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Dead City
Dead City
Release Date:June 2004
Article Posted:May 2006

It is another dark and rainy night in the city. The entire world is dying and your name is irrelevant. Memories of past days silently keep following you like a shadow. The only important thing was her. And there is no kind of revenge that can bring her back. You are aware of the irrevocable loss, but something still keeps you going on. Crazy or not, people always carry the weight of the past. ”The death sets everything right” you think to yourself for a moment. It is time to take things into your own hands.

Drugs, a near future setting, advanced technology, and a dark, deep story. Cyberpunk is one of the best branches of the science-fiction genre. Unfortunately, there are not very many cyberpunk adventure games released in the past ( one of the best was “Ripper” and it’s more than 10 years old. Back then it contained 6 CD’s of hard core mystery in a cyberpunk universe! ). Thankfully, that did not stop NiHiLiS, an independent team from the Czech Republic, to make “Dead City” or “Mrtvé mesto” to use the game’s original name.

The story starts where you would normally expect it to end. Your girlfriend is dead, or rather murdered to be more specific. You have just spent the last three months of your life in a madhouse. And now they have decided to release you. Cured or not, you find yourself in the middle of your apartment with only one thought on your mind: Who killed your beloved Tess? But there is a lot more to Dead City than just a murder mystery. Prepared to do whatever it takes to uncover the truth, our drugged hero starts his gloomy adventure. Dead City is a haven of fake morals and drugs. The city is also the home of a serial killer.

Game play: Dead City” is a traditional adventure game played from a first-person perspective. Left click of a mouse is used for looking at objects and exploration. Interaction with objects is accomplished through using the right mouse button. The inventory is well-hidden at the top of the screen and it can be viewed only when your cursor is over it. The menu button is placed in the bottom right corner. By clicking on the button, you enter a small and really greatly designed menu. The standard control structure of Dead City should be familiar to adventure gamers.

The puzzles are logical and quite easy. The relative easiness of the puzzles is actually great in Dead City as it will allow you to enjoy the story without any interruptions.

The graphics are neither the greatest nor the worst seen in the adventure gaming scene. But for an independently-made game, the visuals are excellent. 3D backgrounds are rendered at 800x600 pixels and combined with various filters. This gives the game a comic book feel just like the one from the Max Payne. Character sprites are taken from real pictures but they fit the game well. The only significantly bad aspect of this game is the animations. Even though there are quite a number of background effects like rain or thunder, everything else is mostly dead. But every action in the game is well-explained to the tiniest detail. And that is why the great storytelling always wins over great graphic design.

Music: The strong soundtrack combined with the deep storyline helps distinguish Dead City among many other adventure games. I wish that NiHiLiS would make the Dead City soundtrack available for download separately from the game. Once you get through the game you might have the same opinion.

All in all, Dead City is more than an average-looking independently-made freeware adventure game. You will only need about 40 minutes of your time to finish it. But it will be a lot longer before you can stop thinking about Dead City. Now go and get it at the official NiHiLiS site. It is only a 11MB download.