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Tue 22nd Nov 2005
By David Whyld - See all my reviews
You play the part of a thief who has stolen a priceless painting and has decided to ‘escape to New York’ with it. Only you’ve had the slight misfortune to book yourself passage on a ship that’s soon due to have a rather serious encounter with an iceberg… yep, you’re on the Titanic.
By far the most annoying aspect of the game for me was the way the player will often talk out loud to himself, like:
"Three days lost!" you mutter to yourself. "I could have been having a look at all those first class cabins, with all that loot waiting to be liberated!" Aside from making him come across as some overly dramatic loony, it’s also kind of strange that the player is even concerned over the loot he could be ‘liberating’. After all, he’s just stolen a priceless painting. Why risk getting arrested when he already has all the money he’ll ever need?
Although that sort of thing tends to be present throughout the rest of the game as well. Despite having a priceless painting in his possession, the player makes a point of stealing everything he can get his hands on, even though there’s a cop on board the ship who’s already suspicious of him. Wouldn’t it have been wiser to just lie low?
The game ended suddenly for me quite a few times, and often just as I was thinking it might have been a good idea to save my position. As the default ADRIFT end game system is used, that means no quick bashing of the UNDO command to return you to the action. Annoying.
Characterisation is generally pretty poor. The NPCs never really seem believable, although it isn’t helped that several of them are just referred to as ‘bursar’ and ‘barber’. Others tend to move around the ship in a very set fashion and will often wander away partway through a conversation with you. Dialogue with them is stunted and they tend to display all the warmth of cardboard cut outs.
Escape From New York wasn’t a terrible game by any means but it wasn’t one I particularly warmed to, either. The woodenness of the NPCs, the frequent death of the player and similar problems prevented me enjoying it any more.
4 out of 10