|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Braingame||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Viva Media / Deep Silver||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 3, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
Science fiction is such an easy sell because it's rooted in promise and potential, no matter how outlandish the subject matter may seem. The inquisitive, expansionist nature of the human race, and the speed at which our technology continues to develop, makes for some truly compelling speculative storytelling - especially when combined with the potential for life beyond our small corner of the galaxy.
Whether it's a blissful utopia without disease and conflict or a scorched Earth ruled by sentient toaster ovens, it's not hard to imagine the broad range of possibilities the future could hold. The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure adeptly explores one variation of this vast theme in a point-and-click adventure format that melds an excellent sci-fi mythos with slightly less-than-stellar gameplay.
Don't feel too flustered, if you're wondering who or what the hell Perry Rhodan is. Like the rest of the folks living in North America, you're probably not alone. Perry Rhodan is an epic German space opera revolving around the intergalactic exploits of a human space explorer-turned-immortal bearing the same name. The science fiction series originated in the 1960s as a series of short novellas focused on an expansive and continually growing fictional universe. The novels never quite caught on in this part of the world, but they've inspired comics, toys, plays, music, and other spinoff works in Germany and elsewhere. Bringing an all-new chapter in Rhodan's story to North American PCs is a bold move, considering few gamers are likely to be familiar with the series. Whether you're familiar with the "Perryverse" or not, it's hard to resist being drawn-in by the style and slick, futurist vibe of this sci-fi affair.
As the immortal Terran Regent, Rhodan ends up in a bind when his home city falls under attack and his lover, Mondra Diamond, is mysteriously abducted by rogue droids after conducting research on a mythical race of alien beings. While attempting to track down Diamond and discover the motivation for the assault, Rhodan finds himself embroiled in a deeply rooted conspiracy that threatens the peaceful existence of his people. The plot itself is occasionally dry, and there are moments when it slowly meanders onward. Also, there's a ton of back story that's never completely explained; you're basically launched-head-first into the action and are meant to sort things out as you go. The main elements directly relevant to the gameplay do become clear, but this is only after delving through lots of in-game text gained from scanning information and items into computer terminals.
The Immortals of Terra is largely successful because it's such a beautiful game. The story and sci-fi setting are amplified 110 percent by the lushly rendered 3D landscapes Rhodan will travel across. The broad scope of the game's visuals become immediately apparent from the first moment you gaze out the window of Rhodan's residence hall to view the vast futuristic cityscape set among the clouds.
Amazingly realistic lighting effects glint off the buildings and a stream of hover cars commutes to and fro in the background. The initially impressive level of detail in the characters, scenery, cutscenes, and interactive objects flows steadily throughout the entire game. It's one of the best-looking adventure games out there - a wonderful thing for a genre that seems to be often marred by half-assed production. Though Rhodan will do plenty of running back-and-forth across many of the same rooms in his pixel hunting space adventure, the game's locations are each unique in their own right.