Lost: The Video Game
Lost: The Video Game is a release that promises so much, but literally delivers very little. The idea of the game is simple - to introduce a new survivor of Oceanic Flight 815 who has complete memory loss, the objective being to use the customary Lost flashbacks to regain his past, while interacting on an extremely basic, superficial level with the characters and events of the first two seasons of the TV show.
On the plus side, you get a fantastically detailed rendering of the Island, which manages to include most of the landmarks and points of interest seen in the show. Also a Good Thing is that this is all held together with a modern day reimagining on the point-and-click adventure, making Lost: The Video Game very much unlike anything else you've played on Xbox 360 or PS3. More than that, in terms of the game narrative, I went from not giving any semblance of a toss about the main character to getting pretty involved in his storyline and very eager to see it through to the end to find out his fate.
On the minus side, the game itself does little (indeed, almost nothing) to add to the Lost mythos, failing to provide any additional background or 'answers' in stark contrast to some of the other spin-off media. More than that, the Lost cast come across as mannequins, rarely actually doing anything, barely even moving from the spot until you've solved the next puzzle. The voice acting is a real mixed bag - the impressions of Hurley and Charlie in particular being awful.
More than that though, you'll take no part in the 'A missions' of Jack, Kate, or any one else on the island, you'll have next to no appreciable dealings with the Others and your route across the Island is strictly predetermined to the point that at times it feels as though you're on an official sightseer's tourist bus. And to emphasise what an action-free zone this game really is, I completed it by firing just three bullets, only one of those at an actual person. Somehow I don't recall fiddling with fuse boxes being a major component of the TV show, but bizarrely there's plenty of that in the game.
Content-wise the games are the same but technically speaking, the Xbox 360 version is considerably better than its PlayStation 3 sibling. Neither game is particularly impressive in terms of frame-rate, but the PS3 version definitely lags behind, not just in terms of refresh speed but also in the introduction of annoying screen tear which is far less prevalent on the Microsoft console. It's yet another game that 'benefits' from the PS3 Vaseline effect, whereby the 4x multi-sample anti-aliasing of the 360 game is replaced by a blur that attempts to simulate the same effect. The thing is, though, that being an adventure game the slow pace of the action means that the difference between a decent 3D engine and a not-quite so impressive one make little difference, although the level of v-lock screen tear on PS3 can be really off-putting at times.
But regardless, even after reading Tom's review I'm really struggling to see the point of this game, nor why I bothered playing it through to completion for anything other than the cheap/fast gamerscore boost - which obviously, you don't get on PS3. The impenetrable situations and dialogue make the game a mystery for Lost newcomers, while the lack of 'answers', the terribly shallow usage of the characters, plus the feeling that you're being purposefully kept away from the exciting happenings on the Island won't endear this much to hardcore Losties either. Indeed, it's now got to the point where the whole plot (including the one new area not seen on the TV show) can be viewed on YouTube.
Still, six hours of gameplay for (in my case) 985 gamerscore isn't bad at all, so for 360 owners it's well worth a rental for a night or two of leisurely gaming and a welcome points boost. But bearing in mind its undeniable lack of depth, the paucity of any real action, and barely any replay value, I'm not sure at all how it justifies itself in any way as a full price purchase.
Previously, on Eurogamer.net...
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