How many times do I have to grant the title of most annoying protagonist of all times ? Games keep providing contenders at an alarming rate.How many times do I have to grant the title of most annoying protagonist of all times ? Games keep providing contenders at an alarming rate.
The ponce I incarnate in Pneuma is so irritating that I find myself unwilling to solve puzzles, as he will reopen his yap as soon as I progress. Luckily, not being a native English speaker, I can obfuscate the geeky banalities he keeps vomiting profusely. To a degree. This superpower has its limits; his voice and phrasing still flood my sensitive ears. Right, sound off then.
On to the visuals. Oh, someone tried to impress with an avalanche of cool effects or shaders or whatever, but overdid it at the expense of creativity and taste. Big, empty, lifeless rooms of shiny white marble, decorated with the same benches and the same few 18th century landscapes of Roman ruins pasted ad nauseam. Those benches are too high to jump onto, incidentally, which is ridiculous. Note to my fellow weaklings: this 3d world can induce motion sickness; not the strongest around, but be prepared nonetheless.
Next, the controls. Between long walks in oversized corridors, there are indeed objects to manipulate. First encountered was a lever. As I didn't spot it right away, I happened upon it from behind, which is why I had to use a pull command to push it, yes sir. With 2 buttons, by the way, and not the most obvious ones, providing for an unwarrantedly longer trial and error process. Am I being harsh, when most interactions won't even require a click ? Not really. Thanks to time travel, I already have elaborated in the very next paragraph.
Surely, the puzzles will save Pneuma from the dreaded Hall of Shame, you now hope. Well, they do save it from a rating of 1, that is true. There are ideas there, like the switches that switch when you look at them, or when you don't. They are not always well implemented though. I accept the small annoyance of having to move backwards once in a while. However, I progressed several times without fully grasping how I moved things. I understood the concept, knew what to do, yet my field of vision left me unsure if I was pushing, pulling, sliding or rotating the libraries or the platforms. Yeah, not cool, dude, as they say somewhere I've never been to.
Anyway, despite the rebarbative aspects, the puzzles are intriguing enough to keep me going. Until the musical switches. It does take a while to realise what they are with the sound turned off, if you must know. Each one emits a different note when seen, so I have to look and avoid looking at them in a certain order to compose a tune. I guess. In case I wasn't clear enough earlier about how unbearable the narrator is, this is exactly where I chose to quit, uninstall, bury the virtual CD, salt the ground, and forget about him until my next nightmare.
The main trait of Pneuma is a word I usually avoid: pretentious. I find it constantly abused by people, but here it fits. Overblown will do as well.
Mildly recommended if you are completely deaf, but then you will miss many clues, muah ha ha.
Also, I'm under the impression that you could love Pneuma if you loved one of the worst games of all times, namely Myst, because "de gustibus non est disputandum," as they say somewhere I've been to.… Expand