On the surface, Robinson's Requiem appears to be an incredibly rich, detailed adventure with a good background story, 3D environment and interesting challenges. But once you dig beneath that surface, you begin to uncover an innate problem that detracts from the enjoyment of the game. The game simply goes overboard in presenting obstacles in the guise of innumerable diseases and infections to contract and offers untold opportunities to do your character bodily harm. Fighting predators and hostile environmental conditions every step of the way begins to wear on you to the point of distraction. You'll spend an inordinate amount of time monitoring your character's vital statistics from fevers to wounds and an equal amount of time searching for cures and the general staples of survival like matches and shelter.
Robinson's Requiem is played almost entirely with the mouse by clicking on a movement panel (directional arrows) with options to run and crawl. There are keyboard shortcuts you can use and more detailed movement can be accomplished with combination keystrokes. The scenery flows by as you move in a first-person perspective but the graphics tend to be pixelated and blocky, especially when you get too close to objects and surroundings. You navigate the game by utilizing ten action icons: map, computer (your character's), use, manufacture, dress, give treatment, eat, sleep, fight and inventory. Items have multiple displays to show usage and condition. Adding to the difficulty, certain items can and must be combined to create useful composites. For example, needle + thread + animal skin -> clothing. You'll have to become familiar with using a compass and monitoring various degrees of health. In fact, there are nine separate levels of activity that affect your heart-rate and temperature and can impact on your fitness. Walking, running, crawling, limping, swimming, navigating (rafting), fishing, fainting and sleeping all contribute varying degrees of stress to your physical (and mental) condition. The fight mode consists mainly of aiming with the mouse after careful selection from a variety of weapons such as a laser, bow, knife or spear each with specific assigned characteristics.
On the plus side, the game comes with a booklet issued to all AWE agents. Full of useful information and advice, it contains a wealth of data about your computer (the SESAME), medical kits, standard exploration equipment, survival techniques and principles, a mission report regarding Zarathustra (the alien world you're stuck on) and even a class picture so you can put faces behind the names of your comrades who share your predicament. Robinson's Requiem is an interesting game, albeit a bit quirky and will require some patience to deal with the minor annoyances. But there is a good game lurking here somewhere. Novices beware, this one isn't a walk in the park.
Graphics: High marks for varied landscapes and environment but low on the quality. Too often the "look" gets distorted by blocky or pixelated views. Difficult at times to see where you are in relation to your surroundings.
Sound: A mixed bag. Sound effects are surprisingly good with realistic Doppler effects but music is nondescript and doesn't add much.
Enjoyment: A very complex game and even though it's all about survival, the very process at times is too intense and gets in the way of adventuring and fully exploring the landscapes. It's difficult to truly enjoy the experience when your character is destined to die at the drop of a poison or germ infested leaf.
Replay Value: Could be worth a second look using different setup circumstances (level of difficulty, weather, disease impact, etc.).
In the far future humanity has achieved faster-than-light space travel, but the galaxy is still a big unknown place. To chart the stars and planets explorers named "Robinsons" are sent on scouting tours of duty. Most of the time the Robinsons sent away are individuals deemed dangerous to society and whose ships are sabotaged.
You play one of these Robinsons who gets stranded on a mysterious alien planet on which a telepathic woman is also stranded. As it turns out she knows a way to get off the planet, but she needs your help to escape.
Gameplay consists of first person roleplaying with the emphasis placed on character modeling and survival. Take a dip when it's cold and you'll sure catch the flu, don't treat an infected injury and amputation is on the way, etc. You must fashion your own tools from whatever you can find on the planet and the game uses pre-rendered sprites over voxel technology terrain for graphics.
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