the writings of a mind

Title: FAUST
Genre: Adventure
Big Word: Soulless
Strap: The seven words that introduce the game

In the early 16th Century, a man named Dr George Faust was said to have made a pact with the devil. In return for his soul he would be endowed with knowledge, youth, love, wealth, and magical power. This game has nothing to do with him.

Instead you move the strings for a man named Marcellus Faust. With no memory other than your name, you find yourself in an abandoned amusement park, haunted by the ghosts of the past. Your guide is a an aristocratic demon by the name of Mephistopheles, with whom you sign a pact… Oh, look at that. Do you see what they did there? Do you?

Faust is a "fully rendered graphic adventure". Please begin your groaning now. Rendered adventure games are not exactly what we in the industry describe as any good. But perhaps Faust could prove an exception to this otherwise unanimous rule. Perhaps.

Story-wise, you are randomly transported through time by your devilishly charming guide, visiting the pasts of seven characters in seven chapters. For each you must learn of the pact they have made and the fate they received, collecting seven objects, and ultimately discovering who you are and why you’re there. And what the hell it’s got to do with the number seven.

It’s all seen though a first person perspective which looks lovely, but delivers a gut punch when moving. Yup, it’s one of those Giant Leap moments – click the direction in which you would like to head, and then appear there as if by rather crap magic.

Graphically it’s very impressive with a good deal of effort going into every location. The characters within are all fully rendered, removing the embarrassment of video capture, and feature some of the most accurate lip-syncing we’ve seen. Movement is a little stilted, arms waving about like Christopher Walken on speed, but overall there are very few complaints.

Complaints do appear however. The puzzles, while avoiding the worst of the clichés, are unoriginal. It’s all entering codes, or the random combination of one object with another – Discworld stylee. The plot is overly confusing and ultimately irrelevant to the ending, which arrives only after about eight or nine hours of play.

But so much is forgiven by the soundtrack. It is hard to get cross with a bad puzzle when beautifully mellow jazz is pumping through your speakers. Musical offerings include Marvin Gaye, John Lee Hooker, and the exceptional dance combo Presence, giving Faust an atmosphere it most certainly would have been missing otherwise.

If you are desperate for a new point’n’clicker, Faust will give you a couple of evening’s entertainment, but otherwise it has nothing fresh to offer. On the plus side, the soundtrack is being released soon…

Margin Note:
Voices in my head

These graphic adventures are notorious for their appalling voice casts. Some draft in dodgy old C-list celeb’s. Others use anyone they can find; their mum’s, the cleaner, people they fancy.
Faust has found the middle ground, casting each voice perfectly, and for this they should be heartily commended. That’s enough now.

 Looks good, sounds great, but fails to satisfy. Like, er… something comically similar.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Cryo Entertainment
Developer: Arxel Tribe
Minimum System: P200, 32Mb RAM, 290Mb HD
Recommended: DVD
Multi-player: None
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