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Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time, The

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Presto Studios

GAME PUBLISHER:Sanctuary Woods

Copyright 1998, Presto Studios

Third and last in Presto Studio’s underrated The Journeyman Project series, Legacy of Time is a somewhat disappointing end to the great series, although it does address all the major shortcomings of the previous two games, in particular the navigation interface. As in the previous 2 games, Legacy of Time stars you as Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 of the Temporal Security Agency (TSA) which is responsible for preventing temporal disturbances, i.e. historical distortion caused by time travel.

Legacy of Time picks up right where Buried in Time left off. At the end of that game, the treacherous Agent 3 threatened to betray the secret of time travel to Symbiotry, a consortium of alien races which has invited humans to join them, but before she disappeared into the time stream, your artificial intelligence companion Arthur managed to get inside her suit and cause it to malfunction. Thus begins Legacy of Time, with Agent 3 and Arthur missing in time, both presumed dead. The Symbiotry, naturally annoyed, has suspended TSA activities. To make matters worse, a vast armada of unknown alien spaceships is about to invade Symbiotry space. The game begins with the TSA detecting a temporal rift in the Mediterranean Sea circa 1262BC. Its up to you to investigate the anomaly, find and apprehend Agent 3, and once again save the world as we know it.

Let me start with what the game does right and there are many. Fans of Buried in Time who (like me) love the biochip interface will be happy with the new feature: the Chameleon suit. instead of the jumpsuit, this suit allows you to ‘capture’ the image of anyone you encounter on your travels, and then morph your appearance to look like them, so you can blend in with the locals when you visit a new time zone. This means that in contrast to the empty Myst-like world of Buried in Time, there are many characters you can interact with in Legacy of Time. The acting is generally above average, and the characters are fun to talk to, albeit the obvious fact that their existence provides little more than puzzle opportunities. Also, the confusing navigation interface that makes finding objects in Buried in Time frustrating has been replaced with outstanding 360-degree movement, which allows you to look at the environment from any angle. Last but not least, the photo-realistic and historically accurate environments of Buried in Time have been replaced by even more gorgeous renditions of mythological cities. Sure, exploring ancient Maya cities and Da Vincis studios may be cool, but they pale in comparison to the detailed, fully-rendered fabled cities of El Dorado and Atlantis. As a Buddhist, I was also pleasantly surprised by the designers attention to detail in rendering the famed temple of Shangri-La, and puzzles that fit nicely with basic Buddhist tenets.

Now for the bad news: Legacy of Time is much shorter and easier than Buried in Time, perhaps owing to complaints Presto received from people who thought Buried in Time was too difficult (I think its challenging, but not overly difficult). It took me around 25 hours or less to beat Legacy of Time, and thats including the time it took to navigate a decent-sized maze, and talk to everyone about everything. There just isnt as much attention to detail as in Buried in Time, and Arthurs chatter is much less informative and interesting this time around.

Still, even when compared with the superior predecessor, Legacy of Time is a great adventure thats definitely a worthwhile trip through time. Beginners to the adventure genre might find the puzzles and gameplay more accessible than Buried in Time, and the educational value of learning about different exotic cultures is still high. Just dont expect the game to last nearly as long as its predecessor, and youll be in for a fun ride. Highly recommended.



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