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Beyond

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Postby David Whyld » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:32 am

Beyond by Mondi Confinanti, Roberto Grassi, Paolo Lucchesi and Alessandro Peretti


Beyond was one of those games that starts bad and then gets better. Unfortunately, it seemed to take an age to get better and I came very close to quitting before things took a positive turn.

The beginning was weird. Too weird for my liking. A bizarre set of locations and even more bizarre characters – one called The Mad Joker whose speech certainly indicates he was well named. Following a very long and very confusing conversation with him, I was finally able to make progress to the main part of the game. Where, thankfully, things began to get better.

Beyond is a murder mystery with you as the detective assigned to solve a brutal murder at the Paradiso Hotel. There you are met by your assistant, Grassi (one of the game’s writers making an appearance as an NPC!) who fills you in on the details.

There were a few niggling problems with Beyond, the main one being that none of the game’s writers have English as their first language (I'm assuming, though I could be wrong) and so sometimes the text you're reading is a little strange. It’s never as bad as, say, in Hello Sword where it’s just about illegible and you have to read every sentence half a dozen times just to figure out what’s going on, but it might have been an idea to get an English-speaking person to have proofread it before release.

Getting the hotel part of the game out of the way is harder than it at first seemed due to a requirement on the player’s behalf to carry out what seemed to me like an unnecessary action. I’d been around the hotel, questioned all the suspects, examined items all over the place… and yet there didn’t seem to be an option to wrap things up and move on to the next part. Strangely enough, when I checked the walkthrough for guidance, I saw that I needed to climb through a window in one of the rooms. After that, Grassi spoke to me once I reached the location where he was and I was able to finally finish this part of the game. I suppose it’s possible I’d have gone and climbed through the window sooner or later anyway, but there’s no reason to suggest that it’s necessary and no reason after that to suggest anything in the game should change as a result.

Beyond is a large game that I’d played barely a fifth of before the two hour Comp deadline rolled around, but what bits I’d seen of it struck me as the beginnings of a very good game indeed. The incorrect phrasings due to the authors’ lack of English was a tiny fault against the game but this was easily overlooked.

6 out of 10
David Whyld
 
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