Of Light and Darkness - the prophecy review by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
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Of Light and Darkness - the prophecy
David Riordan, the interactive director, worked on It Came From the Desert and Voyeur. Cliff Johnson, the game designer, was involved with Fool's Errand and 3 Into Three.
A random scenerio generator offers infinite playability but also makes it very difficult to have a solution or walkthrough that would help you complete the game.
Rather than having traditional difficulty levels for play, players can explore each level in Free Tour mode where they are not attacked or threatened. Players can challenge Gar Hob to a real time game, or in the third mode, the dark lord can randomize the levels for even more challenge.
The game play requires that you free the requisite number of souls within the allotted time by using symbols of faith, like the cross, and colored orbs. The color of the orb is linked to the sin of the soul or apparition. For example, blue is associated with lust. Those people who do not like "beat the clock" type games may want to stear clear of thisone.
Many games avoid making the game player work like a delivery boy, by using teleporters or other devices that make getting from place to place easier. Of Light and Darkness unfortunately shuttles you back and forth from place to place carrying many objects needed to complete puzzles. And while there are some teleporters, many of them do not save you much running around.
The interface requires that you push and hold the mouse right button while seleting from the pop-up menu with the left mouse button. And while the idea is innovative, it is unnecessary, pushing the left mouse button to bring up the menu is windows standard while pushing it again to make it disappear is convenient. Holding down the right mouse button while you make a selection is awkward and even painful to some.
The story line came from an original design by DeMaria Studios using motion capture technology. The game was created by Cliff Johnson, who created Fools Errand. The story is by David Riordan, who wrote Voyeur. While the story was written by Ken Melville, who wrote Sewer Shark.
The game is situated at the time of the apocalypse, at the end of the current Millennium and the beginning of the next Millennium of god ruling the earth. The infamous apparitions of Merie Antoinette, Ivan the Terrible and Caligula must be redeamed in order to rescure the Andgel from the Dark Isle and stop Gar Hob from dooming the earth to a thousand years of darkness. The apparitions can change with each game into 32 possible apparitions where Gar Hob randomizes the levels in the third difficulty setting.
The games ten possible endings are determined by the interactions that the game player has with the inhabitants of the future world.
All the art was created on the Silicon Graphics systems in 3D by world renown artist and visionary, Gil Bruvel. Bruvel's art was modelled in 3D and is used for all the sequences. There is no hokey full motion video sequences in the game. Bruvel's art sets the tone beautifully. The game is not just another Myst clone, but uses totally different interactive environment. Take a look at Gil Bruvel's Biography.
AnimationAnimation is based upon motion capture technology. The entire environment is 3D modeled so that it moves and can be interacted with, without any video sequences.
Voice ActorsJames Woods, from Disney's Hercules and Ghosts of Mississippi, is the voice of the evil Dark Lord, Gar Hob and Lolita Davidovich, Blaze, does a wonderful job playing Angel Gemini, prophetess of light. William Utay, who had small parts in Cobb and Species, does a great job playing the baliff character who assists Gar Hob, with a rich and almost Shakesperian bent.
Music ScoreThe sound track is immersive and by the MF'ers (Millennium Fake Brothers).
UtilitiesThe interface is very weird. Greyed out icon based objects in menus are able to be selected contrary to popular and accepted windows conventions that say greyed out selections are unavailable at the time.
Multi-player FeaturesThis is a single player game.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
JournalistsJohnny Wilsom is probably the most recognized and recognizable press figure in the computer gaming industry. His opinion of the game is that it is a good one with an awkward interface. Johnny says the game is just shy of a CGW Choice Award because of the awkward interface.
ReferencesJohnny L. Wilson, Apocalypse Tao, Computer Gaming World, June, 1998, pgs. 202-203, 4/5, 80%.
Of Light and Darkness News
Of Light and Darkness preview by Al Giovetti
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