18 March 2014

A New Beginning (2010)

Game score: 80%
Platform: Steam, PC

A New Beginning is a classic point-and-click adventure made by Daedalic Entertainment in 2010. I've recently played and completed it and I wanted to share my thoughts about it with you. Also, it's currently on a week-long sale on Steam so you can save some money if you decide to get it.

The story of A New Beginning is set in the future where Earth is devastated by climate changes and human kind is facing extinction. A group of scientists sets up a team, provides them with a time travelling device and gives them a mission: go back in time and prevent the disaster! Their goal is Bent Svensson, an eco-scientist who "invented" blue-green algae that can supply enough energy to power the entire world... but is unfortunate enough to live in the time where money is everything and is impossible to fight the nuclear energy tycoons who pull all the strings. That time is late 20th century. During the game you will be playing with two characters: Fay, a radio-operator from the future and Bent Svensson, the scientist I mentioned before. You don't get to pick a character to control, instead the game switches from one to the other as the story progresses.

As I said, it's a typical point-and-click adventure with an incredibly simple interface and controls - right mouse button brings up the inventory on the bottom of the screen, while left mouse button moves your character and offers actions for highlighted objects. That's it - simple and easy. The puzzles in the game range from super easy to normal, they are rather logical and there are never too many available rooms in the same time, so getting stuck is nearly impossible. The only problem may be caused by the infamous pixel hunting, but it's far from annoying as in some other adventures. If I remember right, I only had problems with two items I couldn't see and one was at the very beginning.

Voice acting is average. Some lines are rather good, but most are plain average. Same goes with graphics - it's just average. Cut scenes are made in a comic book fashion with "low frame rate" and the rest... well, look at the screenshots I posted. However, this being an adventure game, neither the sound nor graphics are all that important!

It took me about 9 hours to complete the game and if it wasn't for a bug I encountered I may have been even quicker. The bug I mentioned was at the very end when I had to connect some wires to get specific numbers, but after about 45 minutes of futile reconfiguring, I gave up and looked up the solution online. I was puzzled when I saw the solution because I already tried it and it didn't work. It did, after a reload. The other bugs are mainly language errors: when you click on an object you might get possible actions in a language different than the one you chose, but it really is a minor thing.

Overall, it's a fun game. It has its flaws, but its simplicity makes it fun. The story progresses fast enough to make you want to see what comes next and that's what's really important. Steam version has 28 achievements and they are all rather easy to get if you don't skip mini games and explore everything on the screen.

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