by Ingvi Snædal
reviewed on PC
Lack of polish
As this is a new-and-improved extended version of a game that was released three years ago, one would expect a higher grade of polish. I’m not talking about Battlefield 3 grade graphics or Skyrim style sound editing, but one would at least have expected the developers to fix up the spelling or gotten rid of some of the graphical bugs that make suspension of disbelief virtually impossible. When playing as Lara for the first time, standing outside the Interpol headquarters in Lyon is a mishmash of visual annoyances. The flags in the background, for instance, not only wave at different speeds, but in different directions. Unless the laws of aerodynamics have changed drastically since flight school, I would say that 5 flags standing in a straight line, spaced about 2 meters apart, should all be flying in the same direction. In the same area, when talking to the security guard, his hands keep passing through his hip bone as he shifts positions. Stuff like that is ever present throughout the game and would have been easy to fix. Having two years to do so leaves the developer no excuse.
Despite the pointlessness of Lara’s first chapter and the numerous amateurish visual rough spots, as soon as you take control of Max Durant, you are in for a treat. You are sent into the Hermatige museum to investigate a possible theft. Needless to say, things escalate from there and the game becomes very interesting. That is what I love about point-and-click adventures. Even though the graphics are lackluster and the voice acting is downright dreadful, if the story is strong enough, the game ultimately stands tall. The story is the core of the game, the alpha-and-omega of its success, and this game scores high on that front.
Masterful and clever
This review may sound negative to you, as most of it has been spent griping about what is wrong with Memento Mori. This is simply because I cannot divulge the details of the plot, the complexities of the story, the masterful way in which the player’s choices impact the course of events, or the clever puzzles that will challenge even the most experienced player, without spoiling the fun for you.
If you like a challenging point-and-click adventure and are willing to suffer through a weak opening chapter, voice acting that will make you want to rely solely on the subtitles, and graphics that remind you of that Computer Graphics course assignment your nephew showed you for which you politely nodded, put on a fake smile, and said: “That’s nice, son,” then Memento Mori is definitely a game for you. In fact, I will go one step further and state that if you dismiss the game on account of what I have stated above, then perhaps this is simply not your genre.
Intriguing narrative, great story, challenging puzzles, superbly designed plotline.
Dreadful voice acting, lackluster visuals, weak opening chapter.