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ZOOM Syberia
$9.95 (Win95/98/Me/2000/XP) (Canadian Retail Box) (SYBERIAPR)

Publisher: DreamCatcher / Microids

Mild language and use of alcohol

Ratings:

from Four Fat Chicks

A from Just Adventure

from Games Domain UK

One Breathtaking Journey

Kate Walker, a young and brilliant lawyer from New York, has come to Europe to negotiate the purchase a famous Robot/Toy factory, but will soon have her future completely turned upside down...

The owner of the factory, Anna Voralberg, has just died. The Heir to the factory, Anna's brother, Hans, who is a genius inventor, has been missing for decades; lost somewhere between the Alps and Siberia… Kathe must find this enigmatic man to finalise the deal. But, in her journey from the West to the East, she will progressively discover and understand the reasons, which have made Hans, leave his family and never return.

Game Features

A state-of-the-art 3D graphical adventure: each environment of the game benefits from deep and highly intricate graphical detail.

Evolution of the Kathe's personality: from a materialistic executive, Kathe will reveal herself as dreamy romantic adventurer… A new life begins!

Unique ambience: tracing Hans' footsteps, Kathe will discover a magical world of robots and meet amazing characters in mysterious environments, settings taken from a bygone era in European history.

Compelling and rich scenario: this third-person-perspective, puzzle-driven adventure introduces logical problem solving mixed with a complex and highly involving storyline to completely immerse the player!


Requirements:

Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP: Pentium II 550 MHz, 64 Mb RAM, 3D graphic Card - 16Mb

Before starting play you should apply the patch available at:

http://www.adventurecompanygames.com/tac/support/pc/patches/patches.php


Reviews:

Four Fat Chicks by Jen

"Whereas Amerzone was a lonely first-person game, Syberia is played in the third person and contains considerable interaction with other characters. Many a writer has drawn parallels between Syberia and The Longest Journey, and not without good reason. Both games feature women protagonists who explore both their external environments and their innermost selves, both games are a joy to behold, visually speaking, and both have that certain ever-so-rare magical quality that carries the player body and soul into their worlds."

"From madness to mechanics, war machines to windup toys, head wounds to heart wounds, Syberia's epic tale covers more than half a century in game time and allows you to spend about 15 to 20 of your real hours playing it, or rather almost living it. It is really hard for a run-of-the-mill writer like me to do justice to Syberia in describing it. Ultimately all I can tell you is this: Play it yourself! It is not likely you will be disappointed."

Quandary Review by Gordon Alpin

"The notion of the journey as a metaphor for personal growth and understanding is as old as story telling itself. The traveller who arrives at her destination is different to the person who originally set out and not only is the person changed by the journey, but also the process of change can mean that the final destination is very different from the one intended or envisaged at the start. Rarely has this concept been tackled in a meaningful way in computer games – off the top of my head I can only think of Arxel Tribe’s The Legend of the Prophet and the Assassin (parts I and II) and perhaps Funcom’s The Longest Journey … and now Syberia. Created by Benoît Sokal and Microids who previously made Amerzone, Syberia is a beautifully crafted journey of discovery.

"Nor is change the only theme on offer here for you will also encounter madness, despair, loneliness, dreams, obsessions and, most importantly, hope."

"But strangely the game wasn’t depressing because hope travelled with Kate at every stage. Not only does Kate grow on this journey but she also changes the lives of some of the people she meets, freeing them from the constraints of the past, or from habit or regulations, and enabling them to see clearly, literally in one case. It even had its lighter moments such as the interplay between Kate and Oscar, the automaton engineer who shares her journey. Oscar is quite endearing but he isn’t a lot of help and he contributes to Kate’s problems by occasionally losing his extremities.

"Syberia is a very fine adventure game, gorgeous to look at and with an intriguing and compelling story. It’s tremendously enjoyable despite the air of sadness (and my few criticisms). I’d recommend it for all adventure game players who want a gentle, poignant journey. Because it is so gentle it would also be an excellent choice for new players as well. There must be a sequel, and soon because many players, myself included, simply must know what happens next. And besides, I want to see the Mammoths!"

