Robert Hornbek

Game Development & Exploration

Posts Tagged ‘Majesco’

Advent Rising

Posted by rHornbek on February 1, 2010

When I first heard about the development of this game I was excited.  Later when I learned that Orson Scott Card, the writer for such beloved novels as the Ender’s series,  was going to be working on the project as well my mind was blown.

Advent Rising is an action adventure game set in the distant future where humans have been all alone in the universe, so they thought.  On a single momentous day a massive alien ship arrives to inform the humans that they are not alone in the universe and have been considered an extinct species for thousands of years.  Despite the excitement of first contact, the humans quickly learn that there is a second race of beings who have followed the first with aims to destroy every last human.

Our hero Gideon, a pilot and the younger brother of a war hero learns that he is humanities last hope for survival.  He gets cool weapons, alien allies and psychic powers!  What more could a science fiction lover ask for?!

Gideon (Left) confronts the foe, the Seekers (Left & Background)

Unfortunately like many highly anticipated games, Advent Rising fell a bit short.  While Orson Scott Card’s skill for writing was apparent and Glyphix’ art team did a pretty stellar job the game fell short when it came to overall polish.  Gameplay was a bit clunky at times or even uninteresting because psychic powers eventually made guns nearly pointless.  There was even a lot of hype about how the user’s decisions in the game would greatly effect the outcome of the game, and they did to a degree but nothing that was all important as far as I was concerned.

The game was planned to become a trilogy so it left the user with a bit of a cliffhanger and while most of the conflict was resolved you knew there were much bigger fish to fry.  In the end the game was not received all that well from the community so it was scrapped.  A few fan groups have continued the series through a comic series which I have not seem much of, but looked interesting.

Seeker CG model turnaround

I would still have to recommend this game to anyone who is looking for a quick fix, not to mention you can download it off of Steam.  Advent Rising has some of my favorite alien designs, the Seekers along (above) are by far one of my favorite species from any fiction.  The nearly seamless way the developers connected in-game events with cut-scenes were wonderful and generated a wonderful sense of adventure, which I feel too many games are lacking these days.  The writing and dialog, while not the best, was really impressive for a game.

I would love to see Orson Scott Card write for another game, or even work with the man myself.  This little diamond may remain in the rough, but it is still a diamond as far as I am concerned.


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