I've just been through hell... and I have to say that I really enjoyed the trip! Here's a little postcard for you, courtesy of Tonkin House and Jaleco. Juggernaut is a psychological horror adventure game that suffers a bit from some really dated graphics, but its deliberately slow pace and constantly unsettling atmosphere will draw in those looking for a big change of pace. I'd read and also heard from a few people that this game was pretty poor, so I wasn't expecting too much. But after putting some quality time into this one I've come to the conclusion that some reviewers seem to forget that the games that they play are not just for them, but for fans of that particular genre, or again, people looking to expand their gaming horizons! Well, off the soapbox, and on with the review!
The game begins as you're arriving at your girlfriend's house after receiving a phone call from a strange man (no, not O.J.!). You arrive there, only to find out that the man is a priest and an exorcist, and your girlfriend is possessed! You find out that 'an evil force' has entered her body, thanks to that little bottle you bought for her at a curio shop, and the only way to save her is to enter her soul and purge all the evil forces that are there! Now I don't know about you, but if I saw any girl of mine with some evil fire coming from her mouth as she's floating in midair, I'd be on a one way trip to Borneo! Before you know it, the priest is sending you off on your journey (by plunging a sharp knife into a bible!), and you arrive on a small beach, with a blood-red sun in the sky. And that's only the first three or four minutes of the game!
The gameplay in Juggernaut is purely point and click, which is a really big turn-off for those who don't like games like Myst or Riven, but the disturbing storyline here is a big draw. As you make your way through the game, you'll notice that the sound design is quite excellent, with some of the strangest sounds and music coming from your TV. The backgrounds, while static screens, have an odd life to them, and the puzzles are some of the most logical I've ever played. Games like Resident Evil and the like usually have the sort of puzzles that are way too abstract in the context of their respective storylines. The ones in this game feel just right, and actually make you think and take notes! After solving the first series of puzzles, you end up in an odd mansion, but without your body! I won't say how this happens, but you find yourself only able to pass through small holes in the walls there, until you can find a suitable body. The object of the game then becomes a search for a new shell and a mission to destroy each part of the evil that's inhabiting your sweetie.
It's just about impossible to go into more detail on the story, without giving it away- except to say that there's a long journey ahead of you, if you decide to take it. From creating or finding necessary items, and solving the cool puzzles here, there is more than enough to keep any gamer with an open mind busy. The cinemas move things forward and get weirder as the game progresses, and that was enough to keep me playing, just to see what was next! Not that Juggernaut is without its flaws, like the less than realistic-looking rendered people and all the backtracking one has to do while playing. But any game that has the origins of its title included in the instruction manual (which is thinner than Kate Moss on Slim Fast for 6 weeks,) can't be all bad now, can it? This isn't the type of game where you blow away lots of stuff, zoom around a track, or shoot flaming beams from your fingertips. But as I said before, if you're looking for a different type of challenge, well then, Juggernaut is right up your alley!
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