Reviews for Still Life

75

Excellent atmosphere and very challenging adventure

sheldipez | Nov. 19, 2013 | See all sheldipez's reviews »

Still Life is a crime/ detective themed adventure game, starring lead character and FBI agent Victoria McPherson who has the unenviable job of investigating an gruesome serial killer case that just so happens to link back to her family’s past (a prequel game, of sorts, is Post Mortem – though no previous experience of that game is needed to enjoy Still Life). The game flips between modern day America with Victoria and a 1930's Prague with her grandfather. All of the pre-rendered backdrops are beautifully depicted and ooze atmosphere with the brilliant soundtrack laid over the top (sound design is generally top-notch across the board). Where the game falls down is with it’s really tough, and often obtuse puzzles; there’s a few times where I resorted to a walkthrough to proceed and even the walkthroughs I could find didn’t explain the solution in so much just tell you what to do (lock picking puzzle – I’m looking at you) and the game even dumps a tough timing based “puzzle” on you late in the game where you have to avoid mission impossible style lasers using a remote controlled robot.

Still Life is a mixed bag adventure game; a constant mix of really great elements crossed with the worst of adventure game puzzles, yet I recommended this game without hesitation on pure atmosphere alone.

82

Keeps you playing

darkyhbk | Aug. 17, 2013 | See all darkyhbk's reviews »

Still Life might not be the best adventure game out there, but there's a certain touch of the storyline which has you hooked throughout. You'll investigate crimes both in a modern day American city, and a 1930's Prague, which is a fantastically chosen and designed location, which adds a lot to the game's dark atmosphere, and sports a number of cleverly designed locations and characters. Basically, almost everything is better done in the Prague side of the game than in the other one, leading to a great unbalance in the game. The modern setting characters are bland, an sometimes try too hard, and the puzzles are either uninspired or boring. The graphics are not great, but not bad either, but they're not afraid to show some gory visuals from time to time. The sound side is great, with very well chosen music and ok voice acting. Therefore, get this game if you want a really intriguing story and care less about puzzle quality.

92

Classic

Infantaria | Aug. 5, 2013 | See all Infantaria's reviews »

I have played a lot, and I mean A LOT, of point n' click / adventure games. From the classics of LucasArts to the indie ones being released today. I always loved "Jack the ripper" kind of games, but never encountered one where you could feel that kind of atmosphere.

That is, until Still Life.

The ambient is absolutely terrific, from the intro movie to the end game. This is one of those games that truly tell a tale. The puzzles are hard (one is absurdly hard), but rewarding.

To this day, whenever I feel like playing a "whodunnit" murder game, still life springs instantly to my mind.

90

One of the best graphical adventures in years!!

abelfs | Jan. 30, 2013 | See all abelfs's reviews »

Since The Longest Journey, I was expecting for a Point-and-click game which makes me forgive its imperfections (illogical moments, bad animations, easiness...) only because its fabulous story and atmosphere (divided between two different periods). Highly recommendable for rookies of the genre (and experts if they value the story).

84

Still Life - review

carlyle | Jan. 17, 2013 | See all carlyle's reviews »

Still Life collects the spiritual heritage of Post Mortem, which is a sequel a bit 'special: we find it in the role of Victoria McPherson, the grandson of that Gus, a private investigator involved in the murky affair of Whyte in the previous game Microids. Graphically the game is very good. The beauty of the 2D Syberia turns into dark and grotesque crime scenes, the colors and hues of the buildings dominate the scene in this species, as it is surreal and tragic atmosphere of a desolate Prague, where poverty and poverty are felt in the air, and the emergence of an American as McPherson puts on your toes, not only the people but the same places that comply with unwanted guests. The real news is the dialogue: it is no longer possible to choose between different questions or topics, and has been inserted two choices to be made by the mouse buttons: the left is reserved for important things for the purposes of the game and which concern then the plot, the right to the most "personal" and less significant but are used to give depth to the game and increase the characterization of the characters and the plot thanks to the various facets of the dialogues. Still Life does not disappoint even under the aspect of the puzzles: most of them are easy and common, easy to interpret and resolution. In this solid substrate made of inventory puzzles and dialogue-based, but also to analyze the crime scene (like CSI, complete with luminol, light screens, etc..) And interpretation of codes, however, are at the "outliers" in a lot of trouble greater than all other puzzles.

93

A realy good

Bolo | Dec. 7, 2012 | See all Bolo's reviews »

A really good game and a classic in the genre. Some of the murder scenes may not be liked though if you're particulary squeamish, People who enjoy crimes crimes and adventure games should certainly give the game a go. It's worth noting that while you don't need to play Post Mortem first, it's the first game in the series and Still Life features the same character from it.

