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Atlantis 3: The New World Review
publisher: Cryo Interactive
developer: Cryo Interactive
PII-233, 64MB RAM, 200MB HDD
|ESRB rating: E
release date: n/a
|» All About Atlantis 3: The New World on ActionTrip|
Dusan "Lynx" Katilovic
Cryo Interactive programmers used the mystery of Atlantis as a topic for their third sequel in the series, Atlantis III: The New World, a game that heroically stands for its adventure genre, making sure that it doesn't suffer the same destiny as the mythical city.
The plot of the game might confuse the players who missed the first two sequels of the series. The connection of the two seemingly independent cultures, those of Egypt and Atlantis is not in any way coincidental. According to some tales (which are unfortunately not mentioned in the game), the ancient Egyptians learned how to build pyramids and even took over some elements of religion and mysticism from the people of Atlantis. Cryo usually designs its games true to historical facts or at least supposed historical facts which is only an additional upside of the game.
The game casts you in the role of a beautiful young archeologist girl, who is obviously a bit silly as she decided to explore the rough desert all alone, searching for an ancient Egyptian site 1000 km away from Egypt! The intro sequence, and most of the game for that matter, might seem to have some inconsistencies, but you will hopefully manage to put the pieces together in your head.
Right after the first contact with the ostentatious, yet still unintuitive main menu, you will realize that the game is a typical Cryo title. The engine gives you a static first-person view, which can be rotated in full 360 degrees. When you move, the engine simply loads the next static location and the objects it contains. As you advance through the game you will frequently trigger cut-scenes, which either contain plot development or clues to a puzzle. This severely out-dated engine is an anachronism, which (thanks to the great Cryo design) stands up to modern trends. Pressing the right mouse button opens the inventory containing items that can interact with the surroundings. The dynamic cursor changes shape when you put it over an area on the screen where you can perform an action (use, move, initiate dialogue...). The only problem about this is that there are situations where you have to practically pinpoint a certain pixel for the cursor to change shape.
The game comes down to solving puzzles and brain-teasers which are linearly connected. Their difficulty varies: all in all, Atlantis III is a piece of cake for any experienced adventure player, but some puzzles are exceedingly difficult, and seemingly illogical. Linearity is not necessarily a bad thing in this game, but shortness is. You will be able to finish the entire game in one afternoon. It will be a great afternoon full of lovely sights and sounds, but it will still be one afternoon.
You will pass many different locations in the course of the game. While searching for the crystal skull which can make the world a better place for humanity (or worse if it falls into wrong hands), you have to take the time portal and go back to Ancient Egypt, Paleolithic Siberia, and old Baghdad. The number of details and vivid imaginary locations will keep pleasantly surprising you over and over again. All characters, objects, and locations have been designed perfectly. The textures are colorful and becoming and create the perfect atmosphere of a dream-like world. The cut-scenes are a special treat, and the main feature to blame for the fact that the game takes up three CDs (The heroine has been beautifully animated, especially her eyes - I would love to meet the girl who served as a model for her!). The sound perfectly becomes the atmosphere - the calm ambient music has been written in a specific ethno style.
Through the most of the game, you will be accompanied by a mummy, which didn't lose its sense of humor even though it lay in a sarcophagus for a couple of thousand years before you released it. You will have useful dialogues with it, and I suggest you read them carefully as they contain hints for solving the puzzles.
Atlantis III: The New World definitely has its flaws: the outdated engine, long loading sequences, and frustrating puzzles; however, these flaws are still not big enough to make the entire game less attractive. The great graphics and the pleasure you will get from leading the young lady through the world if imaginary history is sufficient to make this a generally good game. For one afternoon...
6.9 Above Average
Great graphics and music, authentic dream-like atmosphere;
No replay value, short, out-dated engine, lack of dynamics.
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