Who would have thought that Jordan Mechner, who previously created such immortal classics as Karateka or Prince of Persia, would be the creator of one of the most innovative adventure games of the late 90s, which certainly is The Last Express. Looking closely, however, we can see some similarities between Karateka, a game which as one of the first positions to emotionally enagage the player through short cut-scenes with additional narrative. The Last Express is revolutionary in a similar way - by skillfully developing the plot in real time. And if not for a few gameplay issues, The Last Express could easily be considered one of the best adventure games of all time.
The game takes place on the Orient Express, immediately before the outbreak of the First World War. The Last Express is an international intrigue, a love story and a criminal novel at the same time. It may sound trivial, but the intelligent plot, memorable characters, unpredictable plot twists and some of the best performances of voice acting in video games negate the game's other mistakes. We play the role of Roberth Cath - an American, with a mysterious past, who gets on board the train just to visit his old colleague. When we arrive at the place, it turns out that our friend was murdered. It won't be easy to solve the mystery of his death, because there are many surprises behind it. The plot is extremely intriguing and keeps us in suspense until the very end.
The Last Express uses real time gameplay, i.e. the characters in the game follow their schedules - go to lunches, hold conversations, move from place to place, etc. Therefore, if we want to get some information or tips, we have to be in the right place and time. The great thing is that we can listen to many different conversations. Starting with rumors and ending with discussions on political issues. Of course, there is also the other side of the coin. Sometimes we have to wait a long time for an event to move the plot forward. This is a frustrating situation, because even if we have done everything in a given part of the game, we have to wait patiently for the moment marked out by the developer in order to be able to go further.
Graphics has been made at a high level and combines photo-realistic environments with characters from a process called "roto-scoped". (i.e. the process by which actors are first recorded and then animated). The sound layer, thanks to excellent lectors, attracts the player's attention and works very well in doing so. The time needed to go through the game is about 20 hours, so a lot of fun.
PC / Windows
- CPU 60MHz Intel/AMD
- 8MB RAM