Apr 15, 2014Save your $$ and to choose another game to buy.
As an avid point-and-click adventure game fan, I thought I would enjoy "Moebius: Empire Rising." Unfortunately, the story is tiresome and the lack of interactive hotspots is extremely disappointing.
Where this game really fails, however, is in the technical execution. The 3D graphics and animation are some of the worst you will see in a new commercial title. This is a terrible shame, as it nearly kills the experience, and the shoddy 3D work clashes with the well-done backdrops. As others have said, the character movements are wacky and very slow; you will be screaming at the character to walk faster after playing for 20 minutes, if you are patient enough to last that long.
I don't know where Jane Jensen found this terrible Phoenix Online Studios developer or if this was the only option she had with her budget (although backers on Kickstarter DID give Jensen hundreds of thousands of dollars to make this game, and other developers have been able to do MUCH better with that much money), but I can't help but think that this game could have been salvaged by a developer able to produce work above an amateurish level.
If you are a Jane Jensen fan, you will probably be demanding that any games from her in the future be done with a different, better developer. If you aren't a Jane Jensen fan, "Moebius" won't turn you into one.… Expand
Apr 15, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'll give everyone a fair spoiler warning before i begin...
I'm really disappointed with this game as a fan of Jane Jensen's previous work. Having played her excellently written Gabriel Knight series I came in to this game expecting a similar level of script writing but was surprisingly disappointed. Having been a backer on Kickstarter and playing one of the chapter as a preview, I agreed with others who made comments very early on stating that there were major fixes required for the animation which seemed to have gone completely unheard by the production staff. Walking animations and Malachi's strange standing pose as well as the fact that he seems to have boulder shoulder syndrome. Other things of note were subtle hand movements weren't paid any attention, most notably in one cutscene where a man climbs a ladder while seemingly not grabbing any of the rungs and instead appearing to become some kind of spider-like creature crawling up the ladder.
The written dialogue as well as the way in which the lines were delivered were very stilted from some of the characters, namely by Malachi himself. The fact that the 'interact' icon appears on a lot of items which cannot be interacted with until you have done something first is frustrating and looks sloppy as surely there could have been a way to hide that icon prior to the option being available? That would have saved a lot of hassles to be honest.
The story is bizarre. I mean hey, as I mentioned before I LOVED Jane's older works, played all 3 GK games and had shivers with the way Tim Currie delivered his lines especially the famous "what can you tell me about voodoo?" but here we have a very wooden delivery of a discussion about the possibility of history repeating in people? That is ridiculous. I love a good fantasy story or something that stretches the imagination but this just seems really lazy.
I was really looking forward to this game. I played the first chapter when it was released to backers as a beta test and was disappointed but was glad to see some changes were being made... but overall I am still very disappointed and kind of sad to see that in comparison to other Adventure, Point and Click games being released at the moment via Kickstarter, this is probably the lowest in quality.… Expand
Apr 15, 2014In my opinion, many backers of this Kickstarter felt tricked after learning that Phoenix Online Studios would be developing Moebius. Phoenix Online had developed a critically-panned game called The Silver Lining set in the King's Quest universe, and reportedly they were not explicitly identified as developers in the funding campaign video for Moebius. With no option for Kickstarter refunds, and already having low expectations for Phoenix Online, apparently many backers were left with little choice but to hope and have faith that Jane Jensen's writing and game design would be enough to make the game a winner.
Was it enough? No.
The character animation is embarrassingly bad and looks worse than an old Sims game. You almost have to wonder if they are embarrassed putting out this quality of work. There is also a disappointing low number of interactive hotspots in each scene, which should frustrate classic adventure game fans. The voice acting is also bad (and, at times, laughably bad), though the voice-over actor for the main character is solid.
How is the writing? Not one of Jane Jensen's better efforts. The dialogue feels unnatural and the plot, well, silly.
If someone is able to get this game for a low price, and if they aren't scared off by the Phoenix Online Studios name, then Moebius: Empire Rising could be a good candidate for "a game so bad it's funny" entertainment experience. Otherwise, people should save their money and avoid this stinker.… Expand
Apr 16, 2014Don't believe the positive reviews.
This game is poorly made with some of the ugliest animation in a game that isn't free. I'm actually surprised they are charging people for this.
It's not even fun to play and the characters move too slow. The Sierra games from 20 years ago were way better than this.
Apr 16, 2014As someone who has loved all GK games and even enjoyed Gray Matter quite a bit (my rating: 4/5), I figured Jane would be able to handle herself and so I supported this with way more than any other game. Man, was I wrong.
The alpha was quite a disappointment but I figured they might still refine it a LOT and so I wrote an extensive report on it. Unfortunately, the quality of the final product is very similar. The animation is awful pretty much all around, characters don't even look into each other's eyes and the shoulders of the main character make him look bizarrely deformed.
With a delivery like that, how can one even care about the story? It's like watching a great theater piece being performed by some hillbilly amateur group that has only started to learn about acting two weeks ago.
It just seems unprofessional through and through. Well, aside from the music. There's that.
