ATLANTIS III COMPAIRED
TO TOMB RAIDER
Copyright © New Straits Times
[ November 2nd 2001 ]
the many fascinating things about archaeology
is the piecing together of details that have become
frozen in time. These range from hieroglyphics
and mummies to places whose people have long gone
or moved away many generations ago.
is archaeology that it has been romanticised into
movies and, of course, computer games. Although
archaeology per se can be pretty dry and plain
boring, movies like the Indiana Jones series and
adventure games like Cryo's Atlantis series have
made archaeology appear to be something more suited
for adventurers than scientists.
is a legitimate branch of science, but there is
a lot of supposition involved when interpreting
archaeological findings. Often enough, archaeologists
can only offer educated guesses on what their
findings really mean and that leaves a lot of
room for imagination.
imagination takes hold, fiction takes precedence
over science, which is why a legendary place as
mysterious and illusive as Atlantis has become
well known in the world today. There is little
historical evidence to suggest that Atlantis really
exists. There is in fact more evidence on Sodom
and Gomorrah than there is on Atlantis, owing
to a great extent to Biblical and Quranic scriptures.
perhaps only time will reveal the true location
of Atlantis, just like the location of the lost
city of the Ad people, also known as the Atlantis
of the Sands, which purportedly was discovered
recently in the Arabian Peninsula. And perhaps
taking the cue from such an amazing discovery,
Cryo Interactive has produced a sequel to its
well-acclaimed Atlantis II set in the year 2018
called Atlantis III: The New World.
storyline goes, the reason why Atlantis had been
so illusive to adventurers of the past is because
they did not know where to begin looking. All
the evidence gathered throughout the centuries
firmly point towards Egypt or at least the Egyptian
there, archaeologists and tomb raiders alike have
gone in search of the remnants of Atlantis, which,
according to the story, had been built in part,
if not wholly, by the Egyptians. One of the Atlantis
seekers found a quartz-like crystal in the shape
of a skull in Peru and another, which is the game's
protagonist, is in the process of making a discovery
of her own in the Hoggar desert. This is where
the gamer begins his search.
protagonists. It almost goes without saying that
good interactive adventure games tend to have
female protagonists as opposed to their male counterparts.
Perhaps it is acknowledgment of the fact that,
generally speaking, gamers tend to be male and
male gamers prefer seeing attractive female protagonists,
much in the same vein as how they like seeing
Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider series.
Atlantis III's female protagonist is modelled
after French actress Chiara Mastroianni, who is
the daughter of Catherine Deneuve.
Cryo did not exaggerate her physique like how
Lara Croft's physique was exaggerated in order
to make her attractive. This is because the three-dimensional
(3-D) modelling is impressively detailed, almost
as precise as those found in Final Fantasy: The
Spirits Within movie. And the way the game has
been designed is that it is played mostly in the
first-person perspective. However, when interaction
with specific objects or non-player characters
is called for, the game reverts to a sort of interactive
early in the game, Chiara has to solve the mystery
of the stolen well and she has to confront an
armed guard at the entrance to the well. As soon
as the guard is clicked on with the mouse pointer
and one of the many interactive options is picked,
a fully 3-D animated cutscene showing the exchange
between Chiara and the guard kicks in. This is
both highly novel and enjoyable. It is like playing
an interactive version of the Final Fantasy movie.
that regard, I must say that Cryo has finally
found the right combination for state-of-the-art
non-action based adventure games. In the past,
the use of Myst-like game formats tend to detract
from an adventure game's realism. Now that Cryo
has shown the way with Atlantis III, we can expect
more interactive movie-like adventure games to
hit computer game shelves.
however, you may just find the ending for Atlantis
III a little disappointing. At least, that appears
to be the consensus of reviews found on the Internet
regarding Atlantis III. Oh well, nothing is perfect,
courtesy of Ahmad Faiz.