The Daedalus Encounter

Developer: Mechadeus
Publisher:  Virgin Interactive

Often named as one of the best (and I use that term loosely) FMV games, the Daedalus Encounter had the rare distinction of actually being granted a decent budget for the time and for better or worse, it kind of shows.

For starters, they seemed to have hired B-list Hollywood actress Tia Carrere, though honestly I had no idea who she was, it wasn't until I checked her IMDB page that I learned she played Cassandra from Wayne's World and while I mean no disrespect to Ms. Carrere, the truth is anyone could've played her role, it's not like there's much to work with in the first place, but maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

You play as Casey, a poor sod who right at the end of an intergalactic war is nearly killed and has his brain placed inside a ship, serving as a sort of A.I. it sounds cool in theory, but the reality is you never actually do anything, you see your two shipmates interact and occasionally you have to solve a puzzle or two, most of the time your pay-off is that you got to open a door for your squad mates...yippee.

Honestly... there's really not much to the 'gameplay', most of the game is just you watching a low budget movie, I'll give credit where credit is due, both actors are actually trying, Zack does get some funny line and the overall cheesiness is pretty fun at first, I especially loved how the ship's cockpit uses office chairs that creek every now and again or when you see Zack drinking from a water container with his bare hands but they actually never get wet.

With that said, the cheese value does wear out its welcome, I reached a point where seeing two actors acting on a green screen filled with bad 90's CGI just stopped being entertaining (crazy I know) and it probably didn't help that the puzzles got way too hard for me later on.

Honestly, I wouldn't really recommend this game to anyone, you might as well just watch a playthrough a YouTube, at least then the puzzles won't frustrate you.

Pros:
- So cheesy even the syfy channel would find something to cringe about
- The actors are pretty decent and they manage to sneak in a few funny lines
- It does seem to have a decent budget for the time
- It has Tia Carrere! Who's Tia Carrere? I don't know, but the game won't rest until you know she's in this thing

Cons:
- The cheesiness eventually wears out its welcome
- The fact that it had a higher budget means it's not as cheesy as it could have been
- The puzzles get pretty frustrating later on
- You never really feel that you contributed anything to the plot
- Okay! I get it! You hired Tia Carrere

Final Grade: D

The first time I saw the boxart I thought this was a budget re-release of the game, after all, why else would it have that ugly dark green border? But nope, this is a first print edition of the PAL release.

As for the cover itself it's... okay, it's pretty much what you'd expect from an FMV game, real people wearing a costume or an outfit, posing in front of a green screen, what I don't quite get is why do our characters have a white outline? I'm guessing Photoshop hadn't been invented yet.

Inside you'll find a one page hint book, a 17 page manual and 3 CDs, the hint book is very bare bones giving you information that applies to just about every FMV and adventure game out there, the manual fares a bit better though, it tells you a little of the game's backstory and it's just as cheesy as you might expect, you'll also find some basic information on how to use the controls and that's a good thing because the game's tutorial leaves a bit to be desired.

Packaging Grade: C-

1 comment:

  1. A half decent relic from a mostly forgotten era? That's different.

    ReplyDelete