Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Adventure Games: The Gunpowder Plot

Released for Hallowe'en despite being set, rather unsurprisingly, around November Fifth, the Adventure Games get a Celebrity Historical, The Gunpowder Plot with Guido "Guy" Fawkes and his gang gaining a suspicious new member.

It's something of an epic, the longest yet (there's a walkthrough online that runs two and a half hours, compared to about 45 minutes for the biggest of the first set of games City Of The Daleks) with a variety of locations including big chunks of Jacobean London to run around. Indeed, it could have been cut down in some places...

Spoilers to follow...

New Objective: Save The World

"Ah, company! And you've brought a gun. You really shouldn't have..."

If you've looked at its site at all you'll know it involves the Rutans, shapeshifting green globs that shoot ball lightning and are at war (WAR!) with the Sontarans. They have rather flashier special effects in the game than in their one TV appearance in Horror Of Fang Rock, with glowing green eyes first noticed as the seemingly-human invader moves their head into shadow.

As a game it's pretty low-key even compared to the previous Adventure Games - the first action scene sees Rory climbing up and down a small bump, the first stealth sequence involves Amy following two plotters who never actually look back at her, there are more join-the-dots puzzles and a few pointlessly easy fetch-and-carry missions, there's a sequence where you follow someone and can very easily lose them but then they pop up again, and there's a running-around-London-trying-to-get-people-to-talk-to-you sequence as well.

As an educational tool it's great, if as above a bit long - see here and consider its use as a sourcebook and visual aid.

As a story (or an adventure hook) it's relatively straightforward - a Rutan ship crashes on Earth, near where Parliament is built, and they work to make the Gunpowder Plot successful to free themselves. Meanwhile, there are Sontarans looking for them. There's also a doomsday weapon, and dimensional lesions. Which have nothing to do with each other, which seems a bit untidy but never mind. Various complications and some over-sized areas to run around lead to its length.

Could have done with more on the moral questions of the war and the Doctor's solution, but never mind.

The computer game debut of Rory, still the closest thing we have to a Rory action figure. He gets quite a few amusingly grumpy moments, and a couple of comedy Badass Rory scenes.

"You're not a nurse, you're an action hero, you're not a nurse, you're an action hero..."

Speaking of badass, was there ever a Black Rod who was that cool?

Does psychic paper work on the illiterate?

Were pre-Bazalgette sewers that big?

Did the plotters really plan to install someone on the throne who had nothing to do with the plot? Seems like that could have ended badly...

And I the kept expecting the Doctor to go "Parklife!" after every line from the Town Crier...

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