Thursday, January 22, 2015

Another World: trial and error

As a game, it's aged.  The controls are a little rigid, with fixed jump lengths and the same button used for shooting and running.  The updated graphics, in cut scenes especially, look a bit flat and lifeless.  The difficulty level means that you are never far from a death, often from something you couldn't see coming.  I've no idea if the original game had chapter saves, but if it didn't it would have been almost impossible.

But it's a fantastic experience.  the story has really pulled me in, despite the lack of words and signposts.  Transported to a new world, captured and thrown in jail, then after escaping and making a friend, constantly hunted down.  I want to make it to the end to see whether I can escape, but some sections are proving pretty difficult.

It took me ages to work out that I had to shoot this rock to give myself a path back up.  It took me even longer to realise that I had to make it through the screens to the right of this one, past the falling rocks, in order to  shoot out a wall which then stopped the level flooding in the wrong place.  There was nothing indicating what you have to do, more an immediate death if you did it wrong.

Actually, there was one thing indicating the correct direction.  The game has hidden checkpoints you trigger if you do something in the wrong order.  If you die and start in a different place to the last 300 attempts, you know you've made progress.

There are some minor visual clues as well.  After fighting past a couple of guards I found this room.

 I'd previously been killed multiple times by a guard in a room with these lights hanging from the ceiling.  The shadow at the bottom of these balls moves across and stops directly under the big one, which you can shoot.  Do it right, and you hear something cry out ... and then later you find this.

I have no idea how far I am through the game now.  I've been swimming in an area I think I flooded earlier, and have helped my alien friend get through a corridor - but he's disappeared again.  There was a room at the end of a corridor which was instant death every time I entered it, but when swimming I found a power line and I hope that's done something about that.  We shall see.

No comments: