Murder In The Abbey
September 25, 2008
Thou Shall Not Kill.
Monks, murder and above all, suspense await you in Murder in the Abbey . An old abbey is the scene of a series of mysterious murders, and only one man can put a stop to the slaughter. Former Grand Inquisitor, Father Leonardo, and his assistant Bruno are sent by the Vatican to the isolated abbey to investigate the strange goings-on surrounding a carefully guarded secret. Yet they have hardly arrived when their quest is overshadowed by an attempt on their lives...
Murder in the Abbey is a mystery of cinematic proportions whose suspense goes far beyond that of a conventional adventure game!
A monk and his novice; strange murders; an abbey with a not-very-accessible, but mysterious and haunted, library; devilish things happening - these are the elements for a good story. The opening scene with an attempted murder on Father Leonardo and his novice, Bruno, puts you right into the investigative mode. Some of you might think there are a lot of similarities to a movie from 1986 called The Name of The Rose . You would be right, but the story has enough new elements that the game is still quite different from the movie.
Father Leonardo is called one day by the Abbot to try to shine some light on a strange death that just occurred in the monastery, a death that the Abbot witnessed. Soon Father Leonardo will learn that his task appears doomed from the beginning, since everyone is keeping secrets and no one is very eager to help. Father Leonardo won't give up and will use every means necessary to achieve his goal. His cowardly novice, Bruno, who is a really great sidekick in every way, will help him in his investigation. But occasionally, like any teenager, he will rebel against his superior. Some of you may be offended by the way Father Leonardo threatens his novice, but remember that in those days, that's how things were done.
What I found sad about the game was the absence of interesting puzzles. Most of them are inventory based. There is an average labyrinth in a secret part of the library, only one interesting slider, and another easy puzzle to open a secret passage. That's about it.
Graphics and Gameplay
Murder in the Abbey is a third person point and click adventure game. The main menu can be accessed by pressing the ESC key. There you will find Play, Load, Save, Options, Credits and Exit the Game. You get to the inventory by moving the mouse over the top of the screen. Left mouse button will move or look at objects; right mouse button will perform an action or get comments about an object or a person. Double clicking on an exit will make the transition between the two areas much quicker. The inventory is easy to use and a few object combinations are possible. There are a lot of save slots (thirty); double click on an empty or a used slot to save (saves can also be over written).
You can use the map to go from one place to another by pressing the M key on the keyboard. It is important to know that you can't get access to the map when you are inside a building.
The story is very interesting, and the mystery is presented well. The investigation is also interesting, with enough clues to help you out in finding what your next step should be. The graphics are beautiful, and most of the scenery is breath taking. Shade and light are very well used. There are many interesting places to visit; you also need to visit some of them at night when they become very creepy. The cemetery with the fog, the church, the empty library, and the courtyard are much creepier at night. The cartoonish characters are very beautiful, and they move about in a colorful environment. There is a bit of pixel hunting in the game. There are also a couple of informative and interesting cut scenes. I especially liked the one at the beginning of the game.
Interesting facts about the game:
- Playable without the CD
- Beautiful scenery
Dialogue and Sound
The voices fit most of the characters perfectly. Only two voices got on my nerves for the whole game. Those were the voices of Bruno and Nazario of Milan, the Inquisitor. Father Leonardo's voice fit him like a glove. It showed his intelligence and that he is also alert and aware of everything around him. Most of the music is well chosen to fit each situation and helps build the suspenseful atmosphere. It is also appropriate for a monastery. If they ever decide to offer the sound track for sale, I might even buy it. The sound effects are good but could have been done a bit better to make the game more scary.
You frequently get to choose between several questions, but even if you skip one, it will come back later in the conversation. There is no need to worry about not selecting the right one. Most of the investigation is done with the dialogues, so don't skip too much of it.
Bugs and/or patches
I didn't encounter any major bugs.
OS: Windows® XP/Vista
CPU: 1.4 GHz or Equivalent
RAM: 512 MB
Disk Space: 3 GB Free
Video: 64 MB graphics card, GeForce4 Ti generation or ATI Radeon 9500 (DirectX® 9.0c compatible)
Sound: DirectX® 9 Compatible Sound Card
Input: Keyboard, Mouse and Speakers
My computer specifications
OS: Windows Vista SP1
RAM: 2 X 288Go
Processor: Intel (R) Core (TM) 2 Duo 3.00 Go
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Disk space: 1st 226Go and 2nd 268 Go
I liked the game a lot. The story made the investigation very interesting. In addition to more good puzzles, I only wish that we were able to read some of the books in the library. Father Leonardo is an interesting character. Another character that I really liked was Brother Arcadio, a gentle old fool. Some of the things he said were very funny and entertaining.
In addition to good graphics and interesting characters, the developer made a lot of effort to have the emotions of each character show on their faces. I hope that there will be a sequel to the game and that we will be able to see Father Leonardo once again.
Murder In the Abbey
The Adventure Company