a game that is published by the Adventure Company,
Sentinel: Descendants in Time, seems to have forgotten
about the action for the sake of the puzzles. As a
puzzle game, Sentinel is not bad although it suffers
from repetition. It manages to offer great visuals,
a decent storyline and puzzles that are challenging
without being too esoteric. It's not Myst, but it's
better than a lot of Myst imitators.
Descendants in Time stars a young tomb raider by the
name of Beni. After his sister was kidnapped he finds
that he has to enter into the Tustan caves to save
her from the evil clutches of some mysterious evil
character. The Tustan are an extinct civilization
and it's rumored the caves are filled with treasures
and dangers. An artificially intelligent female called
the Dormmeuse is projected by hologram to accompany
Beni. She is the sentinel. Her intentions may at first
appear harmless, even helpful, but later she is suspected
of some very dark motives.
storyline sounds a lot more exciting than it is when
it's revealed in the game. It's revealed slowly and
it's hard to keep track of all the events over such
a span, especially if you only play it a few hours
a week. If you just focus on solving the puzzle in
front of you the story is just an added bonus. It's
the mortar that holds the puzzles together to give
them some kind of cohesive structure.
the caves, Beni is able to teleport to various realms
that have been preserved for eternity. It's here that
he will encounter all kinds of puzzles in different
environments. There must be some kind of relation
between Myst fans and anti-social behavior because
this game is also shy of character interaction. Considering
how hokey the voiceovers and script are, the developers
were right not to include too many characters.
any case, the puzzles typically involve patterns,
tones, mechanical configuration, mazes and math. You
won't have to dig into your inventory for items. The
items you need will have to be found within the realm
which can lead to some really boring backtracking.
If it weren't for the splendid scenery I would loath
having to walk around already-explored areas for such
lengths. Some puzzles are repeated one after the other
in a series that absolutely drove me nuts. I just
wanted to be done with some of these puzzles and move
one - only to find myself confronted by another and
yet another similar puzzle.
are some problems with some of the puzzles, especially
the mechanical, machine style puzzles. Often you can't
see the entire 3D perspective so you're forced to
guess at certain things. This is unfortunate since
you are able to investigate the environments in full
3D without freezing and scrolling one scene at a time.
backgrounds are exceptional and almost rival that
of Myst. There's not much in the way of animation,
you play from a first-person perspective, but what
does move is smooth and flowing. Sounds are sparse
but I'd rather have silence than repetition, as in
some of the puzzles. The voiceovers are weak and don't
synch up visually.
repetition of the puzzles, the missing action and
a few glitches here and there manage to turn what
could have been a great game into a good game.