The land that PC gaming forgot.
For years now, people have been asking why there are so few games like Final
Fantasy on the PC. The answer has something to do with silly demographic
reports, but don’t tell that to the folks at Eidos and Ion Storm. Their upcoming
RPG, Anachronox, looks to take the successes of the console games and
move ’em on to the greater potential of the PC.
Stone. The Ark of the Covenant. Dinosaur bones. Bah! Pieces of garbage. These
“artifacts” pale in comparison to Mysterium Technology, or MysTech. What exactly
is MysTech, and why is is so great? Who knows. It’s supposed to do something
REALLY impressive, and I bet some long-dead Alien race is behind it all.
But this much I do know – MysTech has something to do with the ancient
city of Anachronox. This seemingly difficult to pronounce city has crumbled
away, destroyed by plague and left to waste.
Among the ashes lies Sylvester “Sly” Boots. Sylvester Boots has a money problem (kind of like Sylvester Stallone if he keeps on making bad movies). The only solution for Sylvester is to get a job, but somehow he finds himself embroiled in a quest to uncover the mystery of MysTech.
Anachronox is an RPG running on a heavily tweaked version of the Quake
II engine. But rather than lining up your crosshairs to frag, movement is
handled through the happy marriage of third person control coupled with a point
and click interface. It’s similar to the kind of thing found in adventure gaming
and it’s very smart. For example, walk up to some colorful alien and your ‘arrow’
will appear. Click that extraterrestrial and youÂ¹ll start talking to it. ‘Natch.
There’s even a clever rationalization on why there’s a pointer flying about.
Apparently, this ‘pointer’ is actually Sly’s dead secretary, Fatima Doohan,
digitized into a Cordicom LifeCursor. I gots to get me one of those!
You can control up to three characters at a time, with a total of seven to
eventually choose from. One of them, the eldery maniac Grumpos Matavastros,
has a skill called "Yammer" that allows him to annoy people into giving
up valuable pieces of information. And they say old people aren’t useful…
The battle sequences mirror traditional console based RPGs, with an arena of
baddies facing off against your heroes. But rather than weaving your way through
menus, you can now enjoy the ease of mouse activated screens. Watch as you zoom
your way through battle commands and item inventories with ease. Battle are
turn-based but with a timing element, akin to the Active Time system of Final
And rather than the traditional FMV’s that console RPGs are smack full of,
Anachronox uses impressive real-time animation. Throw in some dynamic
camera angles and shots, a stirring score with sound effects and voices
with actual lip synchronization (woo-hoo!), and youÂ¹ve got all the ingredients
for some seriously immersive role-playing shenanigans.
Anachronox looks to take some familiar console RPG conventions and
bring them into the world of PC gaming. A gorgeous 3D world and a science fiction
story with the just the right touches of humor make it one to keep an eye on.
Hopefully, all the pieces will come together and Sly will be a Rocky
rather than a Judge Dredd.