Sentinel: Descendants in Time PC CD-ROM
by The Adventure Company
Developed by Detalion
Release Date: 18th March 2005
There's nothing I love more than a good adventure game (as far as gaming goes anyway). Being a fan of the adventure genre is definitely a frustrating business at times though. For years it seems like we have nothing at all and then they seem to arrive in abundance with most of the games on offer lacking the qualities of yesteryears games. A few have managed to keep us interested until the end but many have left us feeling disappointed. Maybe 2005 will see a wave of quality titles? The first one we'll look at this year is Detalion's Sentinel: Descendants in Time.
You'll play the game as Beni who is forced to explore the dreaded Tomb 35 to search for secrets of the Tastan civilization. Only one person, Ramirez has ever entered Tomb 35 and come out alive. Why has Beni entered Tomb 35 then? Well Beni, in his younger years, had earned a reputation for being daring enough to enter the supposedly dangerous Tastan tombs. However even he wouldn't voluntarily enter Tomb 35. The reason he is doing just that is because his sister is being held hostage by Doba, an unscrupulous black-marketeer, and he won't release her unless Beni goes into Tomb 35. Doba obviously hopes Beni will find a wealth of ancient treasure for him to profit off. Tomb 35 is certainly not the friendliest of places to visit though and Beni will find a multitude of puzzles that block his way. Best of all though Tomb 35 isn't just another tomb and Beni is in for a big surprise.
Us gamers all have ideas of how games should be. Myself I think adventure games should consist of a quality story that has puzzles that fit in with the context of the game. Whilst I enjoy puzzles (Microsoft's Pandora's Box was superb) I don't enjoy them in an adventure game where they have little in common with the story. It feels like they are there just to slow down your progress and bulk out what's essentially just a short game. Detalion's Schizm II was guilty of this crime in a big way and quite frankly it was irritating. Sentinel isn't quite as bad but it's still very heavy on the puzzles with little interaction with other characters. Puzzle fans will love it but those who want an engrossing story and more than just puzzles will find it becomes frustrating, especially as the puzzles usually stop you dead in your tracks until they are solved.
For an adventure game Sentinel is amazingly good. The game is in 3D and you'll play through in a first person perspective. The controls feel more like a FPS than an adventure game with the 'WASD' keys being used to control your movement, the space bar to jump and the mouse to look around with the left button being used to interact with objects. Graphically though it is superb and the character models in particular are the best I've seen in an adventure game. The environments look impressive too and it's obvious that Detalion have put a lot of effort into making the game look as good as it possibly can. It will be a while before adventure games look better than this.
On the whole Sentinel is a solid and fairly enjoyable adventure game, even if you are simply jumping from puzzle to puzzle most of the time. Does this mean we recommend the game for deaf gamers. No way! The reason I say this is that there's some puzzles that rely on the gamer being able to listen to sounds (bird noises etc.) and deaf gamers will find it impossible. Whilst the puzzles are well thought out and rely on a range of other different skills the fact that some rely on sound kills the game as far as deaf gamers are concerned (at least it will if you're playing the game without a hearing companion). The fact that you can enable subtitles in the game is insignificant when faced with obstacles such as puzzles that rely on the gamer being able to hear sound. If you're prepared to play with a walkthrough at the side of you to help you through these sound puzzles you can compensate for this serious disadvantage but that's your choice and our opinion is that when you pay good money for a game you shouldn't have to resort to methods that enable you to get round otherwise impossible parts of the game and as such we recommend that you give Sentinel a miss.
Overall Game Rating: 6.0/10
Whilst it's easy to look at the score and grade we've given the game and come to the conclusion that we didn't like it that isn't how it is. In fact we much prefer Sentinel to the Schizm games. However because certain puzzles rely on the ability to hear it means deaf gamers should definitely give it a miss.
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click here for details)
Puzzles that rely on the ability to hear mean that the game isn't suitable for deaf gamers and this is very disappointing.