seven to

eventually choose from. One of them, the eldery maniac Grumpos Matavastros,

has a skill called "Yammer" that allows him to annoy people into giving

up valuable pieces of information. And they say old people aren’t useful…

The battle sequences mirror traditional console based RPGs, with an arena of

baddies facing off against your heroes. But rather than weaving your way through

menus, you can now enjoy the ease of mouse activated screens. Watch as you zoom

your way through battle commands and item inventories with ease. Battle are

turn-based but with a timing element, akin to the Active Time system of Final


And rather than the traditional FMV’s that console RPGs are smack full of,

Anachronox uses impressive real-time animation. Throw in some dynamic

camera angles and shots, a stirring score with sound effects and voices

with actual lip synchronization (woo-hoo!), and you¹ve got all the ingredients

for some seriously immersive role-playing shenanigans.

Anachronox looks to take some familiar console RPG conventions and

bring them into the world of PC gaming. A gorgeous 3D world and a science fiction

story with the just the right touches of humor make it one to keep an eye on.

Hopefully, all the pieces will come together and Sly will be a Rocky

rather than a Judge Dredd.

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