Just Adventure by Ray Ivey

"In fact, the entire story of the game is drenched in a sense of sorrow and regret. The melancholy feeling of the game is expressed in everything from the lighting of the scenes down to the very geography of the locations. For example, there's a sequence late in the game that is set in a faded resort on what used to be the shore of the Aral Sea. The buildings now sit, crumbling and dusty, as the doomed lake recedes farther and farther into nothingness. Syberia is actually the saddest adventure game I can remember playing since the brilliant Azrael's Tear. This is not a complaint."

"After the haunting beginning, the first thing the player notices about the game is that it is flat-out, fall-down-on-the-floor beautiful. [art department names] I'll say right now that Syberia ranks with The Longest Journey, Nightlong, The Feeble Files and Discworld Noir as one of the most beautiful 3rd-person adventures I've ever seen..."

"...Syberia provides a huge dose of what adventure gamers are hungry for: a rich story, complicated characters, tons of puzzles and exploration of a series of beautiful and intriguing environments. From its eerie, haunting beginning to its bittersweet, challenging conclusion, the game serves up a heady experience I don't think you'll soon forget."

Games Domain UK by Gary Downs

"Which brings us to Syberia, a new adventure envisioned by French graphic novelist Benoit Sokal (best known in gaming circles for Amerzone, one of the biggest-selling adventures to hit Europe during the 1990s) and brought to your hard drive courtesy of Canadian developer Microids. Although it features all of the expected lapses in logic, the setting is so wondrous and the plot so fantastically engaging that it's easy to forgive any faux pas. Sokal has developed a slightly surrealistic world as captivating as a good fantasy novel, and populated it with three-dimensional characters that wouldn't be out of place in an award-winning movie. Although Syberia might be too traditional an adventure to convert the masses, fans of the genre shouldn't miss out on what is easily the finest game of this type since The Longest Journey arrived in late 2000."

"As you might expect, Kate's search for Hans Voralberg becomes the focus of Syberia. It stretches across Europe, from Valadilene to the university town of Barrockstadt, and on to the futuristic Russian city of Komkolzgrad and the strange land of Aralbad. Each location is rendered with 2D backdrops that could have been excerpted from a contemporary graphic novel. Various 3D touches -- such as animated water, flying birds, morning haze, and so on -- bring this background scenery to life, as do the 3D character models. Every personality in the game has been given a unique look that blends realistic features with minor cartoonish qualities (Kate's abnormally wide eyes, for example) that accentuate the strangeness of the setting."

"All in all, Syberia may be the perfect title for an adventure gaming traditionalist. The setting is rich, the characters are captivating, the interface is clean and easy to use, and the puzzles are just obtuse enough to be challenging, not frustrating. But at the same time, there isn't anything new here to interest newbies and those tired of adventure games. Because of that, it's impossible to recommend the game to everyone. Still, if you've got a soft spot for old-fashioned adventures, there isn't a better game to be found."

Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review

"Once in a blue moon, a game comes along that is truly outstanding in every way, head and shoulders above the rest, and Microids' Syberia is that kind of game. It is a consummate work of art, an unforgettable journey into a retro world of unsurpassed beauty and sound, with a fascinating story by renowned author Benoit Sokal that both delights and surreptitiously inspires. It's a fantastic tale with extraordinary characters, a tale borne of values and relationships from another era that strikes a responsive chord on an almost subliminal level, and makes us re-examine the wisdom of our modern lifestyle and ideals."

"Not even the smallest detail is overlooked: the water still drips from the lampposts after a rain, the weeds blow in the wind when the train passes by, a key actually bounces when thrown onto a concrete floor, and the sound of your own footsteps change when you switch from sand to metal or stone. And the music is nothing less than magnificent: evocative, stirring, and achingly beautiful ..... and notably, only performed periodically, for emphasis or heightened emotional effect, something usually only experienced in motion pictures."

"It's an eye-opening experience, and it elicits an emotional response in the player that catches you unawares. We laughingly feel her frustration as she tries to deal with those around her, and we empathize and identify with her as she gradually begins to realize the truth. And at the end (that glorious ending!) we cheer her on ..... with tears in our eyes ..... as she makes her final decision. You go, girl!

"If you can play only one game this year, make this the one you choose. In our opinion it is, without doubt, the game of the year ..... perhaps the game of the decade. Don't miss it!"



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