|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Centauri Production||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Got Game Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
If hunting down a new cell phone battery from the tech department, poring over a fake painting with a magnifying glass to spot the teensiest inconsistencies, deciphering some numerical code culled from the way books are arranged on a shelf, and calibrating what looks like a glorified photocopying machine all sounds like a good time, then you'll feel right at home amongst the many mundane puzzles worked into the game. On an interesting note, a handful of puzzles require you rotate the view around the object to find switches, access hidden panels, and uncover other twists that you can't reach when looking at it head-on.
Overall, the game lacks some of the challenge of its adventuring brethren, which tend to err on the outrageous side of things. There are a few difficult tasks to be sure, especially those that involve piecing together numbers from a variety of sources, yet many of the obstacles you encounter can be solved by lobbing the right object at it. And there's usually not much guessing to be done, since you'll only be carrying a few items at any given time. This may be good news for folks seeking to get their feet wet in the genre for the first time. Stalwart enthusiasts will find the meager difficulty off-putting.
A maddening slow pace wouldn't be so bad if the lurching plot developments packed more punch and arrived at steadier intervals. Much of the adventure is mired in tedium. The aforementioned character movement that looks nice visually actually compounds the pacing problems substantially. Characters move slowly to begin with and frequently wind up engaging in repetitive tasks that are dragged out by sluggish animations. What initially looks like a good idea to start with quickly begins to go south. The lag while waiting for your character to finish whatever it is they're doing gets to the point where it grinds your patience to nothingness. I can appreciate the added detail visually, though it's implemented in a counterproductive way. Perhaps this would be less noticeable if other areas of the adventure didn't feel like trying to wade through a waist-deep bog.
Adventure games are rarely known for being action-packed or full of heart-pounding intensity. Developers instead rely on slow-cooked plot developments, clever story twists, brainy challenges, intriguing characters, and immersive settings to suck players in. Memento Mori has some of these key elements but not all are as strong as they could be. If anything, the dullness that sets in early on clings to the adventure like a wet blanket, dampening what little impact it manages to deliver. It's a shame, since there are some strong moments buried in the muck. It's just not enough. Simply put, there are far more interesting tales to explore and more entertaining quests to tackle elsewhere.
CCC Staff Contributor