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Review: Lost Horizon 2

Lost Horizon 2, a game that takes us back to that memorable period of time where old school mechanics like pointing and clicking was still cool and innovative! A point and click adventure was the closest way we could get as a gamer to get that feeling of immersion. The Lost Horizon series tries to combine these simple roots of PC gaming with an interesting story to stick above all those other “new” adventure games. Did they succeed or will they have to search the horizon for a better and brand-new future?

It’s been 5 years since the original game” Lost Horizon” was released and it definitely shows since the main character Fenton Paddock lost his youthful look  and became a much older and wiser person. Lost Horizon 2, follows up the main story of the first game but there’s a time gap of 20 years. Lost Horizon takes place in the 20th century around the 50’s. The game begins with a scene where an old man hides his children before the Nazis start sweeping the area for critical information. This whole scene is a tutorial level to get familiar with the gameplay mechanics. After this scene, the main story of the game begins. Fenton Paddock has to find his daughter that has been captured by powerful enemies. Anna helps him with this dangerous tasks and succeeds. Unfortunately, the retrieval of his daughter was only the beginning. They quickly notice that there’s much more going on that meets the eye. These enemies want to tear the world apart with the help of a mysterious and powerful artifact. In order to save the world, they need to get that Nordic artifact first.

The gameplay mechanics are very simple: point & click. Each area has different “interactive” objects. These objects can help you solve different puzzles. Some objectives give you an item that you can use but some objectives will only give you information. Only the “key”-items can be carried by your character and there’s no inventory limit. Some of these “items” can be combined with each other to form another useable item. These items can interact with other “interactive” places or objects but  not every item will be used.

Animation Arts proves with Lost Horizon that you don’t need a lot of “extra” features to create a good game.

You take on the role of different main characters such as Fenton Paddock, his daughter Gwen and Anna. These “roles” are bound to each chapter; each chapter is played by one of these persons. They don’t have other “actions”, it’s just linked with the story. This point & click adventure is pretty straight forward. You don’t have an open world to play around in. The game does spice things up bit by adding a timer to a certain puzzle, stealth sections, manual interactive objects (turning a doorknob or button with your mouse)  and quick time events but it’s not life changing.

The graphics are okay. It’s a combination of 2D and 3D environments. Some environments really look nice like the ruin of the Abbey or the harbor, but not every environment has the same standards. The cinematics are outdated but it fits the game. It didn’t bother me, but it would feel a lot more immersive, if the graphics of the cinematics were upgraded. Sound design is very well done. Beautiful atmospheric sound, voice acting is good for most parts but some of the accents of characters were a bit off. The main story is interesting since it gives you that Indiana Jones feeling. Realism combining with mystery set in a believable environment, place or period.

I didn’t experience technical difficulties but I did ran into some gameplay bugs, especially during those stealth sequences. Most of the puzzles are really straight forward and logical but sometimes the puzzles were too in-depth developed. It takes you a long time to gather certain objects, finding the right combination and eventually solve the puzzle. Some objects weren’t “obviously” placed. It took me a real long time to find some objects. Still, it doesn’t take away the full gaming experience but it does feel sometimes like a bit of a drag.

I do like the fact that the developers created this game with “having fun” as the main goal. If you’re stuck at a puzzle, the answer is just one click away. There’s a complete walkthrough for each chapter. They also have a button to hint out the “interactive objects”. With these options in mind, they kind of give you the “option” to play the game with or without a walkthrough. It’s all up to the gamer.

Conclusion:

Lost Horizon 2, was fun to play. Like I said in the beginning, they dispose all the “extra” gameplay mechanics from the latest games on the market and return to the roots of PC gaming. It really was fun to just play a point and click game. It’s one of those games, that everyone can play. You don’t have to be a genius to buy the game and spend a lot of hours in- game to fully master it. It’s a pick up and play game. Animation Arts proves with Lost Horizon that you don’t need a lot of “extra” features to create a good game. The story is decent and the graphics are beautiful in their own way. Look at it this way, If you’re coming home late from work and you’re in the mood for a good interactive bedtime story that’s straight forward and yet still challenging… This is the game for you.

7.5/10