LOST:Via Domus + Boy Bawang



This past Friday and Saturday I sat down with a pack of Boy Bawang Cornuts (Philipppines finest cornuts, or cornicks, as the packaging says) and popped in Lost: Via Domus for my 360.

The game had some shoes to fill when it was announced last year that it would be coming to the 360, the PS3, and the PC. I'm sure when many of us heard about it, we were ready to shoot it down, anticipating another half-ass attempt to rake in the dough from ABC's hit TV show. I know I did.

Unfortunately, dismissing the game as such wouldn't be that much of a stretch. To give the team at Ubisoft some credit, they did manage to create one experience any LOST fan, such as myself, would enjoy, and that one is walking around the infamous island where the survivors of flight 815 and the mysterious Others reside. You will be doing quite a bit of walking in this game, slow walking. Elliott feels sluggish and unhurried as he "races" to find his past and get home. Good thing the rain forest looked so nice. One nagging issue about all that walking, the hit detection is a bit off, occasionally causing you to stick or re-enter areas you were just in.

The beach side camp is sunny and beautiful, haphazard pieces of the airplane wreckage and palm leaves made into shelter scatter the sand. The various locations like the Hatch and other Dharma stations are suitably dark, creepy and accurately modeled, making it very cool to walk around in. Also, the sound is well designed, especially with a 5.1 setup, as the wind and fauna are used to create nice depth, various rustling in the undergrowth suggesting boars, polar bears, Others, and other creatures scamper by.

But where is everybody? Weren't there suppose to be 42 or something original survivors, not counting the Tailies? The camp and stations were noticeably deserted, save for the main cast from the show.

About those faces we Losties are all used to, the character models are convincing and well acted, it's just the voices can be hit or miss. Ubisoft did manage to snag the actors for Ben, Juliette, Sun, Claire, Tom, and a few others I can't remember, which are all cool to hear and well done, it's too bad key players such as Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and especially Locke, who your character interacts with the most, sound bad. Talking to the any of the characters brings up a dialogue menu, you pick the line of text, they voice their response. After playing Mass Effect though, I wish they recorded the main character's voice as well, because the conversations in the game seem odd and artificial.

Which brings me to the gameplay. Despite the fan service this game offers, the game is flat-out boring. You play as a photographer Elliott, who is one of the survivors of 815. Stricken with amnesia, you follow a very linear path toward figuring out who you are, who is this chick covered in blood you keep seeing, and avoid the Black Smoke. As you do this, the game is broken up into 7 levels or episodes, a nice touch, each episode beginning with the prerequisite "Previously on LOST..." recap, with the cool voice-over too. It's still a short game, me finishing it in about 5 hours.

It might have helped if Elliott was at least interesting, but he is so void of personality. You just end up controlling him from point A to point B, not really caring about anything that's happening at the moment. I would put him into the Nikki and Paulo Camp for LOST's Background Characters or NPCLBC, as we should already know that there is a reason why we don't care for those other survivors cutting firewood or gathering water. He isn't as annoying as those two, but he and this game are about as boring as watching the San Antonio Spurs play b-ball.

The only saving grace for the game is for it's easy achievement points, as it hands them out to you generously. You still have to play through the game though, for this isn't another Avatar gimme. I'm still missing 95 points to get the full 1000, but I really don't want to sit through another play session.

Oh yeah, tomorrow March 10th, Bioware is releasing the first (of hopefully many) Mass Effect downloadable content. Pick that shit up for 400 MS points sucka!

No comments: