Perry Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim PC DVD
Published by: Deep Silver
Developed by: 3d-io
Release Date: Out Now
It’s rather amazing to think that a game could have a really high profile in one country only for it to be practically unheard of in another but that’s the situation that Perry Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim finds itself in. In Germany Perry Rhodan is a phenomenon but it’s probably fair to say that certainly in the UK and the US most will not know who or what Perry Rhodan is. However that doesn’t really matter. Myth of the Illochim is a good point and click adventure that fans of the genre will appreciate. Whether or not you are already familiar with the Perry Rhodan will certainly not prevent you from enjoying what the game has to offer.
For those who don’t know about Perry Rhodan (and that included me before I played the game), a little background information is in order. Perry Rhodan is a hugely successful German science fiction series that dates way back to 1961. Whilst it’s practically unheard of in the UK, it’s adored by millions in Germany and other parts of Europe. There have been Perry Rhodan books, comic strips, audio plays and music over the years and its popularity has remained strong throughout. The series, to me at least, is reminiscent of the Dan Dare stories I used to read as a child but anyone that enjoys science fiction will find elements that seem familiar to them. At the beginning of the game there is a corridor known as the Hall of Fame which allows you to read a dozen or so plaques that detail Rhodan’s exploits which is a rather useful way of getting up to speed with the storyline. At the beginning of the game Terrania is under attack and Rhodan has been confined to his residence with the guards under strict orders not to let him leave should he attempt to go elsewhere. He is irritated by this and when he learns that one of his closest friends (and mother of his child), Mondra, has been abducted it becomes imperative that he leaves the residence and searches for her.
Myth of the Illochim is a pretty straightforward point and click adventure game with a fixed camera perspective and a mouse driven interface that feels both traditional and comfortable. The graphics are actually quite impressive for a point and click adventure. As with a lot of other adventure games these days the dreaded ‘pixel-hunt’ for objects you can interact with is avoided by having the ability to press the S key to highlight everything that can be interacted with (although this is done in a sci-fi fashion by giving the impression that the screen is being scanned). Your inventory is displayed at the bottom of the screen so you always have easy access to it and during conversations you’ll use icons (of both objects and game characters) from your inventory to talk about them. You have access to a Multifunction Wristband which not only records your progress, but also provides the odd hint here and there. This is especially useful if you have been away from the game for a few weeks or so and have forgotten what you were going to do next.
What should be pointed out however is that the puzzles in the game are not of the simplified variety that you usually see in such games these days. Those who are looking for easy puzzles to solve will definitely get frustrated, even in the early stages of the game. The good news is that the puzzles, for the most part, are logical and with a bit of thought you’ll work out what needs to be done. If I have a criticism in this respect it’s that the game could have had a more gentle beginning. After only a few minutes you’re faced with some rather challenging puzzles. It would have been better had the game eased you into the experience in a kinder fashion.
It’s fair to say that Myth of the Illochim is an enjoyable game but some aspects of the game could have been better. The storyline is, on the whole, quite good but at times the game does fall a little flat and won’t always hold the interest of those who aren’t Perry Rhodan enthusiasts, particularly when being stumped by one of the puzzles. The hotspots that you have to click to move from one room to another are generally fine (right clicking these will take you to the room more quickly) but some of them are illogically placed. I honestly didn’t realise I could get to the Hall of Fame to begin with because I had to click at the bottom of the screen rather than to the left of the screen where the entrance was. The game can take longer than is necessary to load up rooms you enter and on occasion you’ll notice that the mouse pointer is initially slow to respond when arriving in a new location. I do like the way a small picture of a room or location is displayed when you put your mouse pointer over it (provided you have visited the location before). This is rather helpful and prevents you mistakenly entering the wrong area.
It’s a rather odd thing to say for a point and click adventure but Myth of the Illochim isn’t quite as friendly for deaf gamers as it could and should have been. For some reason the cutscenes are not subtitled, which is rather unfortunate as it means deaf gamers are going to miss out on some of the storyline. Other dialogue is subtitled and the subtitles are colour-coded. Important information is shown visually, either in text or images. Information you may need to recall is stored on the Multifunction Wristband, as we mentioned earlier, and can be recalled at any time.
Perry Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim isn’t just an adventure game for fans of the Perry Rhodan franchise. There’s more than enough that will appeal to those who are looking for a sci-fi point and click adventure game. The game is definitely aimed at the experienced adventure gamer and some of the puzzles are quite challenging. Most won’t see this as a negative but those who are used to the rather simplified puzzles you can find in more recent adventure titles, find the difficulty of the puzzles here a bit of a shock. The game does have some areas which could have been improved, we would have liked all of the cutscenes to be subtitled for example, but on the whole it’s a game that most point and click adventure gamers should enjoy.