Speaking about being unprofessional - there are even spelling mistakes in the historical data. And there are words missing sometimes. I really enjoyed reading about some guy who "was talented Italian artist". But why care about such details, as if reading about things would be important in this game...
People keep talking about the niche appeal, the low budget, etc. to try to justify the low quality of Moebius. As if adventure games "naturally" have to look like crap. So, how do explain The Book of Unwritten Tales, Gray Matter, Deponia, Machinarium, etc.?
In fact, aside from the Telltale games, I don't think I've ever seen an adventure game that looked as bad as Moebius. And even though I don't care for Telltale's art style, I still find it acceptable in comparison.
And, frankly - Jane Jensen's writing isn't that great to begin with. For crying out loud, it's mundane, somewhat cheesy mystery stuff! There's nothing innovative or meaningful to be found in there. That was the case with Gabriel Knight already. But the overall atmosphere of the games was what caused it be a great ride. Unlike Moebius.… Expand
Apr 17, 2014It would be unfair to stop at the bad graphics when discussing Moebius. Like many other point-and-click adventure fans, I can overlook the ugliness of a game if it has a good story underneath. But Moebius' bad graphics only serve to hide the bad quality of everything else. And while a small budget can excuse (to a point) its bad graphics, its ridiculous animations, its clunky interface, and its buggy gameplay, what Moebius lacks is nothing you can buy. It lacks logic, research, attention to detail, creativity, self-awareness... It basically lacks good design.
The game TELLS us that Malachi Rector is an irresistibly attractive genius antiquarian expert, but he never actually SHOWS any of these qualities. Far from being attractive, he is an intentionally off-putting character who makes contemptuous flash judgments of everyone he meets based on gender and racial stereotypes. In order to convince us he's attractive, the game has another character describe his previous sexual history. Malachi also thinks and behaves like someone of completely ordinary intelligence, and the only times when he appears out of the ordinary is when he exhibits superhuman powers, like the ability to detect if a historical artefact is genuine just by looking at it. Again, the other characters don't miss a chance to gush over how brilliant he is. As for being an expert, most of the time when he looks at artefacts he just says they are expensive. But, you guessed it, there's always another helpful character around to praise his expertise in antiques.
The other characters are barely developed stereotypes, including Malachi's sidekick David. Most woman characters (and some of the men) are stereotyped as vain, self-centered, superficial, and sexually needy (we even get a sexually frustrated librarian!), which even if you're no feminist still makes for a boring, uncreative, lazy cast.
Another thing that's barely developed is the game's premise of history repeating itself (the "Moebius Theory"). It's an afterthought, full of holes and inconsistencies, and it just seems a pretext to bring Malachi and David together. Some plot threads (the ninja attacks) are never quite explained, and don't make much sense as they happen. Malachi's entire investigation doesn't make sense either. He travels around to uncover characteristics about people (called "datapoints") that he could have found online (like "he has a sister"). Sexism strikes here too: while the men's datapoints are about their work accomplishments, the women's datapoints are about how old they married, how pretty they looked, and whether their father was rich. There's no real climax to the story, no real explanation or reveal, no real mystery even. There's nothing to spoil about Moebius' mystery plot except by saying you can't spoil it -- it's pretty much all in the trailers.
The puzzles are very easy, but sometimes take too long to slog through. None of them is particularly original or creative. There are a lot of sexist puzzles you can solve immediately by treating every woman like an airheaded sex tool. The worst puzzles in my opinion are a tile slider that reveals a nasty cartoonish drawing, and a nondescript maze with no payoff.
The music is nice.
I'd only recommend this game as "so bad it's good". It's full of unintentionally ridiculous moments because of the bad animations and the bad writing. The dialogues sound like a soap opera. The "spy" angle results in a ludicrous villain confrontation that made me laugh out loud. Foreign names are mangled. The fake accents and bad intonations are a mockery of the European languages the actors pretend they can speak. Foreign texts such as a letter or shop signs look like the output of an online translator. Maybe it would work if the game showed any self-awareness or sense of humor, but it takes itself deadly seriously. So it's just plain bad.… Expand
Apr 16, 2014Games like Moebius and other products developed by Phoenix Online Studios give adventure games a bad name. They look terrible and appear to have been developed with a bare minimum budget. This game is slow-moving, hard to get into, has ridiculous, unbelievable characters and overall terrible production values. Pros: -Some nice backgrounds. -Comedic value in ridiculously bad animation.
-Frighteningly bad animation.
-Requires lots of sitting and waiting while character walks at snail's pace.
Verdict: Unless you have money to throw away, don't waste it on Moebius.… Expand
Apr 17, 2014The quality of this game is abysmal.
It starts with the writing, where not much in the storyline actually makes sense, and you are better off NOT asking questions about it, or trying to analyze it. You won't get far before your brain shortcircuits.
The contrived plot and pained dialogue, that look like they had been written in a rushed span of a weekend, are wonderfully complemented by the efforts of a less than competent development team to animate it.
The result is a one of a kind creation, with a cast of exceptionally badly animated 3D characters on ok-ish 2D backgrounds, enacting a story, which if you won't forget, it's owing to its unexpectedly bad ideas.
