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Where Angels Cry


Where Angels Cry

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: PC Games
Category: Adventure, Puzzle

When the first puzzle involves a gemstone for a signet ring that's somehow fallen into a locked trunk containing nothing but a massive puzzle box, you know you're in for a Cateia game. After the last game by Cateia I reviewed (Red Crow Mysteries: Legion), I hoped they'd have learned something, but unfortunately...


Pre-rendered 3d graphics are the order of the day here. While the rendering of the rooms is fine, if flat and uninspiring, the rendering of the characters (whether for cutscenes, or as static people in the room) would make a Poser “artist” faint. The UI is functional, if dull, and they seem to have at least improved in that objects for interaction are properly highlighted without the “hunt the pixel” shenanigans from the last time I tried one of their products, but that's about the only improvement.


Oh hey, welcome back, repetitive music tracks that get on your nerves... oh, bad voice acting too? Come on in, grab a drink, the whole gang's here from last time! The sound is not only nothing special, it's acutely annoying in places.


That example, right at the top of the review, should give you some idea of what Cateia thinks “puzzle logic” means. The game plays in much the same way as Red Crow Mysteries, in that, to progress, you have to go through puzzles that have no reason to be there except to hinder you, find hidden objects to solve puzzles, and all in an area that doesn't have an excuse for this, a monastery. How do the monks get around, eh? Do they have their own spare rubies and gears, and have the puzzle locks memorised? If so, why not trail the monks around? But no, this is an adventure game, of the sort that we'd really rather forget existed in adventure game history. The puzzles are bland (oh look, another rotate the dials to match the colours to each other, I haven't seen that since... Red Crow Mysteries: Legion, the last game I played!), don't make any sense in the context, and the plot is...

...Look, you're an inquisitor, out to find the truth of, maybe silence, a miracle? I could sort of understand this, except he's losing the gem on his signet ring, letting monks push him into ridiculous puzzles for no good reason, and is generally... a doormat. It gets worse later on.

If you were thinking of purchasing this game for the puzzles... do me a favour. Go out, get yourself Professor Layton, or Ghost Trick, or Myst... anything, so long as it's not this. Find hidden items. Play towers of Hanoi... again. Rotate pictures to get 1 sixteenth of the items you need to finish the act. Look for other hidden items (angel statues) for dubious achievement awards. While you're at it, why not wince at some truly terrible voice acting (It's-a-me, italiano-stereotype-ah!), and wonder at how these monks (who are obviously involved in some conspiracy, because DRAMA!) ever get any work done. Add to this that there are once again items hidden by virtue of being coloured roughly the same as the surrounding area, and you'll be pushing the hint button again and again in frustration.

In short, the writing is terrible, the game is terrible, Cateia have learned exactly nothing from the last time, and they're expecting you to fork out £10 for the privilege of their not learning anything new. Don't give them that satisfaction.


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