Lost: Via Domus review
Lazy attempt on golden license
Ever since the launch of the first series of Lost a few years back it has proved to be one of the most tense and gripping television series of all time but when I heard a game was to be made of it I wasn't too sure about it. Lost isn't too inventive but is definitely a change in action games while trying to maintain its "Lost" feel. Was Lost as big of a flop that people say? Read on'¦
You are aboard Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles, all seems well until suddenly your plane rips into two and both ends come down hurtling towards a deserted island. You are one amongst few survivors and you happen to become amnesic from your fall in the crash. Luckily you're still alive and after a brief encounter with a handful of characters you manage to make your way to the beach where the surviving passengers are running around trying to avoid be blown to pieces by the various parts of broken plane scattered over the sand. As you make your way over to the scene you will introduced to yet more characters. John Locke, so called wise-man and believer of fate asks for your help and you have to stop fuel from leaking from the plane. Soon after the survivors group together and are waiting for help but when it doesn't come things start to get restless amongst them. This is worsened by sudden kidnappings of the survivors and a terrifying creature that stalks the jungles of the island.
For Lost fans you will find that the main plot is there but the character you play as isn't involved in the TV series and has a separate yet interesting story of his own. The character you play as has lost his entire memory and begins to search for luggage in hopes that something might trigger. After finding his belongings he is attacked by a stranger who flees after he is spotted by other survivors. Now determined to recover his memory but this will inevitably lead to venturing into the perilous jungle and into the looming caves. Will you find your memory or die trying?
Lost is played in stages called episodes which suit's the TV tie in theme but they are lowly numbered at only six episodes in which pretty much the entire plot of the two first series are summed up. For Lost fans and myself we were probably wondering how such an epic TV series could be played out on our consoles. There are so many unexpected and expected Gameplay features that tend to balance each other out. First off the only kind of action you do is walk and run. In the first level you are required to follow Vincent (a dog belonging to one of the survivors). This is very tedious and requires you to follow Vincent's bark whilst pressing triangle every now and then. After playing through this first level I was seriously having doubts about the game. Secondly is the whole concept of fiddling with machinery and fuse boxes. The use of fuses is made into a puzzle in which you have a power source of a certain number at one end and need to use the fuse plug to get the energy to the other end of the fuse board and match up the right power number with the right output. I was impressed with the first one but I first found it initially confusing and there are some fuse boards found later in the game that can have you tearing your hair out.
In Lost there are a few things you would assume about Gameplay features including the use of guns (yes there is guns), scavenging, exploring and bartering. In Lost to get around you need to carry basic supplies in a inventory to keep safe. These items can either be found or purchased from other characters. Finding items is pretty simple, all you have to do is keep an eye out for objects on the floor that develop a white outline when your in close proximity. Pressing cross will but the item into your inventory. The most common items are coconuts (which are totally useless but you can make a small profit off of them), bottles of water and torches which are used to light up caves. Items you don't use can be taken back to vendors (such as John Locke or Sawyer). Here you can see what items they have up for trade and then offer them something of equal value. It's an okay system and to be fair designers wouldn't have had any other option but to add the barter system.
As I explained earlier, the character you play as is trying to regain his memory. Occasionally he will have involuntary flashbacks. You find that your character was a photographer before the crash and the only way of receiving fragments of memory is to go back to the past and frame certain moments in the past which will unlock memories. Just like Pokemon Snap, you are required to fit in the event, characters and correct time into a single photo which can require a few retries. Exploring is the biggest feature in Lost. You will spend a good 85% of the game exploring the caves and vast jungle for items and mysterious locations such as the iconic hatch.
The first thing you will notice is that the graphics, for such a poorly rated game are actually up to standard and the first few cut scenes show off what this game can do. However this is ruined a bit by the tardy and awkward movement of characters and objects. Invisible walls are so horrendous in this game that even little sticks can hinder your path. On the whole you can say the graphics are very average and in some spots plausible. The sound however is a completely different kettle of fish. It's nice to see they have kept pretty much all of the music from the TV series and added a few additional tracks. If you are a diehard fan of the series you will be disgusted to know that a good ninety percent of the voice actors from the TV series have been replaced with cheesy and downright awful voice actors who sound almost nothing like their intended roles. Hurley's voice sounds very convincing and may well be the original actor but even having his voice in the game doesn't make up for the other voices.
In conclusion Lost has its good moments there is no denying that but I still stick with saying that a Lost video game should never have been attempted. It kind of ruined the image of Lost for me and the ending to the game isn't rewarding. All I will say is hardcore fans stay far away even if you are interested in the new featured character.
Gameplay: 2.8/ 5.0
Graphics: 3.8/ 5.0
Story: 3.7/ 5.0
Sound: 2.5/ 5.0
Layout: 3.8/ 5.0
Lifespan: 2.5/ 5.0
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