Release date: 1999
Developer: Daydream Software
12 years and up
A review by Gini 19th June 2001
(translated by slydos)
Former responsible director of Orphia, department of reprocurement of historical valuable objects, DJ Anderson, is now planning to steel the crown jewels with the help of aquired knowledge from Pentagon files. Together with the President the Pentagon wants to avoid the painfulness, to admit to the British government, that they have passed important data to hostile persons and decides to start a secret mission: "Traitors Gate"!!
You are Raven, whose secret charge is to break into the Tower of London and exchange the original crown jewels against duplicates equipped with transmitters.
The mission is so secret, that none of the guards in the Tower knows anything about it and you are left on your own.You are not allowed to kill or hurt anybody seriously and you should not be caught. You must not leave behind you any evidence. You are equipped with the latest technical equipment of the highest quality ... and you have only 12 hours time.
In all locations (except the close-ups) you have a 360 degrees freedom of movement and you can follow the arrows to move to new locations. Since the game is completely mouse-controlled, controls are easy and fast to learn.
Orientation actually should be improved through the GPS that is integrated into the PDA (= personal digital assistent). But this isn't sufficiently functional in my opinion. I often asked myself where I was exactly, where I actually wanted to go then and how I can manage to arrive there actually. It is really helpful to draw your own map of the Tower on which you can mark the individual buildings.
The inventory consists of three sections and is displayed on the lower 4/9 of the screen.
The first section is on the right and contains the mission equipment. This is a fixed inventory and you can't add anything after you received your equipment. Mission equipment contains a lot of items, that especially for people (like me), who are not so versed in this highly specialized area, appears a bit strange. Therefore I would recommend to read the descriptions of this items exactly - you can find them in the PDA or in the manual - to find out on which purpose they can be used.
The second section can be found on the left side. Here you can store items, which you will collect during your mission. With the game progressing you will store here a lot of keys, documents and other objects. My point of criticism here is, that you are simply carrying too much around. After some time I gathered there 6 different keys and masses of documents and it's not so easy to retain the outline.
Between the two inventory segments you can find your most important equipment part: the PDA (personal digital assistant). It contains besides the already mentioned GPS and a camera important information und functions. Here you can get information about your mission, the Tower, the tools and many more and you can receive emails with important data about phtographed objects. There is also a menu option for personal notes.
The email program is also one of my points of criticism, because you should photograph each info-board, texts ... if you don't want to miss any information. The automatic analysis of each photo is then sent to you by email. After some time huge amounts of emails accumulate and you can easily lose control. Of course you can delete some of them, but up to those which do not contain any information, you'd better keep the rest - you can't know what you will need later.
I missed at least a subject line within the email-system, because only the time-of-day of the photos is indicated so there will be a lot of searching for the right email.
Graphics - Presentation
The graphics actually are very good. Nothing world-moving, but for a 3D-graphic really quite acceptable. Like in the most better games, perspective and distortion is considered and through this you get a really good impression. I positively noticed the wealth of details. Not as much as in graphical masterpieces like Atlantis 2 or Amerzone, but over the average. The walls partly consist of old, rough bricks, the doors are rusty, wood has a beautiful structure ...
Basically everything is arranged rather dark, for it's night. You are playing from the view of Raven, and only during the video sequences you can see Raven from the "outside". The few characters are not as well designed as the remaining graphics. But as you seldom meet other persons, this fact isn't really disturbing.
The story itself, the mission and this technical stuff was not so much my kind of thing actually. I also found it a bit illogical up to a certain degree. When Pentagon and the President know about all, why they just do not let one of the guards exchange the crown jewels? Why does a secret breaking-in must take place? No, I think this is a bit far away.
The puzzles weren't bad at all but rather difficult.
Just at the beginning you could get stuck if you hadn't listen carefully during the mission briefing, because one agent's name is the password for the PDA, and without that it's impossible to go on.
Most of the time you have to use objects, e. g. open a door with a code-card, blow up a wall, etc.. If you don't possess this technical kind of thinking here, you will have some problems to go on.
Again and again I tried everything and every object to reach my aim. I also often wasn't quite sure, if my way of solution was basically false, or if I only missed my mark for a second. I think, it would have been quite meaningful, if Raven from time to time would have had "thoughts" so that one would have got hints, because the difficulty level was, for me at least, quite high.
Another important element of the game was to discover secret hiding places of keys, codes etc.. Therefore you had to photograph and let analyse a lot. A lot of boards and objects, you can easily get confused or forget something apparently unimportant or delete important emails.
Traitors Gate is also difficult, because it's non-linear and there is no given way but only a basic structure: 1. get mission equipment, 2. get around the security systems, 3. exchange crown jewels, 4. give original crown jewels to your "Traitors Gate"-colleagues.
The pleasant freedom of movement can also be a kind of a problem when you lose orientation. I had this kind of problems I must confess and I always had to realize what I had, where I was and where I wanted to go. Some comments of Raven would have helped here a lot, e. g. that you only can leave a building when you've found all important objects or codes.
Result: Quite a nice game, if you like espionage- and burglar stories, with a relatively high difficulty level and some walking around without orientation.
- 360° Panorama
- much freedom of choice
- very good graphics
- difficult puzzles (complicated logic)
- long loading times
- complicated e-Mail-administration
My overall-rating: 63%
Minimum system requirements:
- 80% - 100% excellent game, very recommandable
- 70% - 79% good game, recommandable
- 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)
Pentium 100 32 MB RAM 150 MB free hard disk space 8x CD-ROM-drive Graphic Card with 1MB RAM Sound CardPlayed on:
- Windows 98
- Pentium II
- 129 MB RAM
- LITEON CD-ROM LTN362
- NVidia RIVA 128/128ZX
- Sound Blaster AudioPCI 64V