Steampunked: Adam’s Venture Episode 3

boxIt’s been a long slow day here and since it’s Sunday and the Lord is with me all day I figured why not just bang out this last Adam Venture episode.  Honestly I’m kind of glad to be done with these, no offense to Adam and the crew over at Vertigo Digital Entertainment but these things can best be described as inoffensive, certainly not gripping entertainment. Without further ado lets talk about the final chapter in Adam’s Venture!

Game: Adam’s Venture Episode 3: Revelations

Developer: Vertigo Digital Entertainment

Release: March 9, 2012

Genre: Adventure

Rating: 3/5

If you liked: The Last Crusade, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, safe unsatisfactory trilogy endings

After Episode 2's thrilling conclusion, we now take you to... the library?!

After Episode 2’s thrilling conclusion, we now take you to… the library?!

I don’t want to sound too harsh towards Episode 3 here but honestly it was really weak.  I had high hopes for this series after the second chapter fixed most of the problems I had with the game but then with the third entry it’s a case of one step forward two steps back.  When we last left Adam he was trapped inside Solomon’s temple and Evelyn had been kidnapped.  So naturally this episode opens with Adam in the library of his father looking for a book… oh great we’ve gone the Last Crusade route here.

"They're digging in the wrong place!"

“They’re digging in the wrong place!”

Yes the whole first 3/4 of this episode are all a flashback to the events leading up to episode 1.  We are introduced to Adams father who the story now tells us is doing all the legwork on finding the garden of Eden.  This twist actually makes Adam even worse as a character.  I had complained last article about him becoming an overly snarky pest, but now we find out he’s not even a real archaeologist  he just goes wherever his father tells him to go and retrieves the item.  Adam is written just as obnoxiously as last episode but now he’s being shown as clueless as well.  Not very becoming for your main character.

As the episodes title Revelations would lead you to believe this episode at least sheds some light on what is going on with the story and how things will end.  Basically the Clairvaux corporation wants to blow up the temple of Solomon so that the Christians, Jews and Muslims will all go into a three-way holy war on each other with Clairvaux supplying weapons on all sides.  I see the villain (I don’t even remember his name… Mr. Clairvaux I guess) went to the M. Bison school of villainy.  He has loaded a comically large amount of TNT into the temple, seriously this guy must have the same rewards rating at the Acme factory as Wile E. Coyote.

Exploring the Templar Knights tomb

Exploring the Templar Knights tomb

Adam spends his time bumbling around an old crypt looking for a dead knight in the flashback portion of the game (sound familiar…) and then when we get to the events of Episode 1 the game fast forwards to Adam waking up in the Temple of Solomon again.  You’ve got to disarm the bombs and save Evelyn and your father who is now conveniently in the hands of the enemy and in the temple with you.  Guess he was following just slightly behind you the whole time or something.

Waking up in Solomon's Temple

Waking up in Solomon’s Temple

The real problem with this game is the puzzles.  Where the second game had interesting and varied ones, the third episode falls back on the pitfall that the first suffered from, namely lazy repeating puzzles.  You’ll do the same dot matching puzzle FIVE times in the first part of the game.  The puzzle isn’t even interesting it’s just tedious pattern recognition but to have to do it 5 times is just ridiculous.  To disarm the bombs you have to cut the wires leading to the TNT which of course is one of those stupid tangled wire following puzzles you see in cheap flash games and casual compilations, and of course you’ll do these puzzles 3 times total.  Then there are the mazes.  Interesting at first, the mazes are set on grids with tiles that cause the doors around you to open and close based on the tile showing on the floor.  It actually takes some thought to get through these things but why there had to be three individual mazes instead of one really well thought out one I will never know.

The final encounter is of course a puzzle as there’s no fighting or direct combat in the game but it is ridiculously simple yet tedious.  You’ll be platforming from one side of the room to the other to manipulate levers that could have just as easily been put on the same side of the room.  Of course the game ends with the old “I don’t think this is the end of our adventures” line, and while that’s possible I could really take or leave this series at this point.

The beautiful environments continue

The beautiful environments continue

I will say, as I’ve always said, the games environments are beautiful.  The lighting is fantastic.  The platforming and gameplay is competent.  It is not as if Vertigo Digital Entertainment has made a bad game here.  The games are stable for the most part, playable, and have a decent design and ideas behind them.  It’s just that they feel held back compared to their obvious inspirations of Nathan Drake and Indiana Jones.  I get it that they are supposed to convey Christian values and shouldn’t be filled with violence and what not, but The Last Crusade was based heavily on Christian mythology and teachings and even with its violence and action STILL managed to get its message across while being entertaining.  I would love to see Adam’s Venture step it up a bit and fulfill some of its potential.  The setting and gameplay all work, they just need to retool Adam to be less of a dork and give him some villains worth fighting.

Even the great Temple of Doom isn't safe from identity theft

Even the great Temple of Doom isn’t safe from identity theft

As I said, I’m glad this series is behind me, I’ve spent 3000 words over 3 articles talking about them and I’m seriously done with Adam Venture.  I’m glad I’ve played them and can clear them off my Steam Unplayed List, but I seriously doubt I’ll ever go back to revisit these in the future.

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