Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Montague’s Mount

The launch of Montague’s Mount has crept up on gamers due to a rather subtle Steam Greenlight campaign. A videogame that has been championed for it’s support of Oculus Rift over it’s own inherent design, Montague’s Mount is likely to surprise many players, and in […]
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Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageThe launch of Montague’s Mount has crept up on gamers due to a rather subtle Steam Greenlight campaign. A videogame that has been championed for it’s support of Oculus Rift over it’s own inherent design, Montague’s Mount is likely to surprise many players, and in Electronic Theatre’s experience this is never anything less than a good thing.

The videogame begins with our intrepid explorer – the player – waking alone on a beach surrounded by debris that clearly indicates human passage. A fisherman washed ashore, he is unaware of how he arrived at this location, Electronic Theatre Imagenor how to return to civilisation, things take a sudden turn for the worse when the player’s character realises that some untoward activities have taken place on this island. Your mission is simply to escape, however Montague’s Mount isn’t about tearing across the landscape, weapon in hand, bashing anything you see into bloody pulp. Montague’s Mount is a slow-paced adventure videogame wherein the suspense is infinitely more important than the actual encounters.

The videogame’s art direction is simply fantastic. Beginning with a black and white visual, colour slowly bleeds back into the landscape as you regain consciousness. Progressing from a dazed, wounded survivor to a fearful adventurer is a portrait painted so effortlessly by the grainy filter and automated motion Electronic Theatre Imageof the player’s viewpoint and such techniques are used throughout the videogame to offer indication of emotion far greater than any cutscene ever could.

While your overarching objective – escape the island – is obvious, the path to success is not so clear cut. Montague’s Mount delivers it’s objectives by way of obvious sign-posting, literally; rather than offer objectives via on-screen furniture everything is embedded in the world around you. This begins by following a path of glowing notes telling you exactly what the problem is and how to overcome it. The signposting feels a little patronising at the start but things soon ease up and the player is left to their own invention.

The core experience of Montague’s Mount is to follow a linear path and solve puzzles along the way. In typical point-n’-click fashion this can involve collecting items or solving switch puzzles, and the difficulty curve is most certainly the weakest aspect of Montague’s Mount. Early puzzles are far too simple to offer any kind of challenge and yet not too long downElectronic Theatre Image the road things become vastly more taxing without prior warning. Puzzles can operate on a single instance or continue through multiple layers, and it’s this second assortment that can often prove frustrating should the player not realise what is lying ahead when beginning the challenge fresh.

It’s easy to invest in Montague’s Mount and rewarding to do so. Its minor flaws with regards to difficulty are easily overlooked when the tension of the experience as a whole is taken into account. Every corner hides something different and it’s this variety that pulls you through, aching to find what lies beyond this challenge, and the next, and the next. At it’s most basic level Montague’s Mount is a first-person point-n’-click title, but to boil it down to such a formulaic interpretation is to miss the greatest of it’s achievements: throughout your journey you genuinely fear what lies in wait.

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