|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Daedalic Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Deep Silver||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 26, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Everything needed to make The Whispered World a truly great video game is all contained within the game. Everything that conspires to make The Whispered World a mediocre, point-and-click adventure game is also contained within. This game needs good editing. Cut out the crap, tighten it up, lose a few hours, and you'll have something astounding at your fingertips. It's amazing how some filler can contaminate an otherwise pristine presentation. It's not important to have 15 hours of gameplay when you could have 10 hours or less of quality gameplay time.
Let me just jump right in and tell you what I'd slash. Take out some of the poorly translated dialogue, which will likely mean some characters and puzzles will have to be eliminated altogether. That's perfect because there are a few puzzles not up to the same standards as the really great ones, and for the record, the majority of the puzzles are great. There is a lot of annoying backtracking in some of the stages, and there's no way to get the main character to haul ass. I may be getting ahead of myself, since you don't even know who the main character is yet, but I want to make it perfectly clear that despite some caked-on dirt and grime, there's a gem of a game underneath.
The Whispered World has so many wonderful attributes that it's recommended simply because you won't find another game like it anytime soon. From the storyline to the puzzles, to the dialogue and the development of the characters, The Whispered World is second to no game in this genre. Some of the problems with it are due to poor translation (it's a German game), but one thing that is universal is the visual buffet this game invites you to feast your eyes on. The hand-drawn, 2D backgrounds are absolutely stunning. The imaginative world revealed in this game alone is worth the price of admission, and while it may not be truly interactive, there's a richness and depth that puts most 3D environments to shame.
Sadwick is a forlorn figure. A young clown forced into a life of servitude by his family. His circus-slavery involves gathering an audience and entertaining them by being shot out of a cannon. His ambitions run deeper than cannon fodder and he feels suppressed and depressed. Even though he is young, he's wise beyond his years. His remarks are insightful and humorous, laced with heavy doses of sarcasm, cynicism, and resignation; shades of Holden Caulfield from Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.
One fateful day Sadwick meets a sorcerer who explains the world will soon face an apocalypse, and it's Sadwick's destiny not to save the world but to hasten its demise. Determined to prove him wrong, Sadwick begins a journey to deliver a magical artifact called the Whispering Stone to the kingdom of Carona and save the world. And thus the adventure begins.