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Culpa Innata - new adventure by Momentum / Strategy fist

Nedrah

Erudite
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,693
Location
Germany
I figure some of you guys propably, like me, like to play a well done adventure from time to time. So here's a new one, and if we are to believe the review, we are in for a treat.
Just Adventures rated it A+ - let me quote a few select parts of the <A HREF="http://www.justadventure.com/reviews/CulpaInnata/CulpaInnata.shtm">review</a>


However, let me start with a quote that could so well be coming from a codex rant, it isn't even funny
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This famous Charles Dickens quote from A Tale of Two Cities perfectly describes today’s state of adventure games. A time when the genre is alive and kicking in terms of quantity but walking wounded in terms of quality. Oversimplification, total linearity, durations that rival baking a cake, 3D obsessions (“make sure it’s 3D and nothing else matters”) not to mention… shudder… hybridization are some of the plagues that are most prominent these days, when our beloved genre seems to be facing the danger of becoming a genre for casual, fast, mass consumption.

No you go and tell me we are alone in our suffering - who's up for Adventurecodex.net?!

No, seriously, a subforum for adventures would be nice.

So, on to the review

The story, inspired by Turkish writer Alev Alatli’s Schrodinger's Cat, is one of the strongest points of the game, and one of the finest stories I’ve come across in my adventure gaming years. Cyberpunk fans, sci-fi fantasy aficionados and murder/investigative mystery buffs will find heaven in Culpa Innata’s storyline.

Said story is described quite well in the review without being too spoilerish.

[...]

Culpa Innata is one of the longest games on the market since I can’t even remember when, and its non-linear structure ensures that not only will you not be required to play like a robot, following predetermined by the developer steps (did I just describe 99% of today’s adventures?) but also that, no matter how careful and methodical you are, you will not be able to take everything that the game has to offer with just 1 play. So, wait until your 3rd or 4th play to hunt down a better score, since even during 2nd play you will still be discovering lots of new things!

Damn, now I seriously wish this was a RPG review.


In the puzzle department Culpa Innata truly excels. Just like with the story, its puzzles are among the highest standards I’ve seen in the recent history of adventure games. Forget the simplicity you’ve been so used to recently. Forget the games where the toughest puzzle is “A locked door… Oooh I got a key too.” Culpa Innata means serious business and will shift your brain and adventuring skills to top gear.

The way this is done though is where Culpa Innata is truly exceptional. You do not get a predetermined dialog tree, where you start clicking all the options in order from top to bottom until you’re done. You get different options that have different levels of relevancy, and from each option you can lead the conversation to different branches.
sigh



Now, someone go read that full review, get the game and tell me if it's even half as good as this guy makes it sound.
 

Cassidy

Arcane
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
7,922
Location
Vault City
Finally something for this genre! And if the hype isn't just bullshit, even better than The Longest Journey. Plus my obsolete PC can handle it. Thanks for pointing this game, again... all I hope is that it lives to the expectations.
 

Nedrah

Erudite
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,693
Location
Germany
Too bad that this won't even show up on the frontpage, though. I shall really have to see into bribing someone into doing an adventure sub-forum.

Edit: actually, I settled for begging.
 

Cthulhugoat

Arbiter
Joined
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Messages
1,214
Location
Land of big butts
Plus my obsolete PC can handle it.

Yay! My crusade for recent games that won't fuck up with my integrated graphics card expands further.

Too bad there's no demo. And fuck me, what's this "score" they talk about? I don't like the sound of it.
 

Ismaul

Thought Criminal #3333
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Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign My team has the sexiest and deadliest waifus you can recruit.
Oh man. I need this game. I just hope the approach is a bit more mature than The Longest Journey, which was quite the happy family-friendly fantasy. But it looks like it, with its false utopia setting, exagerated consumerism, immigration control and murder crime. Also, lots of dialogue? great.

There's a second review on JA that speaks highly of it too.
 

Nedrah

Erudite
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,693
Location
Germany
Cthulhu said:
Too bad there's no demo. And fuck me, what's this "score" they talk about? I don't like the sound of it.

Yeah, no demo sucks. All it leads to is people "demoing" it via their torrent client of choice. Assuming the game is as good as it sounds, everyone warezing it is a shame.

