|Index||4 reviews in total|
This game is the rare game that gets it all right. It has incredible
graphics and an enchanting soundtrack, good actors for the cutscenes and a
story that draws you in and won't let go until you've lifted the curse of
the Nemesis from the Forbidden Lands.
It is really unfortunate that the original plans of turning this game into a movie weren't carried out.
Zork Nemesis benefits from flawless artistic direction, a solid and
gripping plot, excellent storytelling, and incredible design. If those
weren't enough, the game is backed by (even now) impressive visuals, a
haunting sound-track, high-quality sound engineering, and superbly
The graphics in this game, while dated by today's standards, could easily teach a lot of modern games a thing or two. This game ran on machines that are out-performed by most digital watches, and yet it was able to create several visually stunning locations that are even now simply beautiful. Most importantly though was the graphical direction; whoever was at the helm in ensuring that scenes were consistent in creating their intended atmosphere was an artist of unparalleled skill. From the eerily beautiful Frigid River Branch Conservatory, to the chilling Grey Mountain Asylum, the locations are not only rendered wonderfully, but convey a wealth of information visually that immerses the user into these environments.
The sound is superbly done, with sorrowful music playing out the echoes of a terrible tragedy, or the faint howl of the wind in a cold unforgiving laboratory. If 3d surround had been available, then this game would have shown us what it could do; as it stands the sounds fit perfectly, and serve to amplify the atmosphere that the visuals so adeptly create. The score fits each area perfectly, and make a good set of speakers a must (though some voices suffer a little in flashbacks).
Puzzles in this game fit the environment well. But not only that, many of them are not the "carry an infinite sack of items and try each one till it works" type affairs. The majority of puzzles require you to read excerpts from books, or the scribbled notes of a mad-man. You are charged with finding out what happened, and in order to do so you actually have to investigate, and learn about what was going on. As you piece things together you begin to learn the story, and the solutions to a large number of well-designed puzzles. Items are fairly minimal, and usually relevant to the room they can be found in; no wandering around looking for a matching lock for a key, or similar annoyances.
Story plays a significant role in this game, and what a story it is! Without revealing anything; you (an unknown 'pilgrim') are sent to investigate the disappearance of four prominent citizens who were practising alchemy. As you discover more about their work, you also find out about their relationships with each other, and to the poor couple (Lucien and Alexandria) caught up in the middle of it. Plot revelations are delivered in letters, or brief flashbacks (or ghosts, however you interpret it) showing events that have led to these disappearances. Not to mention a few unexpected twists. The acting deserves special mention, as the main characters add depth to their characters, giving believable performances that bring the story to life. Even the minor characters are acted extremely well, not a single one broke the immersive aspect of the game.
Gameplay is mostly intuitive, as you move from area to area by clicking the direction you want to go, and looking around by 'panning' the scene a full 360º. It is sometimes a bit difficult to navigate, or items that can be examined or touched for a flashback are not always obvious. However, on the whole the game is very intuitive.
Activision created a truly masterful game in Zork Nemesis, with excellent storytelling, and superb artistic direction it is a classic well worth playing (if you can get a machine that still runs it). I can only hope that developers will someday make more games of this calibre. Zork Grand Inquisitor, while a solid successor more in keeping with Zork's roots, lacks the same overall polish and care of Zork Nemesis, which made it a little disappointing by comparison, though still entertaining.
I have to admit, I bought this game for nothing more than the fact
Paul Anthony Stewart had a part in it. When I got it, it came with a
strategy guide. I flipped through and realized he would be throughout the
game. I popped it in thinking, "What the heck?" I cannot tell you how many
hours of sleep I have lost because I cannot pull myself away from this
The more of the story that was revealed, the more I got pulled in. The video flashbacks tell the story, but don't prepare you for the twist ending.
I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and I can't wait to find a copy of Zork: Grand Inquisitor. I never thought I would like RPG's as much as this. I highly recommend this game, even if it's only because you are a Paul Anthony Stewart fan!!!
I have played many video games in my life but this is the king of the hill. Challenging puzzles, wonderful worlds to explore, excellent story. I could go on and on about this game. Play this game once and you will get hooked in the wonderful, magical world. But quit reading this and go down to you local video game store and pick this up if you don't have it aready.
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