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Lucasarts seem to have given up trying to lớn produce another adventure to rival the famous Monkey Islvà series and instead turned their attention towards the world of strategy titles. Afterlife is a strategy game in the mould of Slặng City. Transport Tycoon & Populous & all the other God games that put you in charge of hundreds of little people with the awesome task of managing their daily activities.
However, Afterlife is more than a little bit different lớn the aforementioned games. To start with, it isn"t set in the "real world" as we know it. It"s an offbeat strategy game that lets you decide whether the lost souls from a humanoid alien world rest peacefully in Heaven, rot in Hell, or make their way back khổng lồ the living world. Sounds weird? It is!
The designers decided that a game with a real world scenario that put you in charge of real people (such as Syên ổn City) wouldn"t give them enough scope khổng lồ create something genuinely original.As Mike Stemmle. project leader on Afteriife puts it: "Afterlife isn"t constrained by the built-in rules & assumptions of reality-based sims because after all, no one really has much of a clue about the hereafter, including myself. It"s an unconventional and chất lượng take on the genre that"s both irreverent và staggeringly silly."
Having had a lengthy go at a thử nghiệm, I have sầu lớn agree with Mike that it is indeed irreverent, although I must have sầu missed something somewhere if I was meant to lớn come across something "staggeringly silly". If anything, despite the "wacky" theme of Aftedife, I still felt like l was doing all the same things I did when I played Sim City et al, such as building roads, looking at graphs full of statistical data and building places for people to lớn live sầu in. This may or may nor be down khổng lồ the fact that our chạy thử doesn"t have sầu all the features that will be available in the final version - I"ll be able khổng lồ give you the answer khổng lồ that when I get a look at the finished product. However, there was certainly enough lớn vì chưng in the chạy thử khổng lồ give me a pretty good idea what the game is all about...
Save our souls
Despite being a reasonably complex strategy game, Afterlife is fairly easy to lớn get into. You start off with a rather simplistic-looking screen that shows the so far uninhabited domains of Heaven & Hell. As the game progresses, lost souls will come to lớn see you và you have lớn send them off to their rightful place (Heaven if they"ve sầu led a good life, hell if they were rotters, and limbo if you want to bore them silly). If souls believe in Heaven, you"ll have to lớn pop them in there & build somewhere for them to live; if they believe sầu in reincarnation, you"ll have sầu to find some way of getting them back lớn the world of the living. If you successfully place souls in their rightful place you will get "pennies from heaven". You can then use this money lớn further expvà your realms, making more room for new souls in the process.
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If you cochồng things up. your little reign as deity will come to a swift kết thúc. Various things can happen when this situation arises: for instance, you may see a disteo dancer enjoying a boogie across the screen, destroying all your buildings in the process, or you may see the "Hell Freezes Over" ending which creates an icy catastrophe that plunges the game inkhổng lồ deep freeze, or you may be treated to the zany "Heavens Nose" ending... which shows a giant nose sucking up everything you"ve sầu created.
All of this over sequence tomfoolery is no doubt meant to add lớn the "wackiness" of the whole game, but I"ve got lớn admit it didn"t vị all that much for me. However, there are certain elements in Afterlife that give sầu me reason to lớn believe that LucasArts may be on to lớn a winner. The on-line tutorial, for example, is an excellent idea - if you go through it step by step you"ll be up và running in about 15 minutes. The ability to traông chồng individual souls as they wander around Heaven và Hell is quite impressive too.
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Oddball qualities aside. Afterlife looks as though it could be a challenging và entertaining strategy game when it"s finished. The graphics aren"t up to lớn much, but then seasoned strategists are quite happy khổng lồ play games with knob presentation as long as the gameplay"s up to scratch. We"ll bring you a full Review of the game next month.