A game where pretty much everything went wrong.
It's impossible to discuss Moebius
without sounding cruel, but they say honesty is its own reward, so here we go.
First of all, the game is hideous
. Not just "not very pretty", not "outdated", but positively hideous. The kitschy 2D art is sort of acceptable if you close one eye; the poor 3D models and inexplicably terrible animations, however, are not. Either the artists are aliens who never saw a real human being, or they are simply people stuck doing a job they have absolutely no talent for. The ugliness permeating the game is unbearable.
But okay, looks aren't everything; let's be mature and look past that. How does it play? Well, badly. Everything is stilted, unresponsive and seems to be plodding through a thick layer of mud; even the simplest actions take half an eternity punctuated by random pauses. And speaking of actions, let's discuss puzzles. By and large, they are oversimplified to a point that's almost insulting, and yet still manage to make little to no sense:
1. There is an object lying in the corner of a dark alley. Malachi will happily come right next to it, but won't pick it up, because it's too dark, and you need to fix a streetlamp first. It's a brick.
2. A cut lanyard is fixed with superglue. Lanyard. Superglue. Seriously.
A bizarre addition to the traditional formula is that Malachi won’t pick up objects until he knows where he’d like to use them, with precisely one result: backtracking guaranteed, which really doesn’t play nice with the lumbering pace of it all. And dear lord, the whole thing ends with an honest to goodness maze
. In an adventure game. I thought the nineties taught us never to do that again, but apparently I was mistaken. So. Dull.
But alright, alright, who cares about puzzles. Characters and story, that's what adventure games are all about! – Well, that is the worst thing. When I first learned what the overreaching plot was, I burst out laughing. Not because it is particularly funny, but because it is absolutely ludicrous. Sure, Gabriel Knight 3
and Gray Matter
got sort of silly towards the end, but Moebius
gets to that point about one third in and never stops going until it dissolves in a raging torrent of crazy (and painfully sexist to boot). And as far as characters are concerned, while I sort of want to appreciate the romance angle that’s going on in here, everyone in the game is so very wooden, whether it’s talking about the models, voice acting or writing, that it’s like watching two robots trying to learn what this “emotions” thing was all about. And failing, just like everything else in Moebius
is wont to do.
Oh, well. I backed this on Kickstarter; clearly, nobody's perfect.