Don't bother about that score thing. It's something that was being done with a lot of oldschool adventures - ever played Leisure Suit Larry? You can entirely ignore it, but it's there if you're into trying to max out scores. Pretty much like the review said - don't even think about it.
 

Longshanks

Augur
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
897
Location
Australia.
Haven't played an adventure game since The Longest Journey, though am certainly a fan of the genre, enjoyed TLJ somewhat despite it shittiness. The reviewer certainly makes it sound good, though after reading the review I'm still not convinced, the "world" seems cliched, concerned about the main character being female (probably just residual prejudice from TLJ), the "Sims-like" activities sound great :? . Hard to say how much of the "massive dialogues", woah! non-linearity (second reviewer does not play this up as much, does seem more like, able to do some things in a different order), masses of detailed information, is about the reviewers being adventure game players, have to wonder whether someone who's more used to RPGs would be impressed. It does have the smell of TLJ teenage girl level of storytelling, most people praised TLJ as a great game with great story and dialogue, hope this is much better.

I really have neglected this genre, haven't got around to trying Fahrenheit, Still Life, Sam and Max. Anyone got any recommendations for a "serious" adventure game that they think's as good as Sanitarium?

Thanks Nedrah, for bringing it to my attention, probably wouldn't have discovered it myself, haven't been looking out for adventure games in a while. I'm somewhat sceptical about it, but it does show promise.


Edit: Sure you could find these for yourselves, but trailers here: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/24063.html
 

Alex

Arcane
Joined
Jun 14, 2007
Messages
8,781
Location
São Paulo - Brasil
Thanks, Nedrah. I love adventure games and it is good to know some people are still doing them. The last one I played was that phoenix wright for the DS, which is quite good but isn't really very much like the good old Lucas Arts classics.

The game is looking good. If anyone here gets it, please post your first impression.
 

Longshanks

Augur
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
897
Location
Australia.
Played the first four days, so far it's neither brilliant or terrible.

The protagonist so far is not as annoying as April Ryan from The Longest Journey, but far from my favourite adventure game main character.

Gameplay is standard for the investigation type play, talk to people (dialogue is fairly long, and not very interactive, gets a little tedious), pick up useful items and evidence (haven't been a lot of these) and use the computer for various functions.

Puzzles so far have not been great, or many, standard lock puzzles and puzzle puzzle :wink:.

The worst part of the game so far, is the "gossip chats" with the PC's friend at the end of most days, long and boring, as the PC discusses the day's events, it does provide some useful background information on the world and the place of certain people in it, but I've only sat through three of them, and clicking through the rest (don't think they're even necessary for gameplay, but you do have to turn up for them). Another annoyance (though common to the genre), is the amount of locations and functions that are locked away until triggered, there's not a lot of "trial and error" gameplay, as yet.

Overall the dialogue's of a fairly good standard, probably better than TLJ, but it is rather dulll. There are different "lines" of dialogue to pursue, but given you can only talk to a person once per day, you'll have to come back later to discuss different topics. You can occasionally select a dialogue tone, eg. insistent, sympathetic, not sure how much of an affect it has.

A sample of the game's writing from the PC's diary:


The game's instant travel, and so far small number of puzzles and inventory use, does make it feel a lot like an interactive movie. Instant travel to one interview subject, talk for 5 minutes, instant travel to the next and repeat, then go out and gossip with your friend for another 5 minutes.

The world is well realised and detailed, if a little cliched. The PC lives in a utopia where all societies problems have been solved, no crime, unemployment, disease etc, apparently by embracing the self (selfishness is seen as good). This New World Order encompasses most of the globe, those which still cling to the idea of "nation states" are labelled as Rogue nations, and are continually at war with each other. However, it seems obvious that all is not well in utopia, and I'm expecting a twist along those lines.

Selfish is good:



Feel I've been too harsh on the game in this post, it's definitely solid, and has the potential to build from here, as this investigation is just the start of the game (and most annoyances could be due to it), there's some more weird shit down the line, I believe. Definitely think that TLJ fans will like it, even if the rest is not an improvement. If you like the dialogue, main character and are drawn into the world and story, even the early game will be great for you.

