One of Infogrames? most underrated games, Time Gate: Knight?s Chase is a fun time-travel game based on the acclaimed Alone in The Dark engine, but with more emphasis on puzzle-solving than fighting. You are William Tibbs, a young American law student in Paris who is unwittingly summoned by the last of the Knights Templar to aid them in their fight against Wolfram, an evil dark lord. Wolfram's power enables him to kidnap Juliette, your girlfriend, thus giving you an added incentive to join the cause. From the present day, you must travel back to 1329 to rescue Juliette and, naturally, destroy the villain. |
Gameplay in Timegate is all too familiar to fans of Alone in The Dark games. Everything, from the keyboard interface to save game thumbnails, are lifted intact from that popular series. But as they say, ?if it ain?t broke, don?t fix it,? there is certainly nothing wrong with this engine, except that it looks a bit outdated compared to glitzy CD-ROM extravaganza at the time (in the same year, for example, Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within was released). Perhaps Infogrames? decision to ?go against the trend? of FMV fad at the time was a major reason why the game was largely ignored. Which is a pity, as Timegate is a thoroughly entertaining adventure....
Right, let?s get back to the game before I feel like to end the review :) Similar to Alone in The Dark, fighting is a fact of life in Timegate. But this time, die-hard adventure fans will be glad to know that the emphasis is firmly on puzzle-solving and exploration. Although the default action mode is fighting, you don?t really have to fight all that often in this game, and you can switch between 3 levels of combat difficulty at any time during the game. Although the automatically changing camera perspectives pose the same problems as in Alone in The Dark, namely, that you sometimes can?t see the action clearly, Infogrames apparently tried to master the technique so your character isn?t normally obstructed from view.
Puzzles, in general, are fairly easy and straightforward. The most challenging puzzles are the physical kind, e.g. dodging the laser beams, or following in someone's footsteps for several rooms. In the toughest of those, it?s ?one wrong move and you?re dead,? so you would do well to save early and often. On the whole, Timegate is a solid adventure that should appeal to anyone who enjoys Alone in the Dark or Ecstatica but wish they were more action-oriented. It is unfortunate that the intriguing myths surrounding the Templars isn?t elaborated that well in the game; the mythos was used more as a background than the actual story (if you are interested in the Knights Templars history, play Gabriel Knight 3 instead). Overall, an entertaining romp that is unfortunately the only game made in Infogrames? planned Timegate trilogy.
Note: Try getting the English-only SVGA version instead of VGA for a notable improvement in graphics.
Reviewed by: Underdogs