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Sold Out (Win95/98/ME/XP) (DVD Case) (DISCNOIRPR)

Publisher: Perfect Entertainment / GT Interactive

Game

                

Ratings:

Game-Over

8.5 from  WomenGamers.com

A-/B/C+ from  Just Adventure

Terry Pratchett's Latest Adventure

Into the mean streets of Ankh-Morpork one man must go... where death stands on every corner, asking for directions.

The name's Lewton. I'm a private investigator. I don't know where the idea came from, I was just thinking one night that it would be really cool to have an office with my name on the door and a sturdy desk for sexy broads to lean across. Trouble is, wherever there are sexy broads there's trouble, and the dame I'm working for wrote the book on trouble, and the sequel too. Her name's Carlotta, and between her, the psychotic dwarf who's following me and this walking mountain with the brain of a pomergranate who calls himself Malachite, I'm beginning to wonder if the Discworld's first private investigator might be about to become the Discworld's last private investigator too.

Walk the mean streets of Ankh-Morpork in this latest addition to the hugely successful Discworld saga.

You are in control of the action in this new and original story, created under the guidance of Terry Pratchett.

Talk to almost seventy different characters - including old favorites like Corporal Nobbs, Death and the Grim Squeaker - using a new and innovative conversation system that puts you in charge of the investigations.

Visit over seventy different locations, all rendered in stunning 3D, as you attempt to solve murders, reveal conspiracies and attempt to uncover the truth - before it's too late.

Cast of Characters

Lewton: The star of Discworld Noir, Lewton is the Discworld's first PI, and former watchman who left the watch in mysterious circumstances who he finds himself in a whole lot of trouble when a broad walks into his office and gives him a case that turns out to be more complicated than it looks.

Carlotta Von Uberwald: Carlotta is the femme fatale, who walks into Lewton's office and gives him what appears to be a straightforward case. However, as the game progresses, it becomes clear that, in true film noir style, she has ulterior motives.

Al Khali: This character is Horsts dwarven associate, a sneaky, devious creature who isn't exactly trustworthy.

Horst: A troll with a granite finger in a great many pies, Horst, on another world, would probably be played by Sidney Greenstreet, and can prove to be a useful source of information and illicit goods, although whether his information is on the level is something Lewton will have to work out for himself.

Ilsa: Ilsa is Lewton's old flame, currently engaged to an Agatean Archaeologist, but whom Lewton still holds a torch for. But does she still harbour any feels for Lewton? Only time will tell.

Two Conkers: The Agatean Archaeologist to whom Ilsa, Lewton's former flame, is engaged, Two Conkers spends a lot of time poking around in trenches looking for artifacts, though he's more Tony Robinson than Indiana Jones. He also bears a passing resemblance to a certain Agatean tourist whom Discworld fans may be familiar with.

Leonard Da Quirm: An inventor with a gift for coming up with strange, complicated and sometimes dangerous inventions, although not to good at naming them, Leonard currently lives in a cell at the Patrician's palace, hopefully out of harms way, although with a genius like Leonard, you can never be totally sure.

Requirements:

Windows 95/98/ME/XP: P166 or greater IBM compatible computer, 32MB of RAM, 8 speed CD-ROM drive.

There can be some problems installing under Windows 95A (the original version). For a solution, check NEWS at http://www.us.lspace.org/games/discworld/.

It installs and runs under Windows XP but you will need to create your own shortcut.

Foreward by Terry Pratchett

Film Noir
(A guide for those people who think Star Wars is an old movie)

Technically, film noir means 'black film', but... look, you know what it has come to mean, even if you didn't know what it was called, because I doubt if there has ever been a movie style that can be so recognizably parodied. Film Noir is what you get when you stir together The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Casablanca, To Have and Have Not and several dozen other movies made in the 40s and 50s. The weather is bad, the lighting is low, the streets are mean, life is cheap and the women are tougher than nails and have shoulder pads on which a competent pilot could land a small jet. People tend to lie a lot and double-cross one another.

