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 Penumbra: Black Plague

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PostSubject: Penumbra: Black Plague   Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:39 am

Metachronos overall score = 7.8 / 10

- Natural puzzles solved by manipulating your environment
- Tense and creepy atmosphere
- Great music and sound effects

- Not very long and cost more than its worth

As with Overture, the biggest selling point in Black Plague is the physics-dependent design. The Lovecraft-influenced story about a young man investigating an underground base in Greenland--apparently contaminated with some sort of infection--is decidedly weird, but not nearly as original as the puzzle design. Everything in the game is based on real-world logic, but not the Bizarro World nonsense that dominates traditional adventure games. All of the problems here are tied to accurate physics and environments that are packed with objects that can be directly manipulated. There are no pixel hunts, no running around to pull a dizzying succession of levers, no directing laser beams at mirrors, and no slapping tape on a cat to make a moustache. Here you simply explore spooky underground settings to try to escape by picking up and sliding around boxes, rocks, chairs, crates, flares, or other sorts of detritus.

Puzzles are similarly realistic. Rather than collecting bits of random junk as in a typical adventure, you deal with situations as they come, utilizing only objects at hand to solve problems. This switch can actually be awful tricky to deal with if you're an adventure-game veteran. It's hard to believe that all of the tools needed to get past a barrier like a locked door are laid out in front of you so clearly. So you can spend many minutes crawling around looking for the trick or gimmick that bars your way in traditional adventure games, never realizing that the first step to a solution here is often as simple as picking up a rock to smash open a door, throwing a plank over an abyss, or ripping a wire out of a circuit box to kill the power that is keeping a door locked. You still need to take a good look at your surroundings for hints and MacGyver your way through a lot of locked doors, but there are no ridiculous leaps of logic. Anyone with a dash of patience and a pinch of common sense should be able to finish the game without recourse to a walkthrough.

The one big drawback with Black Plague is that it ends rather abruptly. Any experienced adventure gamer can wrap the game up in four or five hours, which makes it a little too brief even for its bargain-bin price tag. Such brevity and a dissatisfying conclusion might be more forgivable if a third Penumbra was on the way, but this sudden finale is a bit annoying given that this is the end of the line for the series. Nevertheless, Black Plague is fun while it lasts and definitely recommended for anyone who enjoyed the first game.


Most of my reviews are taken from www.gamespot.com I shorten them and find the most important parts as their reviews are over 3 pages long which can be a burden to read and the screenshots are taken from the internet Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Penumbra: Black Plague   Wed May 28, 2008 1:08 pm

looks weird
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