The manual claims that the game even contains some choice and consequence, though I'm sure it will be limited:

 

Uz0rnaem

Scholar
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Messages
308
Longshanks said:
Anyone got any recommendations for a "serious" adventure game that they think's as good as Sanitarium?
Not really, but I always associated Bad Mojo and Phantasmagoria 2 with it, simply because they had kind of a similar feel.

Bad Mojo features a top-down perspective, direct WASD controls and rather simplistic puzzles. It's more about exploring your surroundings, your character and his situation than puzzle solving anyway. There's also no dialog at all, since you're a cockroach.
badmojo1ju0.jpg


bmpb1.jpg



To enjoy Phantasmagoria 2, it helps if you can overlook a few "trigger puzzles" and don't loathe FMV adventures in general. It's basically classic point&click stuff, with likable characters, straightforward puzzles, loads of dialog and an interesting story. The actors are surprisingly good and the humor rather subtle. All in all, probably one of the best FMV adventures out there.
93400828cx4.jpg


fatar2cf6.jpg


phan2ht6.jpg
 

Starwars

Arcane
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
2,829
Location
Sweden
I've played a bit of this (like 4 ingame days I think), and so far I agree with almost everything Longshanks said. The game most definetely does not feel non-linear so far, nor is it explorative enough for my tastes. The unlocking of new areas (when taken to extremes) is always annoying to me.

I do appreciate the instant travel however. But so far there have not been a whole lot to do each day (the game has an ingame clock), so you start your day at the office, go out and interview subjects. And when you finish there, the ingame time is like 1PM with you seemingly having nothing left to do for the day. So you "fastforward" to night time (where you meet your friend) and then that's that. It doesn't exactly give the sense of a workday. I hoped when I read about the ingame clock, that you would have to choose priorities (since you couldn't fit them all in in one workday), and choose which particular plot thread to pursue. Maybe that will come later.

Dialogue is all-right in terms of the writing, though I find the voiceacting to be pretty wooden for the most part. I do not like the main character very much so far, though she does not annoy me.

Best thing so far is that the gameworld seems to be pretty fleshed out. I just hope it will "open up" more soon.

It's OK so far, though it has the potential to be a lot more. Hopefully those reviews are correct.
 

Nedrah

Erudite
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,693
Location
Germany
Hrm... Well, would you say it lacks non-linearity compared to other games of its own gerne or are you comparing it to RPG standards? Also, how does it compare to the longest journey, if you played that? As opposed to other people on this board, I loved that game long time ;)
 

aries202

Erudite
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
1,066
Location
Denmark, Europe
I think the adventure gaming community are all in agreement that Culpa Innata is a very good game. I've seen it mentioned on Just Adventure as well. Adventuregamers and Gameboomers have mentioned it as well. On the Gameboomers forum boards we've had a nice discussion about whether or not Culpa Innata was a rip off (eh, I mean, inspired by) TLJ. I think someone mentioned that Culpa Innata was game in which you investigated a crime...not a sort of coming of age story like TLJ's.

As for other adventure games, I think you guys would really like Post Mortem and Still Life, athough Still Life sort od end in a strange, yet open way. (funds ran out for the sequel apparently...)

Fahrenheit is very highy praised in the adventure gaming community as well, irrc. It tries to do something new with the adventure game genre and while not all agree it with, it is refreshingly to see that someone has the guts to challenge how adventure games are supposed to be made. Mind you, it is a console port to PC, so the controls are really really horrendous, and very very hard and weird to figure out as Iøve found out after playing about 5-10 minutes of the demo.

The new Sam&Max games are, as I understand, just as great as the old ones. (at least that what I've heard --- not trough the grape vine --- but through the word on the adventure gaming sites I frequent). There should be demos out for episodes 1-6, and I think the 4th episode *abe lincoln must die' is free for downloading...

I agree, however, with much what have been said about the adventure game genre. I would like to see an adventure game where you could go anywhere, pick up everything or nearly everything and where you look at everything too. The most annoying thing to me are also that in most adventure games, you need to wait for certain flag? to be triggered so that you can go on the the next screen or the next subjects.