It's the monochrome world of cynical detectives with their names spelled backwards on the glass doors of seedy offices and a bottle of rye in their desk drawer. And people smoked a lot, probably because of the stress of the lying, double-crossing, bad weather and walking into furniture in the low light. Technically, it died out in the mid-50s and lightening of the post-war gloom, but surfaces in countless parodies (Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid), homages (Blade Runner) and references so ingrained in popular culture that you probably know exactly what I'm taking about even if you've never seen one of the movies.

Play it again, Sam.

Discworld
(A guide for those people who think fantasy only comes in brick-thick volumes)

Discworld is... but you've just bought the third Discworld computer game, and you don't know about the twenty-three books, the maps, the posters, the badges, the beers, the diaries, bookmarks, figurines, fan clubs, conventions and very popular cross-stitch embroidery designs?

Shall we wait for you to catch up?
All right.

The action in many of the books centres in and around the ancient, thriving and cheerfully-corrupt city of Ankh-Morpork. The weather is bad, the lighting is low, the streets are mean (oh, yes) life is expensive because it's death that's cheap, and the women are pretty tough even without shoulder-pads. People tend to lie a lot and double cross one another.

It's a naked city of a million stories, many of them badly spelled and cut very short. There are trolls, dwarfs, werewolves, zombies, wizards and vampires among the citizenry. Mostly they just want to earn the next dollar. And now it's just got its first private eye. He can look forward to being lied to and double-crossed, but that's only the start of his problems...

As they say in Sham Harga's House of Ribs:
"Play it again, Sham."

Reviews:

Game-Over, June 1999 by Dave Wadler

"The game. Well the first thing you notice is that it is very different from the previous two Discworld Adventures. Oh it has the same sort of interface, and it's set in Ankh-Morpork. It even has a couple of the regular Discworld characters. But the story is much darker than all the other Discworld outings. The story is your basic Private Investigator story - Our hero, Lewton, is asked by a beautiful woman, Carlotta, to find her 'friend' Mundy. Which of course he does, and then his troubles really start."

"A summary, OK, how's this - Discworld Noir is an excellent game with a good story, excellent characters and an interesting plot. The graphics are good and the puzzles are reasonable, but might be a little easy for the experienced gamer. This latest version is much darker and has a different type of humour to Terry Pratchett's novels and the first two games, so some Discworld fans might be disappointed. Personally though, I consider myself to be a bit of Discworld fan and I like it. I think that Discworld Noir opens up a new view of the Discworld which is just as interesting as Terry Pratchett's. In fact I can, and do, recommend this game to both Discworld fans and lovers of Private Investigator stories, as well as those of you who just like a good adventure game."

WomenGamers.com by Boudicca (6/29/00)

"Graphics: Eye Candy it ain't. This isn't a "pretty game" but it's damn well done. Each backdrop is beautifully detailed and believable, and there are a lot of them, from Lewton's Office, to a Cemetery, to the Temple of Small Gods. The characters are well drawn - the only quibble I would have is that because of the necessary darkness of the game, sometimes it is difficult to make out who is who. .."

"Sound/Music: Can't fault it - it was Film Noir throughout, saxophones, piano (play it, Sam!) and mood music galore. The Genre screams out for music, without it, the game wouldn't have been the same. .."

"Gameplay: Very simple to play - however you have to have an inquiring mind. Its no good thinking, "oh look, there's a nice rat" you have to think "oh look, there's a rat, why is there a rat?" None of the problems are the hideously devious type as found in Discworld One - you don't pick up a lot, but what you do is used. The emphasis is on what is said rather than on what you find..."

"An excellent game, certainly the best of the series so far. Lets hope they don't do what the Developers of Broken Sword did and not follow up such a good game. It looks good, it sounds good, its an intriguing play, it keeps you hooked...oh, and did I mention the twist? No Film Noir worth its convoluted plot would dare not have a twist. This one is a doozy - Its something I have never encountered in a game before. Its not even mentioned in the Booklet so it was completely unexpected. No, I'm still not telling."

