Still Life is a great adventure game which to some Adventure Enthusiasts may say doesn’t mean much. This is not true; the sad truth about the Adventure genre is that for every good or great adventure there is five to twenty bad ones. So it’s up to highlights like Still Life to remind us why the adventure genre thrived at one point.
Still Life is a mystery adventure game with no main characters. I supposed the main-main character is Victoria McPherson. Victoria is an FBI detective in present day Chicago, tracking down a recent string of killings. She also seems to be a queen of sarcastic one-liners. The other main character you will also play as is Victoria’s grandfather, Gustav McPherson. When the game switches to Gustav, you are in Prague (Czech Republic) in 1931. You play as Victoria for about half the game but when she is reading the notes of her grandfather who encountered a similar, if not the same, type of killings you switch to him. The two storylines are both great with supporting cast members you really do care about and all comes together… sort of. I won’t spoil the end for you but it’s not much of an ending. It’s a cliffhanger as there was planned to be a sequel to this to tie up all the loose ends but I’ll get back to that later.
The game play of Still Life is what you would expect from an adventure game; point and click to move around and talk. The upside to Still Life is that it doesn’t (like so many others do), require you to gather massive amount of items and rub them against everything and everyone you find to advance in the story. Still Life isn’t a chore as it is a thriller novel that you don’t want to put down. The puzzles are challenging, they don’t baby around in this game. Some of the challenges may seem easy to adventure-vets but to new comers, they may need to print out a guide. The game also has a detective side to everything such as getting finger prints and such and even a cooking/riddle game which is all good fun.
To touch one last thing before I wrap this review up are the cut scenes. They are really good, I know this game was out in 2005 but compared too many adventure game cut scenes, these are really impressive and set the mood very well. The ones in Prague usually are very blue, very chilling and cool, while in Chicago we get more black and white for an almost noir effect. They are dated for 2005 I suppose but it’s better than most the genre has to offer.
In closing comments, this is my favorite adventure game. It’s fun and thrilling, a few scary moments, but it’s also very graphic and risqué so it’s not for minors (wait, I’m 14, whoops). Now I do know this is a sequel to Post Mortem but you don’t need to play Mortem to understand this game. I am still searching for a copy of Mortem. On the sequel thing, Microids was going to make a sequal to complete the trilogy but sadly it took them while to get around and release Still Life 2. The sequal came out this year of 2009 but I have not gotten it YET. If you’re an adventure gamer (casual or vet), pick up this game, it is a highlight of the genre. For those who are new to adventure gaming, you may want to try something a bit easier before getting this one.