I don't actually own this game, my son has it installed on his comp and I found myself playing it at some point.
There's no way to be objective about this game without using overtly profane language.
So I'll try to start with the games good points. It took me an excruciating period of time to realise there was only 1.
"It had some pretty pictures". And, to tell the truth, even that only went to a point. The locations were stunning, as they tend to be in games such as this, and while the main characters were very pretty (but wouldn't they be?) most of the other characters seemed to be very disproportionate (anatomically) and cartoony, even if their roles weren't meant to be comical.
Now for the areas where the game simply failed; The dialogue the 'acting' the characters the story line most of the puzzles and, worst of all, the monologues.
The main character is clearly the kind of guy the writer wants to be; Extremely intelligent (though not particularly knowledgeable about the creation of peanut butter in the real world), or, at least, on an accelerated learning programme that has allowed him to finish his degree young and go onto PhD very early. I think he was studying physics. Not only that but he's extremely attractive. He bears no resemblance to a real life human.
He's probably the worst character of the lot, but don't get me wrong; they're all pretty bad.
The dialogue was clearly composed by somebody who has clearly never experienced a conversation with another living person. Or perhaps a person who is under the impression that the way people talk in Marvel Comics is the way people really talk.
While it is possible that the actors did try to work around the script in order to make everything sound more organic than it was... I really can't be certain. Such an endeavor would have been doomed to failure anyway. The accents of many (most) of the characters are poorly mimicked stereotypes. All in all, I guess they just didn't have much of a budget for voice actors when they came to that part of the game.
I don't mind the story lines in my computer games being far fetched... Hell; it's the reason I play quite a few of them. And yet, while there have been plenty of books and movies with similar styles to this (a guy and a girl hook up with some mysterious artifact, on the run from hit men... It could almost be the De Vinci code, but this makes that book pass for literature.) the plot holes are too many and too big to over look. For example, it is possible that the girl was 'paralysed with fear' but I can't help but think that, if their dad was being violently interrogated by hoodlums a normal person would try to sneak away and find help, not wait and watch. And then, why would he contact his daughter, putting her into immediate danger, in the first place?
OK, I can answer that last question; the makers don't want some chubby balding old man to be the hero's love interest.
Then there's the puzzles... A lot of these games have a history involve giving us problems which are eventually solved through means no sane person would actually resort to. (I think there was even a joke about that in Broken Sword 2). This game has too many of them.
People keep telling me that the whole point of games like this is to keep on clicking items and to keep trying to use them with as varied a combination of people an other items as possible until you get results. I keep telling them; "no, that was the point of Myst". In a game like this we're supposed to be given a range of subtle hints that allow us to gradually piece together out objectives and piece together a method of meeting them in the dialogue or the item descriptions. That's no for a lack of clues... You are given some idea of what you're supposed to do. After all, any die hard fan of this genre will tell you that it's good mental exercise, specifically in the area of lateral thinking. If you are just trying to use random items with people and other random items in order to succeed in life then you won't get far.
I'm really sick of these games trying to be like broken sword when they should be trying to be Discworld Noir (best in the discworld game series). Now There was a game that had you make use of your brain.
In other games there eventually comes a point where a vital item is very subtly hidden, but we get the chance to notice with the occasional glimmer of light coming from it or through very close observation. Rolling your mouse over every pixel on the screen should be a last resort. And when you've used it you should at least be able to say "dang, I should have spotted that". However there were times I did resort to that last method of finding a clue and yet I still found it hard to find items which I knew perfectly well were supposed to be there.
As I mentioned above, the worst part of this game is the monologues. Between every 'act' the main character starts yapping on and on with information that we already know or that will be explained early on in the course of the next out, or is completely irrelevant. Worse still, this is directly after a 'cut scene' and right before another one kicks in. And you can skip none of this, the retarded monologues or the stupid cutscenes. I was there, hammering return (escape only takes you to the options menu), desperately trying to stop him wasting valuable and irreplaceable moments of my lifetimes and nothing worked. I've known plenty of people who talk just too much, but none of them compare to this guy. If somebody I did know, in real life, was to talk as much as him I swear I would kick them in the nuts and smack them repeatedly until they got the message.
Don't by this game. Don't even download it. If somebody tries to give it to you as a gift then ask if you can have the receipt, too.