Posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2012 at 1:10 PM by Tim Bowers
What happens when you mix one of the most innovative gaming studios with a true legend of the gaming industry and someone who helped define gaming for many people? The answer is The Cave.
The Cave is the result of a union between Double Fine Productions, creators of Psychonauts, Brutal Legend and the brilliant Halloween RPG Costume Quest, and Ron Gilbert who created the point & click adventure games that so many gamers grew up with, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle and of course the brilliant Monkey Island games.
The Cave is a platform adventure game. It follows seven characters who have journeyed to The Cave across time and space, in order to learn something about them, but each of the characters hides a dark secret. The choice of characters is the Monk, the Scientist, the Twins, the Hillbilly, the Time Traveller the Knight and the Adventurer. Each character has their own unique abilities that will help you solve puzzles as you journey through the titular Cave, but once you have picked your three then you are locked to them for the entire game. This isn’t a new format; it’s the same start as Maniac Mansion, but unlike that game where a few of the characters served the same role, each of the seven characters in The Cave is individual. In order for you to see each characters particular ability and story you’ll have to play the game three times.
I went hands on with The Cave at Eurogamer, in fact I went hands on multiple times, I loved it, played through the first section again and again and again. The game is primarily a single player adventure, but there is a chance for getting two other players involved to so each player has one character. I played with a friend and on my own and it took a while to get used to the swapping between characters and who was controlling who. Once that hurdle was conquered the game was a joy to play.
Though you will encounter many hazards and dangers in your travel through the cave you don’t have to worry about the game ending due to them. The Cave has removed death as an option. The Cave is a sentient being, he acts as the narrator for the story and will talk to you as you play, he also wants you to finish the game and solve the puzzles so he won’t allow you to die permanently. Once you have stepped foot into the Cave you are under his protection, but at the same time he won’t let you leave until you are finished.
Removing death is always an interesting idea, over the years gamers have got used to not dying, so much so that certain games have based their whole title around the fact that you can die, but the team behind The Cave have made it work for them. The platforming element is not the heart of the game; it’s simply used to make the journeying between puzzles interesting. One of Point and Click’s main issues in staying relevant was that since movement was just pointing and clicking it looked dull compared to platformers and as the old saying goes ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ .
The Cave looks like it will be a fantastic game, filled with puzzles, adventure and the trade mark humour that comes so easily to both Double Fine and Ron Gilbert. It might not be as head bangingly hard as older puzzle games, or as unforgiving as modern adventure games, but what it will be is a lot of fun.
The Cave is released in January 2013 and will be published by Sega for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC. The game will also be published on the Wii U by Double Fine Productions.
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