Nikopol: Secrets Of The Immortals
November 17, 2008
As Alcide Nikopol, you find yourself in a suspenseful adventure to find your father and thwart a dangerous conspiracy. Entangled in political intrigue, you are caught between two worlds, one of anarchy and one of Immortality in Paris in the year 2023. For citizen Nikopol, the city is now a maze of mysteries, secrets, and clues that must be explored as he learns his missing father may be alive, a possible pawn in a looming political battle of revenge and death between a power-hungry dictator and the Immortals. Does his father live? What dark plot leads him to this place? The game is a thrilling challenge in a rich universe inspired by famed graphic novelist Enki Bilal. As Nikopol, you must use cunning and logic to protect yourself from the Immortals' plans and thwart a dark conspiracy. The game features interaction with 8 characters in 6 different environments, each made of several settings with a classic point and click interface.
This game is based on the Nikopol comic book trilogy from Enki Bilal. The game takes place in Paris in the near future. You play the role of Alcide Nikopol, an artist who paints pictures to pay his rent and survive. He lives in a dilapidated apartment that no one I know would would stay in. It is quite depressing, but Nikopol doesn't seem to mind.
At first I felt sorry for Nikopol and the way he lives. What a boring life. But perhaps this is why he decided to join a resistance group. A bit later in the game you will discover that the citizens are under pressure to elect a dictator, and that everyone opposing him is eliminated. So the resistance group came into being in order to fight and try to give a fair chance to the election. As soon as Nikopol leaves home to be initiated into the group, he finds a strange creature waiting for him in the hallway. Nikopol soon learns that someone wants him dead as his affiliation with the group has been discovered. Or is there another obscure reason which we won't know until much later in the game?
The futuristic environment of the game kind of reminded me of the old classic adventure game, Blade Runner . There are some Egyptian elements in the game, a strange pyramid floats in the air over Paris, and Egyptian gods are among the characters you will encounter during the gameplay.
One odd thing was that among all the characters in the game, there was not even one woman. Next time give us a few female characters, please!
Graphics and Gameplay
Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals is a first person point and click adventure game. When you start a game, you will need to choose between several icons to select a profile. Just scroll using the arrow at the bottom right and then click on "Select." The game uses a 360 degree mouse movement, but the movement is well-balanced. You won't become nauseated using the panning system.
The main menu is quite unique. There are floating icons spread all over the city. Pan right or left to see: New Game, Load, Options (graphics and sound, mouse, volume, subtitles, resolution, and advanced settings), Profiles, Credits, Quit and Save.
The main cursor is a dot that changes to another cursor depending on the action that takes place. You can access the inventory with a right click of the mouse. It consists of a main circle is surrounded by smaller circles that contain the items that you have picked up. Mousing over an item in one of the smaller circles shows the item on the main central circle where you can select it by left clicking. The main central circle also has the main menu access and a Read icon surrounding its perimeter. To close the inventory, just right click. There are only nine save slots, so use them carefully. There are some parts of the game where you can't save, but they are rare.
The scenery has a lot of metallic elements and is very dark, but the use of shadow and light makes each scene vibrant. There are a lot of details to see, but you can't touch or interact with most of them. Some may say the graphics aren't that great, but you need to remember that in most sci-fi movies or games, nothing is completely smooth. Rough edges are part of the sci-fi setup, and for me the graphics were quite a success.
One thing I liked about the game is that the guards can see you if you move too quickly or you are too close to them. You don't feel like the invisible man. However, don't think you can press every button you see without having to deal with the consequences!
There are several timed puzzles, but the time given to complete them is generous. If you fail your task, you can die, but you get second chances to move forward in the game. You will also have to kill some people who are in your way, but the sequences aren't that difficult and not bloody at all.
You will encounter a good mix of inventory-based and mechanical puzzles. Figuring out the correct sequence of turning lights on and off to re-code a security card and figuring out how to disable alarm systems are examples. Two puzzles require you to break through some bricks to enter certain areas. You will only have a limited number of shots, so you may have to play with that part to figure out how it works. There is also a puzzle where you need to power up a metro station and move some trains to get a passage clear. Most of the puzzles were very challenging.
Interesting facts about the game
- After installation, you no longer need the DVD to launch the game.
- Very challenging puzzles
- A very beautiful sci-fi environment
Dialogue and Sound
There isn't much talking during the game, and it might have helped the story if there had been more explanations about what needed to be done next. The sound effects are very realistic and used in all the right places.
The music matched the different moods of the game very well. The intense music during dangerous parts of the game will have you looking over your shoulder to make sure nothing is there. The voice of Alcide Nikopol really helped the character come alive. Unfortunately, the other character's dialogues are short. More of those exchanges would have helped the game.
Bugs and/or patches
I didn't encounter any bugs.
OS: Windows XP/Vista
Processor: 1.7 GHz Pentium 4, AMD Athlon, or equivalent
RAM : 512 MB (1024MB with Vista)
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9600 / NVIDIA 6 series or higher 128MB DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card
DirectX 9.0c compatible sound device
DVD-ROM 16x or faster
Disk space: 3 GB
Windows-compatible mouse required
My computer specifications:
OS: Windows Vista SP1
RAM: 3072 MB
Processor: Intel (R) Core (TM) 2 Duo 3.00 Go
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Disk space: 1st 220 Go and 2nd 260 Go
I had the most fun with the puzzles. The variety was great, and most of them were very challenging. It helped that they were well integrated into the story as it made the solutions and choices more logical. This is an immersive and futuristic adventure game. Even if there is some shooting, the targets are easy to shoot, and it even makes the game a bit different from what we usually see in an adventure game. The ending is an interesting conclusion to the game and will give you the satisfaction of having done everything that needed to be done.
There were six different environments, each with different settings, and several interesting comic book cutscenes. I hope that we will see Nikopol in more adventure games. He is quite an interesting character, and I wish that a future game would tell us more about his past and who he really is.
Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals
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