Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: The Da Vinci Code

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Electronic Theatre Image            No doubt you will have heard of The Da Vinci Code. Ever since Dan Brown’s controversial book about the legitimacy of the Church was released in 2003, the world has gone conspiracy mad. Since then the book has sold millions around the world and, predictably, has been made into a film. Being a blockbuster movie of no small significance, a tie-in videogame was inevitable.

            The Da Vinci Code is a 3D Third-Person Adventure game similar in some respects to the Broken Sword released on the PlayStation. Players must traverse several areas, mostly those that feature in Electronic Theatre Imagethe film, find clues and solve puzzles. The Da Vinci Code follows the plot of the film fairly closely, as well as offering extra locations to pad out the story, and places you in control of the films two leading characters; Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. Given that the film was not particularly well received by critics, how will a game overshadowed by its tie-in nature fare?

            Characters can navigate their environments in the standard manner, as well as being able to enter a Stealth Mode and run, although not for very long. Other than this the player is fairly limited in their movement with no jump or rolling functionality. Most of The Da Vinci Code involves searching for clues in various historical buildings linked to Leonardo Da Vinci and his supposed code. Although this isn’t anything that you wouldn’t expect from an Adventure game, The Da Vinci Code unfortunately lacks any real charm, mostly due to some wooden voice acting, making each search for clues seem more like a chore than an interesting experience. There are also various Context Electronic Theatre ImageSensitive segments interspersed throughout The Da Vinci Code, however these generally seem quite tacked-on, a feature not helped by ropey character animation.

            Occasionally the player will be forced into combat with various adversaries. Instead of a general Hack-N’-Slash style Fighting System, The Da Vinci Code uses a Button Sequence system, similar to that seen in Shen Mue. In general this system works quite well, however when you are faced by more than one enemy you can be interrupted mid-sequence making multiple-opponent combat frustrating. There are also many opportunities to use the Stealth Mode to eliminate foes. Most enemies can be defeated in two Stealth Attacks, however if a makeshift weapon is at hand it can be used to swiftly dispatch any potential adversaries in one blow. This makes Stealth Mode very useful, especially Electronic Theatre Imagedue to some tragic enemy AI.

            The most redeeming feature of The Da Vinci Code is easily the puzzles and codes. Although some seem unnecessarily difficult, most are well conceived and definitely the most interesting part of the title. There is also a good variation to these puzzles and they are interspersed throughout the title suitably, giving it a sense of much needed freshness. That being said, some puzzles can involve running around aimlessly looking for clues, which is never fun.

            Whilst The Da Vinci Code is playable, although hardly a huge amount of fun, it lacks the production values you might expect. The graphics employed are muddy and jagged and are well below par for the Xbox. In fact they couldn’t really be considered average even for the PlayStation2, a console that has long been performing at its peak. Far worse is the animation which frequently stutters and is totally unbelievable. There are also many other bugs such as Polygon Pop-Up and Cross Pollination which leads you to believe that The Da Vinci Code was yet another sloppy attempt to milk hype for all it’s worth. Another issue you may notice is the lack of official voiceovers for the lead characters, rather strange for such a high-profile release. As a result the voice-acting is quite poor and does nothing to inspire you to complete each task. The music is also pretty Electronic Theatre Imagedrab, making The Da Vinci Code a far worse game than it could have been had it had a decent amount of time devoted to it’s presentation.

            The Da Vinci Code has some nice ideas, and does feature numerous, decent puzzles. However the title is cursed from start-to-finish by poor presentation and, often, is downright boring gameplay. If The Da Vinci Code was given longer in development, or the developers had paid more attention the presentation, it could have been a reasonable Adventure game, but as it stands, only fans of the film should check out The Da Vinci Code, and even then they shouldn’t expect too much.Electronic Theatre Image






















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