|PS2 Reviews: Project Eden|
| The Final Say!|
Project Eden - reviewed by Andrew Parsons
Review Date: 08 March 2002
Review Score: 7.1/10
Distributed By: Gamenation (Ozisoft)
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Project Eden is an ambitious attempt to merge different game elements into one cohesive whole. First person and third person, action and puzzle and adventure, the developers have tried extremely hard to come up with something a little unique.
And who’d blame them? In today’s modern gaming scene, there are hundreds of games coming out every year, and if you want your game to succeed, sometime you need to take a risk and a gamble. Did it pay off? “Kind of” – let me explain.
The player is given control of four different characters. Each of these characters can be controlled completely independently of the others and each has his/her/its own set of characteristics that need to be used at different times.
This provides the developer a lot more scope to introduce puzzle-like elements into the game, and also paves the way for a richer storyline by way of character interaction. And the storyline is truly one of the better ones we’ve seen.
The background is that your team of 4 is a squad of elite “police” from the Urban Protection Agency. You exist in a world where the diameter of the earth itself is increasing as “mega-cities” grow into the sky. Of course, only the prosperous can afford sun and fresh air, while the masses live in what I guess you’d call “mega-slums”.
Your UPA squad deals with disturbances of the peace, and the whole she-bang starts with the four, led by Squad Leader Carter investigating a major malfunction of a processing plant. As you interact with guards, scientists and review the slew of information coming in from HQ, you realise there is something much more sinister going on.
Besides Carter, the other members of the squad are Minoko, the technology expert, Andre the engineer and Amber who is a Cyborg capable of going places humans can’t. You’ll not only need to interact with people, but with different pieces of technology and environments. For instance, early on Andre will need to repair a broken lock, and Amber will need to enter a room filled with gases poisonous to the others.
Graphically, Project Eden leans towards the realistic side of things. Texture mapped surfaces, complete skinning of the characters, and very natural colouration of the various objects and world environments all contribute to provide something that’s kind of... normal.
Of course, that’s the problem when developers try to reproduce a realistic world because it tends to be duller than a fantastic, only-in-your-nightmares creation. Also, with the surroundings looking so graphically impressive, and the character models themselves looking just as good, things that might have gone unnoticed are highlighted.
I should also say that this underwhelming normalcy about the graphics only occurs at the beginning. As you interact with more and more freaks of nature, the surroundings also get a bit more creative so if you can stick with it, you’ll be rewarded.
One such item of notice is the animation of the characters. There was an obviously large amount of work put into the animation sequences, with many different actions represented but there is something missing, a jerk here or there, or just a stiltedness about the movement that doesn’t sit right with the human eye.
There is certainly going to be a class of gamer that is going completely love this game. However, for the majority of the gaming public, this game will be a bit beyond them. I’m not trying to imply one set of gamers is more intelligent than another, but some gamers play for the relaxation, while others hunger for challenge.
Project Eden is a game that offers a great deal of challenge, but it does so in many different facets. This might be more than most want to handle.
- Andrew Parsons
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