Still Life (Video Game)

Survival horror games We’ve seen them evolve over the years into a sub-genre to be reckoned with. There have been shining moments like Resident Evil 4 and The Suffering and some real lowlights such as Resident Evil Outbreak Files 1 & 2 and Haunting Ground So where does DreamCatcher Games’ next foray into the world of digital spooks end up? Somewhere right down the middle

Still Life is a game with ambition. It plays like a cross between Se7en and an episode of C.S.I.; however, along the way there were quite a few unfortunate missteps But before we get into all that, let’s tackle the storyline.

Players step into the role of Victoria McPherson, a brilliant young FBI agent and the granddaughter of Post Mortem’s famed Private Detective, Gustav McPherson On the hunt for a serial killer, Victoria is up against five dead bodies, a mountain of circumstantial evidence, and an angry boss breathing down her neck. Things become more complicated when, on a visit to her childhood home, she comes across one of Gus’ old case files dating back more than 75 years As she reads deeper into the file, she discovers an uncanny number of similarities between her case in Chicago and the gruesome killings in 1920s Prague

There ya have it! Now all we need is Ashley Judd to reprise her Female Detective in Peril™ role and we’re all set! Admittedly, the storyline of Still Life shines quite a bit and is the game’s strongest point There’s lots to do and uncover in this mystery opus, but that’s also a bit of the game’s downfall.

The game just doesn’t play well. Everything crawls along at a near snail’s pace. I’m not saying I need blazing action, but man, doing all the things that you have to do at a crime scene such as spraying Luminol on walls and setting up lighting rigs with the correct filters just doesn’t make for excitement It is cool enough early on but tedious as we try moving along. And let’s not forget dipping cotton swabs in pools of blood and bagging them, etc These are all great and involving mystery solving ideas, but something about the way they’re implemented seems a bit off

DreamCatcher Games really sets a standard for high quality inexpensive games as Still Life has atmosphere to spare There are times that its combination of a solid sound mix and often brilliant graphics will do their part to keep you glued to your TV waiting for the next twist and turn.

Still Life is certainly not a bad game; it just seems kind of unpolished Either way, at its budget price tag you can’t do much better to feed your inner blood-hungry sleuth

Please note: A box containing your spouse’s head is not included.

Still Life
(DreamCatcher Games)
Xbox (reviewed), P.C
1 Player
Available now
$19.99 MSRP

2 1/2 out of 5

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.