There was a time when the Xbox was the graphical powerhouse that beat the PlayStation 2 and GameCube and a lot of the PC exclusive games found their way onto the system. Still Life from Microids is one of those titles, and seeing as I like playing weird and unknown games I was excited when I pulled this off my shelf.
These type of titles are all over the Xbox and I’m excited to start playing through them, since I never owned a gaming PC. Still Life was released in 2005 and is the sequel Post Mortem, which didn’t get an Xbox release. In fact this is the only title in the trilogy that hit the Xbox. That’s a huge bummer because the second game in the series is actually really fun.
Seeing as this is a port from a PC adventure game, it plays just like a point and click adventure; except your mouse is the thumbsticks. You have to look around a lot and when the icon changes it means you can interact with the item or environment. To do this you press A, but sometimes you have to go into your menu to use a certain item. You open your menu by pressing Y; this reminds me of the older Resident Evil games where the item wasn’t automatically used, you had to think it out.
The dialog options are not the best, you just press left and right trigger to speak to NPCs, there are no branching dialog choices sadly.
The game is actually pretty, not going to lie; I was surprised of how well done the opening cut scene and scenes farther into the game looked. Yeah the character models still don’t look ALL THE WAY human, but for a fifteen year old game I was impressed. The in game graphics are also well done, the backgrounds are pre-rendered and the character models look a bit more human.
However, the models don’t really move like a human. When you need to get to an object your character will bump into something, then spin around awkwardly to get to the object.
You play as Agent Victoria McPhearson who just so happens to be at the most recent crime scene, which is the 5th murder so far with the same M.O. You’re tasked with finding this killer by locating clues and putting them together. As you do this you also have a life to live.
You visit your father, go to the office, reminisce and as you do all these things you begin to fall into place. You find old case files in the attic of your father’s house and learn some very interesting facts about the cases you are currently working on. I’ll leave it at that with the story, this is a murder mystery that you get to solve on your own, I won’t ruin that for you!
I enjoyed the attempt at humor in this game, the swing and misses of all the jokes make you cringe like no other; but hey, at least they tried right? This was still a time in gaming where the developers tried to be original and have unique games. We all know that games now are so similar that they’re becoming redundant and boring, which is why people jump on Indie games or niche games.
This is a big time niche game, it reminds me very much of David Cage’s games, just without the ample dialogue options. Had I played this back in the day while playing Indigo Prophecy I would have probably switched one of them out since I like to have a variety in my systems.
Unfortunately this title is not backwards compatible for the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One. The only way that you can play this game is if you have low end PC or an original Xbox. I know there are a lot of hard core retro games like myself and if you happen to be one of them and find this on the shelf somewhere grab it.
This is one of those nice relaxing games to play after you’ve put in an hour or two into DOOM or Resident Evil. You can lounge around, grab a drink and explore the seedy world of Still Life while making the world a better place!