The development studio should first and foremost concentrate on finding talented visual artists, with capabilities beyond that of mediocre amateurishness, if they seriously wish to produce computer games on a professional level.
The author should not underestimate the intelligence and taste of her prospective audience, and if she wishes to live up to her name and fame, it will need a more serious attempt, with much more effort, thought, research and care invested.
Some self-reflection is probably in order for both parts of the team.
I give a score of 2 for trying (1 for the design and 1 for its execution (pun intended)). Otherwise this is unforgivable.… Expand
Apr 16, 2014Waste of money. I played all the Gabriel Knight games, and Moebius feels like a cheaply made "fan game" in comparison.
The gameplay is such a chore. You couldn't pay me to finish this game. You can only pick up items when the game wants to let you pick them up, and you have to wait so long while the character performs these routine (and horribly animated) automatic actions. The dialogue sounds like something from a very bad b-movie, and the characters aren't at all likable. The plot (I won't give any spoilers) is like a lame wannabe Dan Brown knockoff.
After one night of this game I had enough.… Expand
Apr 29, 2014There is the glorious Gabriel Knight, than there is this cheesiest dialogues piled up on top of each other with completely illogical character behaviors. Only positivity I can take from Moebius is that it hopefully will fund a new Gabriel Knight game but if they make it as cheesy as Moebius or make Gabriel sound and talk like Malachi or Tim Curry, I can't get my hopes up for even mediocrity..
Jun 9, 2014Considering the budget that this game was made on, it is not strange that the level of polish is not as high as it is on for instance Broken Age. If you compare it to cognition for instance, it does a lot better on the art, animation and cut scene department. But, Cognition, having a much smaller budget, is a lot more enjoyable. Because if you past the low budget art/animation sequences, you are left with a fairly decent adventure game, while with Moebius, the graphics are better, but the game underneath is a lot worse.
The most frustrating part Moebius for me, is the character profiling, and character matching puzzles. The game is full of them, which makes it repetitive. They come in two forms: a: you get to judge a character based on what they are wearing, or how they are looking, and try to find some extra data while doing so, b: you try to match a character to other people's lives based on facts about their life that overlap with the other person's life. The problem with these puzzles, is that sometimes, they're horribly ambiguous. So you put in the options which you think match best, press the button to verify, and the game just goes "WRONG".... upon which you can try to revise your choices (which make less sense to you now, since you went with your best guess first time around) or you brute force the thing, which can be a LOT of work.
The overwhelming amount of these type of puzzles, and the low amount of "game world"-puzzles (just to call m something) killed this game for me. I didn't finish it, which is a shame since I was looking forward to another Jane Jensen story to play. I backed the kickstarter for this for a good amount, and was really excited about it, but I'm afraid it is a lot less fun than Cognition was, and it can't hold a candle to Jensen's earlier work like Gabriël Knight or even Gray Matter (which I really enjoyed)
For me, an adventure game is about the story, and dealing with this story. Matching arbitrary statements in tables is not part of my definition of fun, and it feels to me like the game is full of m, because there's not much else going on.
This game could have been so... soo much more.
A real shame.… Expand
May 2, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If we are to say that adventure games are separated from other genres because they are story-driven, then it's difficult to call "Moebius" an adventure game. What it is are a number of plot points without a strong connecting thread.
The central theme concerns a secret organisation that uses the titular "moebius theory" to politically manipulate the government. This plot is compelling and promise but it is dropped after act two of the game and is never addressed again. The protagonist mentions how this shadowy organisation needs to be publicly outed. He says he wants to end their political machinations, yet he does absolutely nothing to bring this about.
The game ends without a climax or denouement to tie together all of the plot threads. And a series of plot points without a resolution is not a story. It is, essentially 2/3rd of a story, seeking an ending that never comes. So I cannot give it a grade on story. Technically, "Moebius" has no story.
They designers tried to bring something new to the puzzles and some of it works. Unfortunately, the remainder of the puzzles are really straightforward and the player is never challenged. You will find no complex, intriguing puzzles that allow the player to feel a sense of accomplishment. Even the maze is ridiculously easy. If the player misses the obvious markers, any wrong turn sends the player to a dead end, so backtracking is difficult and makes it impossible to get lost. But, for all this game's ease, there were no illogical puzzles either, and that is a plus. Puzzle Grade: C+
Now, the graphics are not state of the art. The character models are clunky and move freakishly, but I didn't find this distracting. This is a kickstarter game, after all, and they didn't get enough funding to provide state of the art. I can forgive them this. Graphics Grade: C+
I was mostly pleased with the voice acting. Some of the dialog is horribly trite but the actors do their best to make it sound natural. Actor's Grade A-
The score is hit&miss. I enjoyed some of the themes but others created moods that felt unrelated to the scenes in which they played and became distracting. Music Grade B
Ultimately, the game has some compelling moments but for a $30 price tag, I can't recommend it. If you feel pity for a struggling company, or are a die-hard Jane Jensen fan, then you may find some something salvageable here and fork over the cash. For the typical adventure aficionado, I'd wait until the game hits the bargain bin.… Expand