Atlantis 3 - The New World
12 years and up
A review by Gini 08th October 2001
translated by slydos
A young scientist on her way to a well in the Hoggar desert. She hopes to find an undiscovered egypt tomb there. But when she arrives accompanied by a Targi, the well is occupied by armed men, who refuse to let them through. But the young woman approaches without fear and discovers a strange gate. When she opens it, a miraculous journey to unknown worlds and different times begins.
Those who already know Atlantis1 & 2 will probably wonder, in which means the story is a sequel to it's predecessors. Well, while the story of Atlantis 1 is clear and easy to understand, Atlantis 2 is more confusing and has lesser links to the original story of mythical Atlantis. Of course there still is a connection to the first part, because you have to reunite the "Dark Force" locked up in Atlantis 1, with its counterpart - "The Light". In addition the well known Rhea appears again at the end. In Atlantis 3 not much of the original mythical Atlantis is left. The only connection is, that some Egyptians, who hided "The Knowledge", were successors of the Atlant people. And of course that you will meet the aged Rhea at the end again in Shambhala. Despite this you will travel again with flying ships of the Atlants when in Egypt.
In the beginning the story seemed a bit confusing to me, but soon the structure became perceptible and the aim more clear and I enjoyed the story of each individual part: the Egypt part gives a a good sight of living and death rituals at the times of the Pharaos, the prehistoric time has not much facts to offer but tells about the dangers and hardness of this age. I did like most the part of 1001 Nights in Bagdad - it's easy to describe: just a fairytale!!!
Very similar to Atlantis 2 the game is devided into three parts. But here you have to finish the first part - Egypt - imperatively. It's a kind of test proving your abilities to show that you are worthy of the following tasks. After completing this part you are free to choose where to go next - as young mammoth huntress in Stone Age Syberia or as resourceful thief in a story of 1001 Nights. During both journeys you can go back to your starting-point to pass over to the other journey. This is advantageous if you get stuck in a puzzle of one world you can switch to the other world to go on with the game - just like Atlantis 2. This diminishes frustration noticebly.
Saying the graphics are beautiful is a real understatement! I suppose they are the best what adventure world has produced until now. Every detail is worked out perfectly and drawn affectionately, whether the smooth and soft grass of the island-like hills or the hair of our young heroine. However I found the mimic art of the characters even more impressing than the backgrounds. In Atlantis 2 people already moved their lips when speaking, but it looked clumsy and stiff. In Atlantis 3, especially in the cutscenes, you feel confrontated with real actors: the lips, the eyes and every corresponding face muscle is animated fitting the dialogues. I have to add that you can't take every character to be a real human being because they aren't all real human beings! Psychopomp ist the best example: he once was a human being - thousands of years ago - and when I would meet him in my present life, I would presumably faint. But disregard that he is a real graphical masterpiece in my opinion: the old, wrinkled skin lobes, strechtching above caved cheeks and coming to life with every word and every movement. Or the eyeballs, which turn around restlessly in their eye-sockets. All other movements are smooth and realistic too, if you fly through a pit in the pyramide or our heroine just only passes her hand through her hair.
At the beginning of the game you are just gliding through the environment - later on you only pass from picture to picture without smooth scrolling. Seems as the developers lacked time or money in the end. The atmosphere succeeded extremely well. Every world has its own flair, communicates an own, different feeling.
Difficulty level of the puzzles ranges from medium to easy, never stucking too long at one point. The puzzles are logical and solvable. It's a well balanced mixture of typical rendering-puzzles, i.e. puzzles where you don't or barely need objects or character interaction, and classic take-object-from-place-A-and bring-it-to-place-B-puzzles. No doubt objects are important but you don't carry around too much of them in your inventory most of the time. They can't be combined with one exception. This is why it takes only a short time to find out what you can do with it. The puzzles aren't hard to solve either, but nevertheless more pretentious than the object-related tasks.
Controls and Icons are identical with those used in Atlantis 2. There are 3 different mouse icons: a spiral-turning icon shows object that can be picked up, a rotating icon indicates dialogue possibilities and spots or areas to interact with and of course the arrow icon giving you the direction to reach another scene. As I already mentioned above, gamers will enjoy the smoothly scrolling transitions and zooming in and out well known from Atlantis 2. But rather soon this will change to simple change of static screens. When resting at one point you will be able to enjoy the scenery in 360° perspective. Inventory manipulating is also identic to Atlantis 2: right click show or hide the inventory, left click use an object from inventory and right click put it back. Combining items is not possible!
Controls are absolutely easy to learn and most suitable for beginners.
An important point of Atlantis 3 to critizise is its gaming length: It hardly will take you longer than 2 or 3 days to go through the game only leaving behind an appeal to watch this beautiful graphics again. Though there is the same number of worlds to play as in the much longer Atlantis 2, but this time they are much shorter to go through and the puzzles are easier and have less density.
The end was a little abrupt und disappointing. Too much open questions: Now, what is the Ultimate Knowledge? What about the relationship between our young heroine and the Targi? All, the gamer gets to know about The Knowledge, that it may help humankind to a new level of conscience and will assume the shape of a stick. Maybe, this questions will be answered in a new adventure, but I would have preferred a bit more information.
The game consists of three CDs, containing the three worlds. I havn't noticed any mayor technical problems, only some very few sudden breakdowns.
- wonderful, detailed graphics
- Characters have real mimic art
- logic, not too hard puzzles
- much too short
A much too short but graphical unique adventure game, with medium, logic puzzles.
My rating: 83%
- 80% - 100% excellent game, very recommendable
- 70% - 79% good game, recommendable
- 60% - 69% satisfactory, restricted recommendable
- 50% - 59% sufficient (not very recommendable)
- 40% - 49% rather deficient (not to be recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only)
- 0% - 39% worst (don't put your fingers on it)
- Windows 98, 2000, Millenium
- Pentium II 333 MHz
- 32 MB RAM
- 8 x CD ROM
- Sound card (Direct Sound compatible)
- 400 MB free disk space
- keyboard, mouse
- Pentium 1200
- 256 MB RAM
- 52 x CDROM
In the prehistoric time many tasks deal with passing wild animals