Sunday, 22 April 2012

Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortal

Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortal is an adventure game by White Birds productions that was founded by the developers responsible for the critically acclaimed Amerzone and Syberia series.

Overall, it's actually relatively fun straight forward. Here are my impressions from a usability and design perspective

Way less pixel hunting and hotspot finding - Previous Games by studio founders such as Syberia had a problem where certain piles of rocks and debris which looked like background objects ended up concealing important items. Thankfully they seemed to have learnt their lesson. There are one or two situations like that but usually it's pretty obvious.

Story is interesting but the story is really a side story to the main plot
- You play the son of Nikopol who has to save his father. Unless you've read the comics a lot of the motivations of the characters just aren't well explained especially what's happening in the middle and end of the story. How for example are the gods involved in this whole thing? How did Nikopol get possessed? Personally I strongly feel that a game should stand on its own two feet or be explained enough. It would have been better if the game was a retelling of the events of Nikopol or had come with the original comics it was based on. I have the Steam edition so not sure about the boxed edition.

Surprisingly short - Compared to some other adventure games, there are very few locations and the game can be finished in an afternoon.

One or two puzzles are a bit too complicated - One of the major puzzles is a rotation puzzle. You do know what you have to do but it's just really hard to figure out the exact steps. Unfortunately most gamers don't have time to sit there figuring it out so it would have been better if there was a difficulty slider for these  puzzles of some sort.

Overall, as long as you treat this as a side story to the game, it's not a bad game. I can understand where people thought it was a good adventure game but I'm surprised they gave a game with such glaring problems 8 or 9! Especially a game with such a confusing narrative if you weren't familiar with the source material!

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