Memoria (Hands-On) (PC) Preview

By Javier Jimenez 09.03.2014

Review for Memoria (Hands-On) on PC

Apparently, 2014 is the year of Dark Eye, the German heavyweight pen-and-paper role-playing game. First there was the oh-so-close-but-heavily-flawed Blackguards, a tactical RPG. Now it's a re-release of Memoria, an adventure game in the classic point-and-click style. This is something of an old game, actually. It officially hit shelves way back in ye olden days of August 2013. Daedalic Entertainment has just recently released a playable demo, though, and that means another look at the game.

The demo, available on Steam or directly from the developer's website, presents the first chapter of the story. It weighs in at just under an hour of playtime and sets up the stories of Geron and Sadja. Geron, players are told, is a typical hero-type person. He even had a game of his own, to which Memoria is a direct sequel. Sadja is something different, though; a memory of a story, told to Geron for the purposes of presenting a riddle he must solve.

It is an interesting framing story, well written and well told; enough to keep the player clicking through dialogue and puzzles. Given how closely story and gameplay intertwine in the point-and-click adventure genre, that speaks well of Memoria.

The story may be the best part of it, however. From there, the various aspects of the game are less solid. That is not to say they are bad - they are just not as consistently good.

For instance, take the voice acting. It ranges from good (Sadja) to almost excruciating (various supporting characters). While some allowance has to be made for lower budget games, players may find themselves clicking through dialogue just to get the voice acting over with.

Screenshot for Memoria (Hands-On) on PC

That sort of inconsistency is present through the demo's playtime. Another example is the game's sumptuously hand-drawn graphics. The detail is often impressive, characters look damn good up close, even painterly. The same goes for the backgrounds, which often are overwhelmingly creative and original, to the point where one has to just sit and study them awhile.

However, watch the character sprites closely and the stiffness of their animations becomes evident. Such awkwardness detracts from the game. It's not enough to ruin the enjoyment, but it is enough to distract and break immersion.

This is so with the puzzles, as well. On the whole, they are intelligent, they flow logically, and they aren't unfair, yet, once in awhile, the player will have to engage in "hunt the pixel," dragging the mouse pointer back and forth across the screen to find activatable objects that are dimly lit, or innocuous pieces of the background - little bits that look like no more than decoration that are actually integral to a puzzle. Again, not enough to ruin the overall fun, but enough to frustrate and derail things for a couple of minutes.

Screenshot for Memoria (Hands-On) on PC

Final Thoughts

Despite the issues mentioned above, Memoria falls on the side of "good" more often than "bad." The story is interesting, the puzzles are fair and fun, the artwork is good, and so is most of the audio. The game itself is also solidly built, with a smart interface that is responsive and glitch-free. Based on the demo, Memoria seems to be a good game, no more and no less. It is straightforward, no frills, no DLC, no microtransactions, no online DRM, no funny business. Therefore, if adventuring is the goal, Cubed3 can safely recommend taking a look at the Memoria demo.

Developer

Daedalic

Publisher

Daedalic

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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