The storyline of Psygnosis's Ecstatica has all the elements of a classic horror film. A spooky town, an unsuspecting victim, surreal characters, a twisted plot and blood and gore. From the moment your character sets foot in the village of Tirich, the mayhem and mystery begins. If you're not real quick on the uptake, chances are you'll be attacked, either whipped and tortured, or bludgeoned to death within the first few minutes of the game. There is no shortage of demonic entities willing and waiting to welcome you to town in their own special way. In fact, throughout Ecstatica you'll be constantly fighting for your gaming life, terrified by what lurks around the next corner. In a horror game this is usually to be expected but in this case, you are attacked so often that simple survival becomes paramount at times to solving the mystery and watching the plot unfold. And these aren't you're normal, dime a dozen cute demons, either -- they make rude noises, take delight in stabbing, whipping and bludgeoning you as you hang helplessly upside down and joke with each other all the while.
Graphically, Ecstatica uses a technology, Ellipsoid, that was innovative at the time of the game's release. It's reminiscent of polygonal visuals but with all the sharp edges rounded off. The characters, items and landscapes are made up of connected ovals and create an unusual, at times surreal, environment. Movement in Ecstatica can be a chore at times partly due to the control system but mostly due to the fluctuating camera angles that besiege you throughout the game. It's not unusual to step into a room and suddenly have to become acclimated to four different viewpoints as you move through it. And as soon as a nasty demon challenges you (or ambushes you) to a fight (and they will, over and over), you've got your hands full not only aiming and positioning your character exactly right, but adjusting perspective as soon as he whacks you a couple of times and causes you to move out of one camera's angle into another. The movement interface relies on the use of direction keys with function keys providing additional means to control aspects such as speed and stealth.
The music and sound in Ecstatica is generally well done. There is a definite story to flesh out although getting to it takes patience and coordination as you fight or run your way through the extensive supernatural population of Tirich. The game isn't overly long and most moderately capable game players can finish it in less than 20-30 hours. Be advised that Ecstatica is filled with violence, torture and sadistic demons and spares little in the way of blood and gore.
Graphics: Ellipsoidal features are innovative but can cause problems when searching for specific items. Definitely a new look at the time of release. General landscape and town features are well done and the game is visually appealing.
Sound: Music and sound effects are quality features as are the voices.
Enjoyment: Too much emphasis on just surviving from one spot to the next in the game. Wouldn't be so bad if the controls and camera angles during fighting sequences weren't so difficult to manage. Less fighting and more time to enjoy the story would have been preferable.
Replay Value: Not too much point in redoing it unless you just like being beat up on by hordes of demons.
Ecstatica is a 3D graphic adventure, where you must free a the young sorceress Ecstatica from the unholy spell cast by vile supernatural forces. The peaceful village of Tirich was invaded by horrifying monsters. You are a lonely adventurer looking for shelter who finds himself in the role of a hero who must awaken Ecstatica, save the village and its inhabitants, and defeat the forces of darkness who are pulling the triggers behind the scene.
This is a survival horror game, somewhat similar in gameplay style to Alone in the Dark. Walk around and examine your environment, gather materials you need to solve puzzles--and gather weapons to defend yourself against the minions of evil. The hero can walk, sneak (in order to avoid fighting monsters) or run. He fights in real time, striking with melee, and later also long-ranged weapons, and parrying the opponents' hits when necessarily.
People who downloaded Ecstatica have also downloaded:
Ecstatica 2, Discworld, EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus, Discworld Noir, Discworld 2: Mortality Bytes, EcoQuest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest, Darkseed, Darkseed 2
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