The Mystery Of The Druids (Preview)
by CDV Software
We are not far away now from what certainly is the biggest point 'n' click game for four years. A genre that was once missing, presumed dead, now seems to be making something of a revival. Earlier this year we had the zany Gilbert Goodmate and the Mushroom of Phungoria and now we eagerly await the highly anticipated The Mystery of the Druids.
Its been quite a while now since the demo of the game was released. We remarked when looking at the demo how the cutscenes were not subtitled and where hoping that the final game would correct this but alas this is not going to be so as our interview with Tobias Schachte the MD of House of Tales showed. So what's the game shaping up like then? Well the game is all but ready but we have managed to get our hands on a half game preview so let's take a more in depth look.
The first events of the game see Brent being informed that he is now taking over the case of the Skeleton murders. The case was originally thought to be over when another detective had a local butcher convicted on flimsy evidence. However, the man who was convicted was mudered in prison and another of the murders has just taken place. It is now obvious that an innocent man was convicted and the real killer/s are at still at large. The original detective has been taken of the case and Brent has now been given it.
One of the first things for you (playing as Brent) to do is to examine the body (or should I say skeleton) of the victim. Right from the start it is obvious that this is no 'ordinary' murder. Without giving too much away I'll just say that the Druids are involved with the murders and the game's story has more twists and curves than the Monaco Formula 1 race track. The preview that we played here at Deaf Gamers finished in such an unbelievable way that we just can't wait to get our hands on the finished version.
You may notice from some of the screenshots that there are some graphical errors. These errors are only in hardware mode and it is worth noting that they are from a very early stage in the game's development and this will not be an issue in the final version. The software mode we had in our preview was error free so it was clear that only the hardware mode needed to be polished. An example of this is shown below with the hardware mode (on the left) you can see the man's legs even though they are under the table; whilst on the right the software mode correctly conceals the man's legs.
The gameplay feels comfortable and makes you think you've played something very similar in the past. Control of the game is completely mouse driven so no keyboard acrobatics are required. The one element of gameplay which could have been improved is the travelling from one location to another. For locations you have already been to you ought to have been able to call up the map at anytime and just click on the location that you want to go to (like in the Tex Murphy games which let you access the map at anytime unless you were locked in somewhere). Instead, you have to make your way to the locations exit to be able see the map.
All in all The Mystery of the Druids is shaping up to be a very good point 'n' click adventure. It isn't the hilarious stuff that the LucasArts of yesteryear were famous for but it is rather more serious in its approach and maybe this is a good thing. The story seems solid and involving and I have to say that it held our interest very well without getting repetitive. The release date has been set for mid-September and from what we've seen in this preview it will be well worth the wait.