The score thing is something old school adventure games likes the King's Quest and Space Quest games use to have. If you finished the game and had one all the things in the game you would get like 500/500 score. If you missed a few things you would only get like 490/500 score. I think Jane Jensen is thinking about using this system as well for her new game 'Grey Matter'.
 

Longshanks

Augur
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
897
Location
Australia.
Nedrah said:
Hrm... Well, would you say it lacks non-linearity compared to other games of its own gerne or are you comparing it to RPG standards? Also, how does it compare to the longest journey, if you played that? As opposed to other people on this board, I loved that game long time ;)
I'm 10 days into the game now, and still finding it rather dull, as I said previously there's just too much dialogue (mostly non-interactive, not all that interesting and also quite repetitive) and little gameplay in between (not many puzzles so far, instant travel means little exploration, locked off areas mean exploration isn't that useful anyway).

About TLJ, I liked that early, but I eventually came to strongly dislike April, and disliked much of the writing. However, I was never bored with TLJ as I am with this game, the ratio of dialogue/puzzles/exploration was better (as far as I can remember) and characters more interesting. I think one reason for this is that Culpa Innata's plot is moving slowly, whereas in TLJ you get to the parallel universe quite quickly. So overall, I'd say I had more fun with TLJ (I did mostly enjoy it), though it's not due to a strong dislike of Culpa Innata, it's well put together, but so far it is tedious.

Maybe my tastes have changed, but I'm finding the dialogue in this game very dull (especially the gossip chats at the end of the day, clicking through those now), can't say if others will feel the same.

To give you an idea of what it's like, here's how the average day plays out: start at your office, select a location to instant travel to, complete one puzzle (if it's your first time there), interview person for 5 minutes (possibly opens new areas), instant travel to next area (complete one puzzle if first time their), interview person for 5 minutes, probably have time to interview one more person, interview the for 5 minutes, then head home, get changed (optional), head out to gossip with friend for 5 minutes.

That's pretty much the gameplay, I've not left out any exploration, as after the first couple of days exploration is pretty much superfluous (so far), as you can't enter any stores/houses etc until they're shown on your map, and then you'll insta-travel instead. You will have to interview people more than once as well, usually 3-4 times, as you can only talk to them once per day, though these extra conversations will usually be more like 2-3 minutes.

In terms of non-linearity, I've not noticed anything out of the ordinary for an adventure game. Areas become available when they're triggered (usually when someone tells you about another person of interest), you can then choose which area to go to first out of those that are available, as well as revisiting old areas (so far non-linearity is mostly choosing the order you interview people). When your done with these areas, they are locked off again. Even the functions on your computer are locked off until your supposed to use them, so you can't originally just try things out (though once they're unlocked you can).

I am enjoying the security briefings (interrogating potential new citizens), reminds me of Blade Runner, though I'm not sure if the player's input has an affect, or whether the result is always the same.

Will say again, that it's not a bad game, and I still have hope of it improving. Would like to hear from others who are playing the game, especially want to know if they find the "gossip chats" bearable.
 

Elwro

Arcane
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
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Krakow, Poland
Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
I just couldn't play Bad Mojo. I think I quit after the rat, when I was supposed to do something with a cigarette to avoid a spider. I could never manouver the cig properly so I always ended having to go past the rat again.
The main idea of the game was awesome, I hope I'll play it again sometime and actually finish it.
 

sqeecoo

Arcane
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
2,622
TLJ rules! Perhaps my second favorite game (after PST). Dreamfall sucked though. Might try this one.
 

Longshanks

Augur
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
897
Location
Australia.
Finished the game, overall it had a decent story, tedious and repetitive investigation, a poor ratio of dialogue/puzzles/exploration, much too heavily weighted towards mostly uninteresting dialogue, puzzles were quite simple and too few in number.

Reckon that TLJ (I'd place its story on par with this game, and its setting above it) fans will enjoy it, especially if you have no problem with the gameplay I outlined earlier. A decent game, that most adventure fans will get something out of, as a fan of the genre, I enjoyed parts of it, but was disappointed it did not reach its obvious potential.
 

Starwars

Arcane
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
2,829
Location
Sweden
I've played this a bit more, and I will say that I'm enjoying it a bit more ever since more people to interview was "unlocked". Still not sure how non-linear it is, there seems to be different paths in the dialogues, but can't say how much they actually affect the game.

