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Largo Winch Review
PII-300, 64MB RAM, 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Sep 05, 02 (released)
|» All About Largo Winch on ActionTrip|
Largo Winch... hmm, should this name ring a bell? I doubt it, considering the fact that the game was made after an action TV series that seems to be modestly popular in some parts of Europe, but I must admit that I never even heard of it before I started looking for it on the net in order to do this review. Still, my ignorance concerning TV series did not spoil my enjoyment in this cute adventure game.
OK. I'm in, so what do I do now?
Largo Winch is the son of an owner of a huge company, meaning that he is extremely rich besides being young, handsome and dangerous. His life wouldn't really be of any interest to anyone if some really bad things hadn't happened: first someone killed his father, and then, when he took over the company, he started noticing some very shifty things which culminate in the disappearance of one of his co-workers, the murder of two security guards in the Mexican branch of the company and theft of some confidential data. Largo immediately springs into action, with the help of his best mate Simon, the attractive and dangerous Joy Arden, and Kerensky the computer freak.
Largo Winch is in all aspects a modern adventure game. The control system is very simple; the game uses the standard introduced by Lucas Arts' Grim Fandango, later perfected in Escape from Monkey Island. This basically means that you use the cursor keys to move and rotate your hero, and that you have two possible ways to interact with your surroundings ("use/talk" to and "examine"). This concept influenced the game difficulty, but it was also far from crucial in this aspect (Escape from Monkey Island used the same interface, and it was far from an easy game). The inventory will usually contain one to three items, and you will never carry more than six at a time. There are few locations altogether. When you are in your offices you only have four rooms to visit, and when you get to your Mexican branch, the number will rise to six or seven.
This means that even if you are the most clueless man on Earth you should be able to solve the game in a relatively short period of time. This is also thanks to the fact that this is a fairly realistic game, so you can forget about having to inflate a helium balloon and have it carry a tooth you found so that you can pass through a door with a special tooth detector (Ah, good-ole' Monkey Island - ed). If you happen to have any doubts, just look at your PDA which contains all relevant data and you will have no trouble in guessing what you have to do next.
There are few dialogues, and they are usually connected to concise points on the game. I always hated adventures in which I spent more time reading dialogues than doing anything else, but this is definitely not one of those games.
This game is somewhat different from a classical adventure, as it includes two action mini-games. The first mini-game is hacking computer terminals, and it will appear whenever you have to get hold of important data. It is basically a relatively simple logical game that can best be described as a turn-based pac-man. The other action mini-game covers the fighting sequences which is also turn-based. First you get to choose your moves (for yourself and then for Simon or Joy if they are present), and then your opponents move (I think I've seen this somewhere before: Final Fantasy, Etherlords, etc. - ed). There is little room for tactics as the damage includes an element of luck. Both mini-games become increasingly difficult as the game progresses, but they are both pretty easy, as is the entire game.
The graphics are entirely in 3D, which makes Largo Winch one of the first classical adventures that dared take this step - and it succeeded. At first I really resented the use of 3D graphics in adventure games, and here, I dare say it is one of the best things in the game. In spite of the fact that the 3D engine definitely doesn't belong to the best engines there are (as I am writing this text I am catching glimpse of Mafia and Hitman 2 with all effects set to max on nearby computers), the game looks very good. Camera moves perfectly, the animation is a treat, and the game features very good real-time shadowing. On the other hand, the textures and models aren't exactly too rich in detail. This is obviously due to the fact that the game has originally been developed for consoles (the official site only mentions the PS2 version), but the developer still tried to adapt the game as much as possible, making it one of the best game ports I have ever seen.
There, Largo Winch is not an adventure that will achieve a worldwide success, first things first, as I never saw it advertised anywhere, and because serious adventure gamers will probably stick to something a bit more demanding. Still, I had a great time with it. If you like easy adventure games, or are still inexperienced enough, do give it a shot.
An interesting game, not too difficult (in case you regard that as a plus), neatly integrated 3D engine;
Easy (in case you regard that as a minus).
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