Normality (c) Gremlin
Most gamers should know of the company Gremlin, but if someone asked me what the first thing I thought about when I heard Gremlin I'd say Normality. To be honest I can't recall any other game they've made (even though I know they've made several other good ones), so I will at least tell you about what in my opinion is a really interesting adventure game.
Neutropolis is a city which once was like any other regular city, somewhat colorful, many different people etc etc. Sadly it changed a while ago. Industry has taken over in a very major way and polution is a result. The result is of such great size that no one have been able to see the sun for 50 years! Dark buildings cover the screets along with neon-signs here and there. Naturally it isn't a black/white game, there is of course a fair amount of colors etc, especially inside buildings, but the streets are dark brown.
Kent is the you've been given, and the direct story begins as following:
One late night you were wandering along some blocks minding your own business, and out of nowhere the boys in blue (cops) arrive and you're fairly fast thrown into a tiny cell. The reason? Pretty much for being too happy. Now that's depressing!
In the last day a letter is slipped under the door where you read about something exciting is about to begin. Actually it says that there are others like him who'd really like to do something about the fact that their city looks like crap and that mostly everyone except themselves are like living zombies as they've been "normalized" by the Norms (sort of like abnormal cops).
You start the adventure in your own apartment. One word can describe it; CRAPPY! The entire place, which consists of a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a a closet like room looks basicly like an atom bomb exploded there. For a laugh you should see what happens when you pull out this shaft like object (which of course I don't remember the name of), hehe. In a way you've been grounded so you're not meant to go outside. Actually you're ordered to keep the tv going 24 hours a day by your Norm guard. Naturally you can't have this and need to figure out first off how to get outside and secondly how to save the city. You will meet a whole lot of (trust me on this) VERY bizzare characters, and if you don't laugh at one point then you should be paralized.. I suppose the difficulty of the game is 'normal'. At the beginning it's the same way most adventure games are made, easy so that newer gamers won't get to angry. Later there are some puzzles that can be fairly tricky, and then there's all the placed in between where you're just STUCK.
What makes this adventure game a whole lot different from alot of other games is that you now get to control your guy Kent in a FPS point of view. The engine reminds me of Hexen, as it there was possible to look up and down and do things that you were not able to do in the doom games. Mostly everything looks really nice, and finding the stuff you need is most often easy. The FMVs are of exceptional quality to be from 96, and for those who are interested; I like the atmosphere it makes a whole lot!
You see the videos are made in a way that makes the game stand out and say, this is Normality damnit!
Kent's voice works great, and for those of you who read my note on how much I hate the voice of Gabriel Knight should know that I find it a great deal important. The in-game sounds sound mostly the way you'd expect and the FMV (full motion video) sounds are even better. Approved!
I wish there was a whole lot I could say about this part of the game, but in my opinion it's got alot of variation and matches the whole Normality theme very well. The only way you can find out is to actually play the game, which is a experience I would recommend to any avid adventure gamer. This is not one of the best adventure games out, but actually it's one of my alltime favourites (hence me paying moeny for it) so hopefully playing it is an experience you would enjoy aswell. I suppose the reason why you should play the game is that it's very much different from other games, you have no dragons, princesses or knights in shining armour. You've got Kent, and that's that.
If you've played an old FPS you'll have no problems learning the controls as you only have the general move with the arrow keys along with look up/down with page up/down so you must be plain dumb if you're get trouble there. In order to interact with things you right click, and by doing so you bring up a voodoo doll where you can choose to talk, open, pick up, use etc etc (the doll itself is original, but the concept is still old).