Not a whole lot of gameplay, like Longshanks said. The game sort of thrives on getting the player interested in solving the story (which is good so far, but not great). Puzzles are easy, and for the most part they make sense (which is nice in adventure games, heh). There is an occasional misstep, but nothing to frustrating or annoying.

Dialogue is all-right to good, but the voiceacting is wooden. I would've liked the main character a lot more if she had a more interesting voice... I don't know, she actually doesn't do all that bad a job of acting, but there is something about her pronouncing certain words in a weird way that rubs me the wrong way.
I like acting of the friend you meet up with in the evenings. Though her character could seemingly be described as sexy-crazed nazi.

It does prove an interesting angle though, that your friend (and the main character to a lesser degree) are very proud and supportive of the Union, and view the "rogue states" in a mostly very harsh way.

A problem so far in the game is that almost nothing happens at all in the game. You go out and interview people, and occasionally discover a new lead to pursue. But nothing actually happens plotwise outside of this (well there is an incident at the start, and "security interviews" that your main character conducts for immigrants). I'm all for dialogue heavy games, but the game doesn't seem very... well, dynamic. Almost nothing happens outside the interviews so far.

Still, I'm kinda enjoying it and I do want to uncover more of the plot. But I most definetely do not think it's as good as those reviews claim.
 

aries202

Erudite
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
1,066
Location
Denmark, Europe
Unfortunately, this is the state of adventure games today. Nothing seems dynamic, it is all about talking to people, solving quests, while very little happen in the outside world or during the interviews at all.

Plotwise, this is how many of the modern adventure games are structured, even in such new games as the Agatha Christie Poirot games. I'm all for dialogue heavey games, too, but if the dialogue doesn't lead anywhere, unless to more interviews with suspects, I agree that is quickly can become repetitive and tedious.
 

Elwro

Arcane
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
11,749
Location
Krakow, Poland
Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
But when (in And Then There Were None) after 10 hours of talkin' n'walkin' you finally manage to go underground, the scene with the radio is just fantastic :wink:
 

Starwars

Arcane
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
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Location
Sweden
I agree with some of the things that guy says, but for the most part (just a gut feeling) I see a reviewer who has taken it up the ass one time to many from the big boys in gaming, and now feel secure to unleash his rage upon a fairly unknown game. Could be just me though.

From what I've played so far (this game seems to be pretty damn long by the way), I'd rate it around 6 (a strong 6 prolly) on my non-inflated review score-o-meter.
 

Longshanks

Augur
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
897
Location
Australia.
Hah, that review reads as if I wrote it, though with more anger. I agree with all of its points, though the graphics, while not great, were fine for me. Seems I am not the only one who found the gossip dialogues unbearable, agree that the main character does not quite fit and many of her reactions are plain silly, and strongly agree about the lack of gameplay.

Another difficulty in connecting with the main character (aside from inane musings and ridiculous reactions) is that the game is largely about Phoenix’s inner journey towards questioning the Union’s perfection. The problem is that I was there right from the start, could be natural cynicism or familiarity with false utopias, but I don’t think so, the game seemingly wanted to tell me that all is not well in the Union, whilst forcing me to control a character who was completely unquestioning. So rather than joining in her journey, I’m wanting her to hurry the fuck up and stop being so naive. A dialogue heavy game with little else to do, like this one, needs a very strong story and characterization, unfortunately I found Culpa Innata only decent in both. I’m not a big fan of TLJ, but at least its story actually progressed, in Culpa Innata you’re continually uncovering information about the case and the people you’re interviewing, but the story never really moves forward (general feel remains: don’t know who the killer is, something not quite right about this society though). The investigation is not handled well either, there was little opportunity to think through the facts and come to your own conclusion about who dunnit (there is just not enough info), you are forced to keep questioning until an important clue is found late in the game, meaning you play more of a helpless observer than investigator.

His score of 4/10 may be a little harsh (especially in relation to the usually inflated scores), I could have gone as high as 5 or 6, but it’s close enough, especially if reviewing the game for a general gaming audience, as those unfamiliar with the genre are unlikely to get much out of it.
 

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