80

Atmospheric adventure with a good story, but poor puzzles

crazybear86 | Oct. 6, 2012 | See all crazybear86's reviews »

Still Life is a classic Point & Click 2d horror adventure. The player slips into the role of detective Victoria McPherson who investigates a murder series in chicago in the year 2004 as well as Gustav McPherson - the grandfather of Vic - who investigates a similar case in prague in the year 1929. One of the main clues of this adventure is the fact, that you regularly switch between both roles while you uncover the story. Although the graphics are little bit outdated, Still Life is still able to create a very dark and mysterious atmosphere. The puzzle mainly cover investigating crime scenes and using tools to collect evidences. While most of the puzzles are pretty consistent there are also some pretty pointless ones which do not make sense at all and only seem to be included to extend the game. Still I would say that everybody who is looking for dark atmospheric adventure game which mainly focuses the good and interesting story, should take a look at Still Life. If you are looking for an adventure game with good graphics and clever puzzles instead - you might want to skip this, as it only mediocre in these aspects.

73

Good for fun of adventure games

panz3r88 | Aug. 6, 2012 | See all panz3r88's reviews »

Still Life is a classic point&click adventure game. The story is not a masterpiece but it's never boring. During two games you will follow two stories(Gus McPherson in the past and Victoria McPherson in the present) apparentely different at the beginning, but they will lead to the same ending, The puzzle are simple and you will not need a lot of time to complete the game, even if there are some frustating puzzles

71

Not bad if you are a fan of the genre.

GAMERamble | May 24, 2011 | See all GAMERamble's reviews »

After Lucasarts stopped producing Point & Click Adventure games everyone pretty much gave up on the genre and despite some occasional classics like the Broken Sword series there wasn’t much to get excited about. Instead of seeing the death of a genre as an obstacle one company instead treated it like an opportunity and so The Adventure Company was formed. Games like Syberia has proven that there are still players out there that crave some solid adventuring where your grey matter will get you much further than your trigger finger.

While it has all the basics covered Still Life isn’t exactly your typical Point & Click Adventure. You play as Victoria McPherson who is an FBI agent hot on the trail of a brutal serial killer. With a rising body count and some very disturbing crime scenes Victory is even more shocked to find that her own grandfather faced something eerily similar 75 years ago as a private investigator.

The story is easily the best part of Still Life and is fleshed out with some nice full motion video sequences that kick in every now and then. These are very cinematic, fit the game nicely and isn’t obtrusive. The games graphics isn’t too shabby either and while it’s clear to see that the artists didn’t have an unlimited budget the game still has a style and flair of it’s own and manages to impress without demanding too much from the hardware. Locations are essentially pre-rendered with some animated effects scattered about to give it more life. The characters are full 3D but can look a bit out of place against the sharp and detailed backgrounds. That’s not to say that the characters don’t look good but despite some very realistic animations a few of them look a little, odd.

As the game is a Point & Click Adventure everything is handled with the mouse and apart from some initial confusion everything is intuitive and easy to perform. The cursor is context sensitive so holding it over a person will change it into a speech bubble allowing you to talk to them while holding it over something interesting will change it into a magnifying glass allowing you to investigate. Although items aren’t labeled when you move your cursor over them you won’t ever be in any doubt as to whether you can perform an action in the area as an icon will pop up to let you know that interaction is possible. This can make some of the puzzles a bit too easy but at least it cut’s down on frustration I guess.

The gameplay is challenging enough but in some parts can be a bit too obscure. I mean who wants to bake cookies following some vague recipe in the middle of a murder mystery? The game is also very linear so if you are stuck in one spot you won’t be able to progress at all. Some effort has been made to mix things up and include a lot of variety in the puzzles but not all of them are that fun and I never had that feeling of beating a clever puzzle when I completed them. Instead I was just glad I managed to get through them.

Still Life brings some nice aspects to the table like playing with two different characters in two different eras but at the end of the day it’s hardly revolutionary. With only seven chapters the game doesn’t last that long and if you were expecting a spectacular ending that ties up all the loose ends you might as well not bother playing. While I definitely had a lot of fun playing the game I still wish some areas were a bit better.

55

Clumsy Crime Adventure

niniendowarrior | May 24, 2011 | See all niniendowarrior's reviews »

Still-Life uses the same existing technology that made Syberia a success to create a moody crime tale about Victoria McPherson and her travails to solve the mystery of a serial killer that targets sex trade workers. In addition to her tale, players are also treated to very similar serial killings in 1920s through the eyes of Victoria's grandfather, Gustav McPherson.

Still-Life is the sequel to Post Mortem though it is not necessary to play the first to understand this game. For the most part, the game operates similarly to any point and click adventure games, showing impressive computer generated cutscenes and plenty of pixel hunting. This game also employs a dual mousebutton dialog style where players can determine how they want to push interrogations and conversations.

Unfortunately however, the game never really lures you in. A lot of the plot details are very easy to predict as you gather initial clues. Many of the puzzles are ones you can see coming from a mile away. There are also some puzzles that simply have no logic whatsoever. The conversation branching also fails to give any real consequence as you can pick and choose the responses without any rewards nor penalties. Victoria being an incredibly repulsive lead character, does not help in giving the story something to hold on to. The story stumbles to its climax and leaves you hanging without any satisfactory conclusion.

Adventure games are often very slow paced and Still-Life follows suit. But its poor writing and annoying puzzles keeps the title from living up to the intriguing scenes and environments that it shows. Some players may appreciate bits and pieces but many will simply loathe it.