US Gold

Another World

29.99

"The earth was created in six days.
Another World took two years," boasts the box.

God will doubtless be suing, but the fact remains that it did indeed take a fifth of a decade to put this tour de force together. But two years our time or their time? Ed Ricketts hasn't a clue (as usual)


Another day, Another world; another graphic adventure and another particle accelerator/lightning/time displacement
type accident. Don't you find they always happen at just the most annoyingly inconvenient moments?

When you're blessed with a name like Les, it's almost inevitable that you'll turn out to be a scientist. And Lester Chaykin has done that in spades. He's really rather a good scientist actually; he gets to play with the really massive machines like particle accelerators.

So, there he is working in his lab one night, accelerating his particles, dividing his atoms and so on, blissfully unaware of the storm brewing up out- side. And wouldn't you know it, just as he's about to get his particle up to that tricky optimum speed, his bloomin' lab is struck by lightning. That sort of thing isn't really conducive to technical precision, particularly when the lightning surges through the accelerator, inter- acting in a strange and wonderful way with the circuitry within, blowing Lester out of his seat into another time and another world. Not the best of ways to spend an evening.


Hold down for long enough and your gun forms
a shield, which stops the fire of enemy guards for a
short time. Hold it down a bit longer and you build up
a massive power shot that's great for blasting
through doors.

Occasionally you'll find these handy reacharging points
for your gun. They're a bit drastic, but they get the job
done. But remember children, if you try this at home
make sure your hands are nice and wet and you're not
wearing any rubber.

Our Les finds himself, at the beginning of the game and probably some-what to his surprise, languishing in a pool, and very quickly drowning. At this point you start to panic because you don't have a clue what to do next Swimming upwards is a good idea.

 
A lot of time and effort has obviously gone into making the game look and flow like a film
 

Now you begin to realise what sort of game you've got yourself into. You've just sat through an intro with some of the best effects you've ever seen, you have the barest idea of how to move Les, and you're stranded on the edge of a pool on another planet with the cries of strange birds off in the distance. Panic!

Another World is a graphic adventure in the truest sense. Everything is conveyed visually: there's no typing and no on-screen text, Les is controlled with the joystick and has a limited but useful range of movements - walking, running, crouching, firing (eventually) and, of course, dying.

From the moment you emerge from the pool, you're on your own. It's up to you to explore the environment, try out objects, shoot things, fall down without being chasms and find out what the hell is going on, with the overall aim of trying to escape from wherever it is you are without being frazzled. Assuming you survive the first few screens, you soon find yourself in a city. Deep within a city, in fact, incarcerated in a cage guarded by a heavy with a big gun. From then on in, it's all hard work.

 
AIt's up to you to explore the environment, try out objects, shoot things, fall down chasms and find out what the hell is going on frazzled
 

There's a lot of dying to be done. You can't walk two steps without being crushed, shot, spiked, bitten, pummelled or drowned, which is why you should guard the level codes you gain with your life. As you play the game and complete certain sections. new codes appear (when you die), enabling you to start at that section again next time. They're a godsend, but also a pain when you know you only have to corn- plete one more screen to get a new code, but you can't quite make it.

RUN! RUN FOR THE HILLS!
There is indeed a lot of running away to be done in Another World. In fact, your first major task is to run away from a big black beastie. The, later on, there's plenty if running from guards. Just tell yourself discretion is the better part of valour and you'll feel better.
1. Don't just stand there dripping by the edge of the pool. Explore! Look around! Get dry, as least. Off to the left Is a jumpable ravine with a vine hanging down on the other side, but that doesn't do any good. Go right Instead.

2. Here you find these nasty Eraserhead-like leech things that drop from the roof. Don't get too close to them - they scratch, and the fluid they secrete is not entirely compatible with your system. In other words, they kill you. Kick the little bleeders - that gets rid of them. Carry on right.

3. ...where more of the leechettes attempt to get you. Kick, kick, kick. Do the Leechy Shuffle. Jump up and down on them. And then go right again.

