Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Advent Rising

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre Image              On the shelves that hold your games collection there is almost certainly at least one Third-Person Action game lurking about. Hardly surprising since the genre encompasses everything from 50Cent: Bulletproof to GUN, Beat Down: Fists Of Vengeance to Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith. These days almost every film tie-in can fit into this group, prompting some to suggest that the genre has reached its’ saturation point, and considering the state of such unoriginal tragedies as Predator: Concrete Jungle, this hardly seems an outrageous statement. However, the genre does allow players to experience game worlds in a much more movie-like way than can be offered by almost any other, giving it a huge range of gaming possibilities. Utilising one of the slightly more obvious uses of a Third-Person Action game, a Science-Fiction Shooter, Advent Rising has been released simultaneously for PC and Xbox. Although boasting a far more generous line-up than Nintendo’s seemingly-almost-dead GameCube, the arrival of the Xbox360 has meant a decline in support for Microsoft’s original big black box. Is Advent Rising the game to send the Xbox out with a bang? Or has that task been assigned to the much anticipated releases of Driver: Parallel Lines, Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider: Legend and FarCry: Instincts: The Next Chapter?

Advent Rising has stolen almost everything from Sci-Fi games and films. Everything from Star Wars to Halo: Combat Evolved has been looted for it’s entertainment value and as such Advent Rising Electronic Theatre Imagehas managed to make a half decent gaming experience, despite not featuring anything you haven’t seen a million times before. The games premise is that an unstoppable legion of aliens is out to destroy humanity; does that remind you of another Xbox game? A brief stint in the games decently incorporated Warthog-esque buggy the Scythe and the realisation that if you hide from enemy fire for a while your health returns should jog your memory. The game also implements an array of psychic abilities, including an easy to use Telekinetic Power which is almost a carbon copy of the system used in Midway’s Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy and CodeMasters/Free Radical’s Second Sight. However, despite cheekily robbing most of its content from its peers, Advent Rising does implement these systems well and aside from feeling a little like a jack of all trades, is still quite fun to play.

There are two main things that you first notice about Advent Rising. The first is the epic Cut-Scenes, complete with an orchestral score, huge space battles and to-the-death duels. The second is the atrocious Frame-Rate problems that occur during them. This is unfortunate because Advent Rising seems convinced of its own quality as a Sci-Fi blockbuster and, for the first few seconds, you will be too. Once Electronic Theatre Imagethe Cut-Scene has finished, the game starts and for the most part, plays fairly well. Your character, Gideon Wyeth, can jump, dive and crouch in a similar way to what you would expect, and didn’t receive in the illustrious Perfect Dark Zero. He can also dual wield a selection of guns and later on, psychic powers. In order to do this you can assign a gun or power to each of the triggers. For instance, if you fancy a Machine Gun/Rocket Launcher combo, you could it set up so the L Trigger fires the Rocket Launcher and the R Trigger the Machine Gun. What about a Pistol/Force Push mixture? If that floats your boat, go for it. Whilst changing weapon the game slows to a crawl, this time intentionally, to allow you to set-up your hardware as you see fit. Although hardly an amazing innovation, this method of gives you a huge range of weaponry options and means that at the very least, you can have some serious fun with a Rocket Launcher in each hand. Unfortunately, Advent Rising’s Auto Lock-On feature can dampen some of the weaponries enjoyment, as often it seems more than a little temperamental. As you move around the Levels, the game automatically targets the most obvious enemy. This works reasonably well for the most part but there is no option to easily turn it on and off; not that handy when all you really want to do is run away. Later in the title, when you gain Telekinetic Powers, you are able to move inanimate objects in order to throw them at your enemies. Unfortunately Auto Lock-On also locks with these which can make travel in some of the game’s more crowded areas quite the chore.

Advent Rising also features some limited RPG elements: if you use a weapon for a prolonged Electronic Theatre Imageamount of time, you will increase in Rank with that weapon, eventually getting access to that weapons Secondary Function. Although not in anyway as well implemented or extensive as the system used in the like of the NES’s Shadowgate or the upcoming The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, it does add a little variety to this otherwise by-the-numbers title. Unfortunately most of the time the enemy AI does not really pose you too much of a problem and there are several occasions when enemies become confused and get stuck in walls. In-fact, despite initially seeming like a game backed with a solid budget, it becomes very apparent that Advent Rising is a game that is not finished. Countless bugs litter Advent Rising, including instances of Polygon Pop-Up, melodramatic Hollywood-scripting, Polygon Cross-Pollination and Frame-Rate issues. However, for some reason the game still remains reasonably playable, and, above all; enjoyable.

When the various graphical glitches are not present, Advent Rising does look reasonably nice. TheElectronic Theatre Image graphical quality of the game makes a change from the ever increasing made-for-PlayStation2 multi-format garbage that plagues the Microsoft’s original console, an issue that is bound to escalate with most First and Second-Party productions going next-gen. Although the Cut-Scenes do jerk significantly, often resulting with the subtitles limply fitting with the speech at the best of times, a little flexibility that can be afforded to the developers since they have managed to disguise almost all of the games loading times within the FMV’s. The Cut-Scenes themselves are also suitably epic, which is a real plus in a game that relies heavily on its movie like story-telling. Advent Rising also boasts some incredibly expansive Levels which really shine when travelled though in the Scythe. Advent Rising’s sound however, has few flaws. The game is backed by a well produced orchestral score which does nothing but enhance the games movie-like theme. The Voice-Acting is also better than the average, despite a few lines seeming a little cheesy. In addition most of the weapons available to the player give out a decently meaty sound when fired.

To be honest, Advent Rising is a funny sort of package. While none of its concepts are particularly Electronic Theatre Imagenew, they do, despite their initial tacked on feel, actually work together. The game allows you a lot of freedom in your weaponry and psychic powers and you will find many different ways of completing the games reasonably lengthy storyline. You can also appreciate the games full on attempt to be a Sci-Fi movie with a story that, while occasionally not entirely explaining itself, is reasonably interesting and of a higher quality than the average videogame. However there is significant evidence to suggest that Advent Rising was rushed for release. As mentioned, there are obvious graphical, AI and scripting problems which do decrease your enjoyment of this title. In its defence, Advent Rising is stated as the first part of a trilogy. If Majesco learn from the mistakes that they have made in their first chapter, whilst carrying-on with the great Dual-Wielding System, excellent FMVs and decent storyline, there may still be a good reason to own an Xbox.Electronic Theatre Image






















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