Players guide Tulio and Miguel in their journey from Spain to the New World as they seek the fabled "City of Gold" in Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado. This graphic adventure is based very closely on the 2000 Dreamworks movie and features artwork and voice-acting reminiscent of the film. The game contains 20 levels in all, broken into four major chapters of the story. Fans of the movie should appreciate the chance interact with some of the beautifully illustrated locations in the movie as they help Miguel and Tulio along in their quest.
This game was made by Revolution Software, the developers of Broken Sword 1 and 2, who since that time unfortunately were on the 'irresistible' way to hand grenade-throwing secret agents and shootings. This time they produced no inexpressible action-adventure but a real classic adventure game.
The story takes place at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, in the moment when the ship of the famous Cortez runs out for raids in the name of church and crown from Spain to the New World.
Our two heroes, Tulio and Miguel, two crafty, but totally lovable tricksters, are seeked by the Spanish police and want to flee. They urgently need money for their escape. In a game of hazard they win a treasure map, with which one allegedly should be able to find the legendary gold city El Dorado. Our friends start their adventurous journey and - with help of coincidence - they do arrive at the destination of their dreams. Here they first have to fight against the evil pontiff Tzekel Khan and his deadly curses. After that El Dorado has to be protected against not less evil Cortez, who is already stretching his tentacles for El Dorado. Will our friends harvest gold and glory?
El Dorado is a 3D-Comic-Adventure using 3rd person-perspective and keyboard control. However this keyboard control is rather precise and the game can be well controlled. The characters react without delay to your commands, they don't suddenly walk into objects or somewhere, where one cannot see them any longer and can't control them, as we know it from keyboard controlled 3D-games by Cryo.
Depending on different situations, you alternating control one of our two heroes - Tulio or Miguel - with the arrow keys. The other one will follow automatically or waits until the action is up to him. You simply must fall in love with the funny friends of our heroes, the noble horse Altivo and the intelligent cuddlesome Bibo - invented by movie maker DreamWorks, not Revolution, I must concede. They always help Tulio and Miguel when there seems no way out.
In addition to the arrow keys there are 3 special keys for creeping, running and jumping aside, but you don't have to use them very often - a pleasant fact. The two races with a jaguar-monster at the end of the game were no problem and could be mastered well.
Inventory can be opened with the Return-key, to use objects or interact with them you hit the Ctrl-key. The number of objects within the inventory is limited, so there is no endless trying for hours with different inventory items. It's always clear, what to do.
In the affectionately drawn and clearly arranged environment important objects always light up when Tulio or Miguel come near, so there's no strenuous pixel hunting. The graphics are well made and appealing, even if our heroes are still somewhat angular in close-ups. The plentiful video sequences are clips from the original movie, sometimes they do not correspond exactly to the flow of the game, but I must say that it isn't disturbing by any means.
On the whole the game shows the framework plot of the movie, but naturally elements from the movie were taken away. In other respect the game is enhanced to insert puzzles and tasks in a logical way.
There is one point of minus for the badly synchronized lip movements. The dubbing actors are very good indeed (I think they already dubbed the original movie), but actually the lips are often moving and moving on, after our heroes already said everything. But the funny comments and cross-talks of Tulio and Miguel are atoning this in every respect.
It is not a difficult game, but the puzzles do require some knack of combination and skills. They are simpler to solve than the puzzles of the two Broken Sword games, but they are of the same funny and inventive type. Here I recognized the old Revolution style throughout. A masterpiece is outwitting the sailor in the ship's antinode, George and Nico wouldn't have done it better!
Unfortunately I have to draw another comparison here too: Like in the Broken Sword games some dilemmas always occurred, Tulio and Miguel also must fight against the perfidies of the program. In my case I was concerned with a spider, which could spring over or from a down-driving elevator, on which I should actually put it and unfortunately always put it in vain. With its unexpected jump arts this spider could unfortunately always and from any position achieve our heroes and bite them. Enervated I finally gave up and used a savegame of a more successful gamer to game on. Unfortunately I do not know how my methodology caused this dilemma til this day. Fortunately no further problems occurred.
The game is short, but nevertheless I extremely enjoyed it. Gold and Glory - The Road to El Dorado is funny and most ingenious, the puzzles really make fun.
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