a few years ago hardcore adventure gamers would praise
text-only games by US-based developer Infocom like
the best thing since sliced bread. Even today these
classics of gaming history are regarded as special
treasures by connoisseurs of the games, with the shelves
the boxes sit on being worshipped like shrines. In
those days the adventure experts at Infocom concentrated
on witty dialogue and sophisticated plots instead
of spectacular graphics or pompous soundtracks. Back
then there was only one company whose games would
be a match for Infocom quality-wise: british games
developer Magnetic Scrolls. After the demise of the
text-only genre Magnetic Scrolls and their front-woman
Anita Sinclair vanished from the face of the gaming
industry and it was only last year that the Magnetic
Scrolls crew finally announced their plans for a new
game: The Legacy.
The Legacy Magnetic Scrolls made a preliminary departure
from the adventure genre and decided to
jump onto the speeding RPG-train instead. Looking
back at their illustrious past it's not surprising
that Magnetic Scrolls weren't satisfied with just
releasing an 'ordinary' RPG - they had something a
little more special in mind. The setting and plot,
for a start, are rather unusual. Instead of developing
a fantasy- or scifi-RPG, the designers went for the
relatively fresh and unused horror genre.
just inherited a magnificent mansion in New England
you naturally want to check out your new property.
Unfortunately strange happenings are going on in the
estate. Hordes of monsters, ghosts, zombies and other
supernatural creatures are haunting the mansion. Your
task in the game is not only to put an end to the
roaming undead beings, utilizing weapons like flame-throwers,
machine guns, pistols and PSI-powers, but to also
get out of the house alive.
you start the game you can either choose one of the
already pre-made characters, or
create a completely new hero by distributing bonus points
to various character stats. Later in the game you can boost
your characters' abilities by distributing gathered experience
points to your characters' stats.
not only the, for an RPG, relatively unusual horror-setting
makes the game stand out, also from a technical point of view
Magnetic Scrolls have reached deep into their bag of tricks.
The whole user interface of The Legacy, for example, is obviously
inspired by the Windows operating system. One window displays
your environment in 3D-graphics, another window contains a
map, a third window lets you look at the character sheet,
a fourth window is reserved for the room descriptions, and
so on. Each and every window can be altered in its size and
arranged on the screen in any way you want. While some gamers
open all of the info-windows and arrange them around the 3D-window,
other exorcists prefer just one, big window showing the gaming
environment. Another technical treat are the graphics: the
corridors and monsters have been created using a sophisticated
3D-modelling process. While this is certainly nice to look
at the disadvantage is quite obvious: the loading times in
the game are unbearably long. Only if you've got enough memory
available to install a hard-drive-cache you'll be able to
wander through the haunted mansion with acceptable speed.
E R D I C T
game features a fresh genre, a sophisticated window-environment
and beautiful graphics, auto-mapping, a complex skill-system,
a rich, puzzle-oriented plot.
loading times, despite great graphics the monster-animations
leave a lot to be desired, the difficulty-level increases
greatly in later parts of the game.