Lost: The Video Game PS3, Xbox 360, PC
If you don’t like Lost you may as well stop reading now. This is not a game that will make you like Lost, nor is it a title that will introduce you to what fans love about the show. If you are devotee of adventure gaming then don’t bother either, as even those portions of the game are not good enough to make you care if you don’t like Lost. Simply put this is a game for fans of the TV show, and to be honest it is a game that could have been done much better. But ultimately, and rather unexpectedly, it feels a lot more fun to play than your typical licensed cash in.
However, it has to be said that the game does not start off too well, opting for the highly overused amnesia mechanic to introduce the games main character. From his viewpoint you live the important parts of the show’s storyline that occurred during the first and second season the show – and see a slight hint of the third. You also find out who you are, why fate has dragged you onto the Island, and why you are seeing ghostly images of a person you once knew. It would be silly to give away the game’s story, so I won’t, but as it unfolds we are supposed to believe the main character was always there, although we never saw him before. It’s kind of like what happened with the introduction of Paulo and Nikki during the course of season three, although admittedly it’s more of a success as you don’t hate his guts from the minute you see him. From here you then wander around different sections of the island, talking to many of the characters and finding out stuff that’s happening.
For example, the beginning of the game sees you partaking in the events when the plane first crashes. You then wake up the island, with a typical close up on your eye that the directors of the show seem to love using. You can wander around then, seeing Jack doing the doc thing, talk to Sawyer who already has a vast collection of nicknames for you, and find Michael shouting “WALLLLLT!” at the top of his voice which he is famous for. You can then choose to look around the island a bit more or get involved in some quests, to advance onto the next episode. Yes, episode, as the game uses them instead of levels. It’s is a very clever idea to tell the truth and along with a ‘previously on Lost’ recap at the start of each and trademark cliffhanger music plays at the end. Because of this the game manages to feel very much like the show it portrays. Further in keeping with the style of the show, flashback are also used. These are usually kept very short and task you with taking a picture of a specific scene from your past to unlock a memory which will help you in some way on the island.
There are some really bad decisions though. One glaring example is the voicing of certain characters. The guy that does Locke does not impress. Sure, he seems to put his best foot forward, but he unfortunately does not sound like Locke at all which hurts the performance greatly. Furthermore, the guy who does Charlie sounds even worse. It’s like he never researched the character at all before recording his lines, then someone told him do an English accent and he ended up pretending he was in Oliver Twist. The rest of characters are okay, with the soundalike who voices Kate being the most impressive, getting her just spot on. Ben, Desmond and Mikhail are even better as they are voiced by the same actors from the show. Further on, a minigame used is also a cause for annoyance. It sees you having to find fuses as you walking about the environment then use them in in the right combination in a fuse board to unlock certain doors you find in the game. Maybe my hate of this is simply down to the fact I am not a fan of maths, as it is needed to calculated the right place to position the fuse, but I did not like this at all. There is about ten in the game, and most of them just seem needlessly complicated when compared to something similar like the pipeline hacking game that was used in BioShock.
To make up for this there are loads of Lost trademarks and clever little touches left about the environment fans should love finding. Even the main character’s name – when it is finally revealed – hints to the cleverness of the show as a quick check on his surname shows he was named after a philosopher, like certain other characters such as Locke, Desmond and Rousseau, which shows the developers know their mythology well enough to acknowledge elements such as this. A “You All Everybody” CD from Drive Shaft can also be seen tossed on the beach that very early in the game as well. The numbers pop up in a few places too, and characters reference a few people fans may have seen in some of their flashbacks during the last few years of watching the show. I loved it, and I am sure other fans will too. In truth, just seeing the show created in virtual form, with all its peculiarities on show should be enough to bring a smile to the faces of most aficionados.
So, in the end it has to be said that Ubi have created quite a good game based on the franchise, much better than expected, but ultimately not great. It has its interesting parts, along with some tediously boring sections, and one episode that stands out from the rest which makes you wish all the others were as meticulously put together. It makes a good effort at replicating the show, and although the game is regarded as non canon, throughout the 6-8 hour run it never descends into stupidity that would make fans turn away. Despite that, it is still just an above average title in terms of gameplay, and on our scale that would be classed as a six. So that’s what we’ll give it then.