Posted 03 November 2007 - 05:59 PM
I've never played Ark 22, but I may give it a chance after seeing this game.
The graphics, though not as high quality as many of today's "games" for the xbox 360 (such as the shooting game halo and the racing game gta), are stylized in a very unique and praiseworthy manner. Where many other game developers might have used dark or dirty colors for the characters, Kafeithekeaton used bright, exciting colors that were almost painfully well done. Other, lesser game makers may have done the same thing with the background scenery, but Kafeithekeaton again defied all expectations by instead using the dark, gritty style that can create the extremely important first impression that all games aspire to. And the atmosphere doesn't die after first impressions. No, it sticks with the game the whole way through. You will find yourself thinking you are actually inside Ark 23, and it may actually scare you sometimes. Overall, the graphics, though not as important as gameplay, deserve at least a 9.9792/10. I did not give it a perfect score because no game is perfect, although this one is very close and probably should be.
While graphics are undoubtedly important, gameplay is much more important in the gaming community. Games like Pokemon have horrible graphics and box art, but people keep coming back to buy and play them because of the amazing gameplay and critically acclaimed animated series. Ark 23 is not like that, of course, because the graphics and gameplay are both amazing. The game is set up like an action/adventure/role playing/story driven RPG with role playing elements. Most adventure games have you walk around boring environments where nothing happens, but this game totally reinvents the whole idea of the genre. Every action is closely monitored by the game, and every small step is a test of the player's mind, body, and heart. The player must use their mind to think through steps and puzzles logically. The player's body may be the only thing keeping the player from entering the world of Ark 23 totally, so this is also important. Lastly, the player must use their heart to make important choices in the game. How will you treat this character? Do you really want to do that to an inatimate object? What will be the consequences of your actions? The use of the player's conscience and morality are one of the things that puts this game over the top for me. I will gladly give the gameplay a 9.9998/10, with .0002 points taken off for not having online multiplayer, which is something that I feel the modern day gaming market desires.
In conclusion, this is one of the finest gamemaker made games I have played in the last few years. Some may not like it, but the same can be said of almost any masterpiece. Emotions are invoked that many simply cannot understand, and will interpret as "bad." I'm sure that if you showed the Mona Lisa to a caveman, he would hoot and howl at something his brain simply couldn't understand. I'm not saying that people who don't like this game are cavemen, I am just saying that it is possible that they have very poor or primitive tastes in art. Yes, this game is art. I have no choice but to give this game the perfect score of 9.9999 repeating/10, since no game can be perfect, but as I said before this one probably is.