Over the last decade, modern gaming landscape has been going through a particular drought in adventure games, however in recent years there has been trickle of adventure titles that have managed to come out, one such game is Memento Mori 2 Guardian of Immortality.
Guardian of Immortality comes to us via the Czech developers; Centauri Productions and is the sequel to the 2008 point and click thriller Memento Mori.
A decidedly story driven game, Memento Mori 2 stays true to its predecessor and focuses on telling a Da Vinci Code-esque crime thriller narrative.
While Memento Mori 2 continues the story of Lara and Max from the previous game, it does not require any prior knowledge of its predecessor.
The story follows the newlyweds as an errand from the Interpol disturbs their honeymoon in Cape Town, and soon the two are embroiled in a series of events that leads them from investigating art theft to murder and the occult.
This journey features quite a few twists and turns and takes Max, Lara and the new character; Keira to locations like Cape Town in South Africa and Lyon in France to Finland and Chinatown district in San Francisco.
Players are able to take control of these aforementioned characters in different portions of the game through gameplay reminiscent of traditional point and click adventure games.
The gameplay of Memento Mori 2 is revolves around doing forensic work, investigating the environment and solving puzzles.
The game follows all the tropes of the genre, where the players have to click on the places they want the character to go, things they want to look at and the items they want to use.
These items can be examined, combined and used in a designated manner to solve puzzles and mysteries to move the story forward.
Unlike many modern point and click adventures, the story in Memento Mori 2 is presented in a cinematic style with 3D modeled characters and backgrounds.
It is this aspect of its presentation that brings with it the highest highs and the lowest lows of the whole experience.
Although the game presents players with varied and quite competently developed locations, what stands from the start is that Memento Mori 2 contains great looking character models.
Whereas the character detail is not on the level of AAA cinematic games like Heavy Rain or Beyond Two Souls, nevertheless, they are still quite impressive for a budget title.
However, as soon as the dialogue starts, it becomes clear that these detailed models are basically stoic faces that have difficulty in visually conveying any expression or emotions.
Making matters worse is the way character movement is animated, which takes away from any feeling of modern cinematic gameplay and more into old resident evil movements.
The game is even more of a mixed bag when it comes to audial presentation. While the game presents a fairly good selection of background music, the sound design seems to fail on certain occasions.
The culprit being the sound mixing, where in certain instances, the background music interferes with the spoken dialogue making it unintelligible.
On top of that the quality of voice acting is fairly erratic. The dialogue delivery ranges from competent to down right awful.
However, all the blame cannot be put on the shoulders of the voice actors alone.
Even if all the voice actors were spot on, game’s poorly written English dialogue would not enable them to give a competent vocal performance.
The dialogue consistently features unnatural phrasing that seems to be a victim of poor translation of a phrase or dialogue that, perhaps, made sense in its original native language.
However, every other audial issue pales in front one cardinal sin that takes away from the experience of the game. The developers seem to have used replacement voice actors to substitute for the main cast in certain dialogues.
However, these dialogues stand out like a sore thumb as these voice actors do not sound remotely like the original cast creating a very jarring experience, especially for a game that focuses so much on telling a cinematic tale.
Aside from these particular audiovisual issues, the game also suffers from presentation bugs that while not game breaking, are certainly annoying and signify a lack of polish.
Overall, the game features a fairly entertaining narrative and delivers a story campaign that lasts for around 20 hours and gives incentive for replay by offering multiple endings as a reward for making different decisions on other playthroughs.
While this adventure is let down by its dialogue, Memento Mori 2 Guardian of Immortality is still an enjoyable adventure game that can satiate lovers of the genre who can look past some of its flaws.
Memento Mori 2 is not a bad game, it is just a mediocre point and click adventure title that falls short of its potential due to bad animation and sound design.
Though Guardian of Immortality does not feature any particularly revolutionary innovation in gaming mechanic, it offers a decent gameplay experience that is in line with traditional point and click adventures.
While Memento Mori 2 features great character models and environments, it stumbles a bit when it comes to communicating expressions and emotions on the characters
Although the game offers great background music the whole audial experience is ruined by occasionally poor sound mixing, sporadic quality of voice acting, bad dialogue and insultingly obvious and abrupt voice actor stand-ins.
Unfortunately the process of experiencing the decent crime thriller story offered by Memento Mori 2: Guardian of Immortality is marred by occasional glitches, poorly written dialogue and subpar animations.
For its asking price of $25, Guardian of Immortality offers a decent amount of value via its 20 hour long story campaign and the replay incentive of multiple endings.
Though Memento Mori 2 offers a promising experience through its decent point and click mechanics and impressive character models, the flaws in presentation bring the whole experience down.
However as a budget title, the game still offers an experience that can be enjoyable for fans of the Point and Click genre.