4. But be careful here. Enter the screen slowly, because you're about to be confronted by...

5. ...this big black beastie. Remember seeing him in the background in the first scenes? Now, here's your chance to... run away! Run back the way you came as fast as your little legs can carry you. He can run faster than you, but he takes a tumble halfway.
NO, RUN AWAY FROM THE HILLS!
The most difficult run of all, though, is this one.
1. Run back to the ravine screen, jump the gap and hang onto to vine. The beastie can't get you and you just swing past him back onto the right of the gap. Keep running - the beastie won't give up. But somewhere else will get him (and you)...

2. About halfway through the game. and you've blasted the rock to tilt it up, enabling you to reach that ledge. Climb the rock and edge cautiously onto the next screen (never run onto a screen - it's fatal).

3. But it's all right - there's nothing but a couple of pits to jump. Actually, even these can cause problems if you don't concentrate. Jump them carefully.

4. There's nothing too complicated here either. Merely one very easily jumpable pit.

5. The next screen is more interesting. A huge lake of water wibbling precariously above your head and supported by that flimsy layer of rock. Blow it up, then run like hell as the water bursts out and follows you very very quickly.

6. Jump the gaps on the way back and keep going until you rech the rock screen. or you'll be drowned. You have to be bloody quick and bloody nimble, and when you fail miserable time and lime again. you'll be so overwhelmed in sheer frustration you'll threaten to tear the monitor apart with your bare hands and eat it. Really.

Another World uses polygon animation. In other words, instead of the backgrounds and the characters being hand-drawn, they're made up of polygons. This has the disadvantage of making everything look slightly blocky, but the advantages far outweigh this. The animations are very smooth because individual frames don't have to be drawn for each movement and disk accessing is reduced - there's hardly any. This is because polygons can be stored as coordinate pairs instead of as lines of data - as is usually the case. Occasionally, when you manage to complete a particularly important section, you're treated to a short full screen animation which unfolds the story a bit further. These animations are designed to look like film sequences and they really do add a touch of class to the game. There are little touches, too, that you only notice when you have played a sequence two or three times - things like speed blurs and extra sound effects.

A game with such effective graphics demands decent sound effects and, because this is a French game, this is just what you get. Samples are used throughout - big, blasting samples too: crashing sound effects and atmospheric music. The sound is also synchronized perfectly with the action, which sounds like a minor point but coordination is often missing from similar games, resulting in an irritating loss of atmosphere.

1. REMOVE ALL PACKAGING!
2. PANIC
Things whack along at a fair rate in the last stages of the game, giving it even more of the feel of a film. In one scene, you find yourself at the wheel - all right, buttons - of a large black vehicle.

Help! Press all the buttons you can see. Bet you wish you hadn't skimmed over the instruction manual now. Just what the hell is going in, anyway?

Well, officer, it's like this. There was this machines.. and I pressed a button... and away I went through the air... and now I'm here, I may as well look around.

VERDICT:
Another World combines the excitement and mystery of Monkey Island with the gloss and flair of Operation Stealth. Some of the animation sequences are truly astounding, not just technically but because of the way they're integrated into the gameplay. A lot of time and effort has obviously gone into making the game look and flow like a film.

Paradoxically, the game's too easy because it's very hard. Certain sections make you swear until yore blue in the face and demand ten or even 20 attempts for you to begin to figure out what to do, let alone consider completing them. But it's the very fact that you know you can do it, and you know that whatever comes next will be even better, that keeps you at it. As a concequence, you're furiously obsessed by the game for a week or so until you complete it - and then that's it. There's absolutely no incentive to play it again, because nothing will be different and it would be a chore rather than fun.

But what a time you have when you are playing. Another World is an experience not to be missed. If you care at all about intriguing gameplay, fabulous graphics and even better sound effects, there's no better place to find them than on Another World.

ED RICKETTS

ANOTHER WORLD
US Gold 29.99
    Hard Drive Installable

    • Another step up from operation Stealth in terms of graphics and effects, but possibly not in game-play. it's great for playing once, but...

    • Much, much better than the annoying Cruise for a Corpse, Another World is annoying too, but in a make-you-play-again way.

    • Magnificent sound effects in the best tradition of French games like Maupiti Island and Captain Blood.
STF RATING
93
%
 

 


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Page last updated: 08 July 2012
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