Ripper (1996 Video Game)
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Ripper is without a doubt one of the hardest, if not the hardest, video game I've ever played, the puzzles are so well integrated in the plot that they are often overlooked - If you're into sci-fi thrillers you'll be immersed in the story from the start, and it will come back to haunt you until you finish the game. You take on the role of Jake Quinlan, a smartwitted reporter trying to crack the case of the ripper, with all odds against you and a detective breating down your neck just waiting for you to make a mistake - it's up to you to catch this madman who hides behind the cold walls of cyberspace.
Without a doubt, this is a top notch adventure game that will keep you awake for days with its haunting and chilling tale, sadly the difficulty level could potentially deter many gamers from giving it a fair shot.
Hint: have a walkthrough at hand when reaching mid- endgame, as the puzzles (e.g. the opening of Dr. Burtons lab door) require precission timing, and are borderline impossible.
Ill change the word hours to years. I had this game (sadly the first disc broke and its not XP compatible) 10 years and never got beyond disc two. The puzzles are complicated with no obvious or logical pattern. The story goes along and then hits a blank. I gave up playing it.
This was way before the internet and game cheats, hints and walkthroughs. Like other postings, get these at hand before you even buy the game (if you can find it - try Ebay)
All in all, if you like puzzles and got a lot of time on your hands - get hold of this game.
The Whitechapel murders took place in 1888, but this game is set in the 2040s! That's the first interesting aspect about it.
Secondly, the game does a wonderful job of providing a fictional view of the future of the World Wide Web. In this game, websites are referred to as "well addresses". Firewall software is referred to as "ICE" and can be used to protect websites as well as PCs themselves. And the most interesting aspect of all - internet access through VR-style technology. This is something no other work of fiction set in the future had explored until this game was produced (or since I might add).
The plot of the game itself is to investigate a series of gruesome Ripper-style murders seemingly committed without the use of conventional sharp objects in 2040s New York. The player takes the role of Jake Quinlan, a news reporter who receives taunting video messages via a videophone from someone claiming to be "The Ripper" and taking credit for what he sees as his "handiwork". This is similar to the sarcastic "Dear Boss" letters received by newspaper reporters during the real Whitechapel murders. Anyway, Jake wants to get the bottom of the mystery and the player's job is to guide him through it whilst avoiding being killed by the Ripper or being arrested by Detective Magnotta (a cop breathing down your neck all through the game who is just waiting for an excuse to arrest you).
The game is for the most part rendered in Full Motion Video (FMV) with some computer generated backgrounds. The graphics are top-notch given the time the game was produced and add perfectly to the futuristic feel of the story.
Gameplay mostly consists of point-and-click, puzzle solving and character interaction. The latter takes place through video cut scenes that blend well with the game itself. Whilst most puzzles are logical, some are also very difficult and seemingly defying logic. There are some very strange combat-style puzzles that are required to access "well addresses". The storyline accommodates these by passing them off as a form of Firewall software referred to in the game as "ICE". For this reason, any player may want to have a strategy guide, walkthrough or at least a hint sheet just in case they reach a point where progress seems impossible.
First-rate talent in the form of Christopher Walken, Karen Allen, John Rhys-Davis and the late great Burgess Meredith (in his final acting role) add enjoyment and intrigue to the game. Christopher Walken deserves a special mention here because he delivers one of the finest (if not the finest) performance of his career. The lines he spouts are unintentionally hilarious and had me in stitches for hours! The game is worth buying just for the sake of seeing Mr. Walken's performance (which truly has to be seen to be believed)!
The game combines the right balance of horror, science fiction, futuristic fantasy, drama, suspense, tension and comedy to make it a classic.
The game's score consists of the the Blue Oyster Cult 1970s hit, Don't Fear the Reaper. It blends perfectly with the game's subject matter.
The game was originally released on 6 CDs but is now long out of print. Fortunately, it can be purchased from online auctions and trading websites without paying too much. Hopefully, some company will take advantage of the DVD medium to re-release this game on a single disc! It happened with Dracula UNLEASHED, so it may happen with other FMV games from the 1990s. Fans should keep their fingers crossed.
I highly recommend this game to fans of science fiction, horror or FMV games.
So buy this game if you're masochistic, a Walken fan, or simply want to hear the F-word a lot.