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December 27th, 2011, 12:15
Advent rising
Advent rising is, if nothing else, a very ambitious game. It is the first part of a planned trilogy (that sadly never got any further than this).
One of the main highlights of this game is its story. It is by famed sci-fi author Orson Scott Card, who is known for the immensely popular Ender’s Game series. And even though the story of this game is quite different from that of Ender’s Game, you can see similarities in the way that the story is told, and how the characters are handled. It is an Orson Scott Card story, that is very obvious.
The story starts with you entering an alien ship, as part of a diplomatic envoy who are about to make first contact with an alien species. These aliens turn out to be friendly, and say that they want to protect humanity from another alien species, who intends to wipe out humanity from the face of the galaxy. Things quickly go sour though, as the hostile aliens shows up and attack both the human owned planet and the alien spaceship. I won’t spoil the rest of the story, you need to play it for yourself to find out why these aliens did what they did, and how you intend to stop them.
Another outstanding part of this game is its sound. The music is used to great effect, in order to set the tone of each scene. Many other games, and movies, could learn from this game when it comes to proper use of music. The sound effects are not as outstanding, but they work well.
The graphics also look quite nice, with a good artistic design that is not afraid of using colours. From a technical point of view, the graphics look good enough, though it is not outstanding, even for its time. Some of the character animations looks a bit strange from time to time, but this is never bad enough to seriously detract from the overall experience.
One major fault with the game is its vehicle controls, at least with a mouse & keyboard. At an early point in the game you get to drive a car, but the driving controls never feel natural. On foot things works a lot better though, and your character move like you would expect him to.
A lot of games frontload most of their content and after a few hours you will have seen all that the game has to offer. Advent Rising on the other hand keeps introducing new powers up until the very ending of the game. It also has a rudimentary experience system, where you get better at using powers and weapons as you use them. You even get better at jumping & dodging as you jump & dodge.
Apart from all of this, there is one other thing worth mentioning, and that is all the bugs. Some events don’t trigger as they should from time to time, which means that you have to reload from the last checkpoint, and the AI sometimes bugs out, which can result in enemies mass suicide down a hole, like a bunch of fictional lemmings.
With its flaws, I can’t give this game a perfect score. It is a good and highly ambitious game, but it is not perfect. It is also a game that needs to be experienced by any and all sci-fi fans out there, for its story and setting.

There is a fan patch out there that restores some cut content.
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