It is a fact that Adventure games are dying out, and a sad one at that. The reality is that in comparison to today's gaming world which relies so heavily on multiplayer, the games which you could really only play through once are now dead and buried. Of course there were exceptions such as Sam and Max which were replayable but overall that is what killed them off. Digital Jesters and House of Tales are giving the adventure genre one last shot, and perhaps the shot in the arm it needs to come back with The Moment of Silence, a sci-fi adventure which will have adventure fans glued to their chairs till the very end.
As the storyline begins, the character you play as is minding his own business in the evening when his neighbour's apartment is raided by a secret government agency. His neighbour is taken in for questioning and disappears from all contact. Finding this strange, Peter enquires with the abductees wife and decides to investigate further for her from his business contacts. As more and more details are found, the story becomes a big conspiracy especially when Peter discovers the man was a journalist working on some scientific research. From there you as Peter begin to unravel the conspiracy, corruption and ultimately find out what is going on.
The Moment of Silence uses a very typical graphical user interface. The game is played from an isometric standpoint, and each scene features a static camera which can't be moved. Obviously to move Peter around you click with the mouse, but the icons are context specific. Click it on a person, and Peter will talk to them, an object and investigation will occur and so on. So you walk around various places trying to unravel clues and pick up information to help you progress further. As you delve deeper into the storyline more places are unlocked to visit.
In terms of helping you the game does this quite well and therefore is great for both adventure game veterans and those trying the genre for perhaps the first time. A hint key has been included and while it won't tell you exactly what to do next, it points out objects in the room and everything that you may have missed which can lead to be that vital clue. Also most of the time you will have access to a messenger machine which allows you to ring a variety of people from any area to gain information on the fly. This again does not tell you exactly what to do but it does give you a last resort to look at.
The story is fairly lengthy and will take some time to finish. It's hard to comment on how long, due to it really depending on how quickly you can solve the puzzles the game has, and we can tell you that some of them are really quite tough to solve requiring pieces from areas you would not expect. Throughout the story you will visit seventy five locations meaning that towards the end, you could be looking for a needle in a haystack although some areas do somewhat become negated at times. Moving around the areas is done by transportation provided in the game, but even so there is a lot to explore and heres a hint from us, a pen and paper next to you is going to help a lot.
The locations you visit are fairly well done with a mixture of pre-rendered sequences and interactive areas. The game does not come across as photos with interactive objects which is great and the world seems to have been built quite well. The city in which the game begins has a business area, residential area, industrial area etc and that gives the city an authentic feel, rather than just having been put together to accommodate a games storyline. You will visit a number of places during the storyline, some even not on Earth.
Visually the game is quite impressive and for those still going along with an older PC, you will still be able to run the game. The only really requirement is that it needs a DVD drive but other than that the game looks great and plays fine on lower end hardware, even Pentium II based systems. One of the best aspects of the game is the character development. During the game you come across thirty five characters, each with individual voices recorded and lips synched. This even occurs during the phone conversations which adds a great deal of atmosphere to the storyline and makes the characters feel more like actors than characters on a computer screen.
The Moment of Silence is a game that should be played but unfortunately due to the adventure genre dying out will probably be ignored to a large degree. It is a game that can last weeks and weeks due to the tough puzzles and considering it has an interesting storyline to go along with it, it all adds up to a quality adventure title which adventure fans and anyone who likes a fairly good game should try.