Dark Blue Monkey
SHODAN
 
 
Look at you, hacker. A pathetic creature of meat and bone. Panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect immortal machine?
Favorite Game
Review Showcase
6.4 Hours played
Another World is one of those games that divides people squarely into "those who played it and it blew their mind", and "Those who didn't and are now looking at it thinking, 'why are all the people who played it raving about it so much?'".

In its day, AW was simply astonishing. Other games for the PC at the time simply didn't have the stylish graphics which were becoming popular on the consoles. Most stuff for the PC was either a straight 16-colour sprite-based port of an Atari / Amiga game, a simulation of some kind, or text-based. There were a few notable exceptions, but nothing which came close to touching the graphics of AW. Genuinely "next-gen" games were released for consoles, and the PC was left for the geeks.

Then along came AW. It brought proper sound, console gameplay and nice-looking graphics to the PC screen. It played like the sort of game your mates had on their NES. Not only that, but it made their NES look rubbish to boot!

So, it's 2015 now... How has it fared over the years? Well, to be honest, not bad. It's still got that stylish quality it always did, and with modern games circling back round to the "silent protagonist, plot through action, not dialog", games are looking more like the trend AW (sort of) started. Also, with the plethora of indie games bringing the graphics back from the DirectX11-fuelled power-hungry pixelfest, to a more garage-made polygonal flat texture-level, AW is looking very cosy in my steam library.

The gameplay was always fairly minimal, you can run left and right, shoot, jump (in certain places), kick, and do a rather cool alt-fire-shield-thing. The controls are even more minimal than that, with just arrows, action, and "jump". Getting used to the controls can take a few screens, as usual... All that sounds very 'meh'. Where the game pulls you in, is the story. Like a lot of "fish out of water" plot hooks, the surroundings are familiar-yet-different. On a tatooine-like planet, with nasty and good aliens, you have to navigate the linear levels, unfolding the storyline. It sometimes feels more like a stylised Visual Novel with action elements. Think of Abe's Odysee but with polygons, rather than sprites.

The beginning of the game really sets the tone of the game. The gameplay prompts you to learn three new skills on the first three screens, just to survive... then, just as you're thinking "Okay, I see where this is going", the game stops you and then the real story begins. The addition of Steam Achievements is a nice touch, as they gel nicely with the flow. As you progress through the game, each area feels different, gives you different puzzles, and it's seldom that you feel bored. If there's one gripe, it's the save feature which makes some of the harder puzzles a little repetitive. Unlike modern games which have floating boxes saying "Click this button!" and dumbed-down stuff like that, AW has an (effectively) mute sidekick who you work with in parallel to solve puzzles. The hint is usually him just pointing at something then running off, leaving you to figure it out. It's frustrating when you die, then have to re-watch a short (2-4s) cutscene, or re-do a simple task that can take 20 seconds, only to run onto a screen with something hard, and die in 1 or 2 seconds. Rinse, Repeat 4, 5, 10 times..... It's quite old-school in that way, and some of the puzzles do make you grind your teeth as you have to re-start for the umpteenth time. But it's immensely satisfying when you do get it, and find that (unlike Prince of Persia), the next section is completely different.

The ending hints towards a sequel, and I know I, and many of my friends were absolutely gutted that one never appeared in the UK. They apparently made a sort-of-follow-on for the SEGA, but it never appeared on the PC properly.

All-in-all, this is a very finely crafted game. The 25th anniversary edition upgrades the graphics, and tweaks the gameplay in minuscule ways, but doesn't affect the charm at all. My advice is to clear your diary for an evening, shut the door, turn out the lights, grab a can of Cola, and settle in for a jolly good adventure.

I ended up buying this game three times. The original, the anniversary, and then again on Steam, I love it that much. I've probably completed it four or five times too. A wonderful, atmospheric, stylish well-paced, well thought through game. I can heartily recommend it.
Favorite Guide
Created by - Dark Blue Monkey
12 ratings
Silk is a wonderful re-visit of the feel of RPG games of yesteryear. This manual is an attempt to create a 1980s style retro manual. Playing it in the old school style, with pen and paper brings back all those wonderful feelings we had in the 80s of discov
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Awards Given
Recent Activity
128 hrs on record
last played on Jul 14
27 hrs on record
last played on Jun 17
Comments
Dark Blue Monkey Jun 27, 2014 @ 2:46pm 
:-) I love stuff...
JudderMonkey Jun 27, 2014 @ 2:27pm 
That was a remarkably quick jump from "I use this online store to buy games, what is this trading card thing that I will be sniffy about" to suddenly having crafted many badges. :)