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Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

Developer: Big Finish Games | Publisher: Atlus
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 05/08/14 | Genre: Adventure

Tex Murphy is quite a guy. We last saw him getting shot with his girlfriend back in 1998. Back then, adventure games were commonplace and so was Full Motion Video, or FMV for short. Sadly, we haven’t been able to discover what really happened to Tex… That is until now! Tex is back with a successful Kickstarter game, published by Atlus for the PC. 

Before we go on, I have a confession to make. I never played the original Tex Murphy games when I was younger. For whatever reason, I was busy on other titles and didn’t devote any time to Tex or his adventures. Bad move on my part, I admit.  These have always been games I wanted to play but never have gone back because games of this era don’t look particularly well and the video was grainy and low resolution. 

Tesla Effect gives players, like me, a chance to do something they might have missed out on. It also lets players finally close the chapter on what happened to Tex in the last game back in 1998. The game takes place 7 years after the conclusion of the last game, Overseer. Tex wakes up with amnesia and he has to figure out what has happened to him over the last 7 years.  Tesla Effect continues in post World War III in San Francisco with plenty of humor mixed in. Tex jokes his way through most situations.

Players will get a FMV of a scene. During this time, you will get one of three options to respond with. Though the dialogue you have changes slightly, it doesn’t really matter which option you select. After this, the game will transition to a First Person viewpoint of the character you are speaking with. You then have a list of dialogue options where you will get a brief response. 

The game world is a basic First Person viewpoint in full 3D. Though I have to admit the engine is very basic. It seems very reminiscent of what you would find back in the late 90’s so this may be a decision to appeal to fans of the classic franchise. Sadly, characters you speak with in 3D don’t appear in full 3D. You can walk up to where they are and nobody is there. Click an item, like a bell or sign, and they will appear with their dialogue choices. 

As the player explores the environment, grainy FMV from previous games will appear. This gives players a glimpse into the comedy and great acting the series has had in the past. With video up to 2K Resolution, the new FMV is downright gorgeous and really immerses the player in the gameplay… That is until the player re-enters the 3D engine outside of the FMV sequence.

Acting goes from really good to pretty poor depending on the character. The really good actors tend to carry a scene and get you really involved in the story. Sadly, the opposite is true for the poorer actors. 

The puzzles go from the straightforward and logical to the downright strange and bizare. Seriously, the minds that come up with some of these puzzles.  Luckily, players can choose to skip puzzles if they find them a bit difficult. Some of them are pretty hard but all are solvable with a little patience and luck.

For the $19.99 asking price, it is hard to not recommend Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure. I have enjoyed it so much I might even go back and play the originals. One thing is for certain--I want more!

By Kaleb Rutherford - 05/14/14

Screenshots for Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

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