When last we left brilliant FBI agent, Victoria McPherson, she was attempting to soak away the bumps and bruises acquired while tracking down an elusive serial killer – a killer whose MO seemed to span several generations and cities. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll know that the original Still Life ended with a cliff-hanger due to its developer, Microïds, running out of time and money. Not too long after that, Microïds shut down completely. Like the mythical Phoenix, Microïds has risen from the ashes to complete Still Life’s long-awaited ending with the release of Still Life 2.
Victoria has been sent to Maine to investigate the death of Ellen Dunnigan, whose body has just been found. Based on the MO and video sent to the police and press, there is no doubt of the killer’s identity; the East Coast Torturer has struck again! Victoria comes across a report by journalist Paloma Hernandez whose recent articles have been highly critical of the FBI’s and Victoria’s lack of progress. Paloma has been covering the crimes related to the Torturer and calls Victoria wanting to meet because she thinks she has information vital to the case. Victoria refuses. Moments later, Paloma is captured by the Torturer.
Once again, players will manage and play two characters bound by the same fate, yet experience two different styles of gameplay – Paloma Hernandez as she’s hunted by the killer or Victoria McPherson as she tracks down the killer – alternating between survival and investigation.
I loved the original Still Life with it’s amazingly gorgeous cut-scenes, organic puzzles and mature themes. I’ll admit that I absolutely hated that ridiculous lock-pick puzzle. That wasn’t picking a lock; that was simply moving rectangular blocks around. If you want me to pick a lock, then give me a “true” lock-picking experience similar to Thief: Deadly Shadows. The truncated ending – though brought about by time and money issues – was brilliant as it generated the internet equivalent of water cooler chatter. It was interesting to read other people’s thoughts on who they thought the killer could be and why.
Microïds is promising that Still Life 2 will carry on in the spirit of the original. I plan to hold them to that promise, as it’s currently the only PC adventure game I’m looking forward to playing. (Plus, I’m curious to find out how the killer’s “nom de plume” came to be East Coast Torturer when the last series of murders took place in Chicago. Wouldn’t that make him/her the Midwest Torturer?) Fully produced in real-time 3D by Gameco Studios, Still Life 2 is scheduled for a Q1 2009 PC release.