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 Overclocked: A History of Violence

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god of destiny
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PostSubject: Overclocked: A History of Violence   Sun May 18, 2008 8:36 am

Metachronos overall score = 7.8 / 10

Positive
- Deep, engaging story with lifelike characters and dialogue
- Puzzles smoothly integrated into the storyline
- Intuitive point-and-click interface

Negative
- Visuals and sound aren't quite up to contemporary standards
- Relies heavily on established conventions

If you're looking to chase the blues away, don't go anywhere near Overclocked. This point-and-click adventure from developer House of Tales is a certifiable downer in every possible way. It's set in a rainy, windswept New York City being deluged by the storm of the century. The protagonist is a forensic shrink looking into cases of contagious psychosis. That is, when he's not dealing with divorcing his wife. Much of the game takes place in a dungeon of an asylum that should have been closed down in the 1890s. And just about everybody you run into displays the famous New York hospitality that makes the city beloved across the nation.



Sound like fun yet? But even though the game seems geared to have you reaching for the Prozac by the end of the first chapter, Overclocked still manages to draw you in. At first, the game holds the same morbid appeal as a car accident in that you just have to stick around to rubberneck and see how bad things can get for all the poor people involved in this train wreck of a tale. After the initial fascination fades, the game hooks you into unraveling the mystery with a great blend of realistic characterization, fast-paced and well-written dialogue, and expertly integrated point-and-click puzzles. You play Dr. David McNamara, an expert psychologist in memory recall called in by NYPD detective Joe Moretti to do some head-shrinking on five teenagers who went bananas in an extravagantly violent fashion and were subsequently found wandering the streets of the Big Apple. All have been locked up in an asylum on Staten Island that's about as creepy as the average haunted house and is administered by a resentful doctor and a head nurse who's borrowed her hairstyle and attitude from Nurse Ratched. Your goal is to find out what happened to these mental cases, but this task is complicated by McNamara's own anger issues and full-blown marital meltdown.



Look and sound might cause a few grumbles, though. The 3D engine on display here is a couple of years behind the times when compared to PC gaming in general. Too many rooms are devoid of details, as if the developers ran out of time or budget to furnish them properly. At times, it seems like you're on a half-finished movie set. Animations are awkward, especially when McNamara runs, and a lot of annoying canned animations slow the game down, too. McNamara's ponderous kneel-down every time he talks to a patient seems to take a thousand years. Still, the graphics stand up well overall, with a nicely varied color palette and fine details on faces during conversation close-ups. Audio is of a similar good-not-great quality. Voice acting is capable, with only a few characters speaking their lines like they're speaking English for the first time or reciting the yellow pages. The musical score is quite engaging as well, if not exactly varied. You'll likely get very sick of the plink-plink-plink signature piano notes and techno thrash awfully fast. It's advisable not to go anywhere near Overclocked if you're looking for a game to cheer you up. But for anyone who doesn't mind a dash of hopelessness in an adventure, the immersive story and smooth puzzles in this game come off like a bright ray of sunshine.



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PostSubject: Re: Overclocked: A History of Violence   Tue May 20, 2008 12:03 pm

reminds me of sherlock homes

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PostSubject: Re: Overclocked: A History of Violence   Tue May 20, 2008 12:19 pm

i alos had the same impression, sort of, when i first saw it

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