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Project Eden

Developer: Core Design | Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Players: | Release Date: 10/08/01 | Genre: Action

I definitely sensed potential in Project Eden, but everything that could have been right seemed to just miss its mark. So while the game isn't really that bad, it's not as good as it could have been.

One of the better aspects of Project Eden was the story. Your team is sent into the mysterious depths of a very creative city to investigate a power outage at a meat factory. However, the depths of these mega-cities are crawling with hoodlums and lab experiments gone-wrong, which allows opportunity for the game's action. But Core Designs does little to provide this action, deciding instead to twist the could-be science fiction adventure thriller into a lengthy puzzle solver.

It seems that nearly every door in the game is only opened by solving very intricate puzzles with little assistance from your list of objectives or your boss. So with vague objectives, hours of exploring and trial and error slow down the story to an intolerable pace, and that is my primary disappointment in Project Eden. The only interesting part of these puzzles is seeing how your different party members are unique and required for some areas to allow passage to your other members, but this wears off far too quickly to maintain excitement in the principle.

The play control is rather unique, providing a FPS control set-up in a third person view. While a first-person perspective is available, it feels sloppy and exploring is more difficult. With a futuristic setting, Project Eden contains all the guns you'd expect, including missile launchers and laser guns. Also present are a handful of cool, operable items like Rover and the Flycam; however, these, too, wear their welcome by constant problem solving, especially considering the Flycam's cumbersome controls.

The sound effects are accurate and the music could have been more frequent an occurrence, alongside the action, which would have lessened the very slow pace of the game. But all in all, what was there was there, and while not spectacular, the sound helped the game more than hurt it.

As for the graphics, they were accompanied by a fairly dark atmosphere, which for the most part fit in with the mysterious plot. Since the graphics aren't anything amazing, the less I was in an area, the more I liked it. Most areas became dull after long, back and forth puzzles.

So the bottom line is that the Project Eden experience could have been much, much better with a little more action and a lot less puzzles. And although the graphics aren't necessarily up to snuff, the game's story was good (it just could have moved along smoother and been more involved). Even with my complaints, I did find myself enjoying Project Eden at time, and the completing some of the tougher problems does offer satisfaction. So if you really enjoy mind-bogglers, I would have to encourage you to try Project Eden, but if you like faster-moving games and action, keep looking. If you're interested in the game's story, it's good at the start, but it's far from what any adventure I've ever played has to offer.

By Keith Schaefer - 02/10/02
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Violence
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Screenshots for Project Eden

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