Quandary Computer Games by Gordon Alpin (August 1999)

"Discworld Noir, as the name suggests, presents us with a view of the dark under-belly of Ankh-Morporkian society that would not be a pretty sight, were you able to see it. Clearly, this Discworld-after-dark is no place for one such as Rincewind who no doubt remembered that he had an important engagement elsewhere. Into the breach steps Lewton, the Discworld's first Private Investigator, a man with a hard-boiled interior monologue and his name on the glass door to his office. The familiar Ankh-Morpork is still there, sort of, it is so tangible you can smell it ... it's just difficult to see."

"Though this game is dark it is never mean. It is in fact a humorous, at times brilliantly witty, parody of some classic films from the '40s and '50s such as Casablanca, To Have and Have Not and The Maltese Falcon to name but three. Well-known characters, scenes and dialogue are all given the Discworld treatment (Sidney Greenstreet in the form of an unusually articulate Troll and a Peter Lorre Dwarf) and part of the fun is in identifying the reference source. Even if you are not familiar with the movies you will still recognise the 'Noir' style and, no doubt, appreciate the irreverent send-up. As well as these movies the game roams far and wide for its humorous material and pokes fun at other computer games such as Tomb Raider. And I'm sure I recognised in the Wizard Satrap's megalomaniacal speech the words of Davros from an episode of Doctor Who."

"As you have no doubt guessed from this review I thoroughly enjoyed the game though my preference is still for the style of the earlier two and I hope that the developers have not completely rinsed their hands of Rincewind. If you don't play Discworld Noir you will regret it. Maybe not today ... maybe not tomorrow, but soon ...."

Just Adventure by Tom Houston, Ray Ivey, and Jenny Guenther

Tom: "My overall rating for Discworld Noir is an A-. For gamers who have been starved for a good detective adventure game that will remind you of the film noir movies, Tex Murphy and Gabriel Knight, with plenty of humor thrown in, I would recommend Discworld Noir. Of course, remember that you will have to endure the long conversations, the extended loading times between scenes and the all-too-frequent "crashes," but you will also get to enjoy an excellent story, wonderful graphics, sounds and smells, and allow your brain to experience the strain of logical puzzle-solving."

Ray: "I should say at the outset that this is one of the most ravishingly beautiful games I've ever seen. The moody, rain-filled, rich colors of the game remind you of that greatest of all neo-noir classics, Chinatown....one of the wildest, most convoluted, imaginative, and complex stories I've ever come across in an adventure game... I would recommend Discworld Noir to any fan of detective games, conversation-driven games, and, obviously, fans of film noir."

Jenny: "DWN starts off quite promising--you play as Lewton, "the Discworld's first, and maybe last, private investigator." After a kind of a prologue that involves you dying but somehow still being around to tell your story, a bossy woman named Carlotta is in your office hiring you to locate her lover, Mundy, and then she leaves, conveniently forgetting to pay you. You decide to take the case anyway, perhaps swayed by Carlotta's high, perfectly spherical boobs, but more likely by the sorry state of your finances, "private investigator" being a fairly novel concept on the Discworld. You uncover conspiracy within conspiracy on top of other conspiracy, like peeling the layers of an onion, all in four acts. There are bits and pieces of famous noir films liberally sprinkled throughout the game, but with kind of a distinct Discworld spin. The game's plot is very highly developed, especially for a computer game, with lots of magic and murder--and I would say it's at least as good as Jane Jensen's stories for the Gabriel Knight games. It manages never to lose track of itself, even through numerous convolutions, and most, if not all, of the loose ends get tied up by the end of the game. I grade the plot A+...I really hate to be very critical of one of the few true adventure games that will be released this year, but DWN was a big disappointment to me, largely because it was such a pain in the ass just to get it to run, and so my final grade is going to be the lowly but still somewhat respectable C+. I probably would have graded it B+ or A- purely for atmosphere--DWN fairly reeks of atmosphere--had it not been for the bugs (and before you ask, my computer, while middle-of-the-road in these PIII days, far exceeds the stated requirements in every respect)."



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