Abandonware

Anachronox

Name: Anachronox
Genre: Roleplaying
Designer: Tom Hall
Developer: ION Storm
Publisher: EIDOS Interactive
Copyright: ION Storm
Year: 2001

Rating: 0.0

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Review - Wikipedia

Anachronox is a 3-D, third person computer role-playing game produced by Tom Hall and the Ion Storm games studio. Development took around three and a half years. The game is built on a heavily modified version of the Quake 2 engine, heavily re-coded to allow for improvements such as a wider color palette as well as more complex character animations (including facial expressions).

The gameplay style is heavily influenced by console RPGs such as the Final Fantasy series, as opposed to the style of computer RPGs such as the Baldur's Gate or Fallout series. Character statistics and item collection are simplified, and the emphasis is on exploration and story-telling rather than character building. Although at first the game appears to take place in a gritty, cyber-punk universe, the game is actually fairly light-hearted, with a quirky sense of humor. However, the underlying story itself is quite serious and in particular some of the in-game cutscenes carry a surprising emotional weight.

The player plays the part of Sylvester "Sly" Boots, a down-and-out detective in the slums (known as "The Bricks") of an alien world called "Anachronox". Anachronox sits inside a giant, hollow sphere called Sender One, which is the centre of the galaxy's network of space-lanes.

Recruited against his will to investigate a mystery concerning the very nature of the universe, "Sly" travels throughout the galaxy, meeting many characters along the way, some of who can join the player's party. A few of these characters are Pal-18, Sly's robotic buddy; "Grumpos" Matavastros, a wiley old professor; and Stiletto the leather-suited assassin.

The game ends on a major cliff-hanger, as the development team was only able to complete about 50% of the story they intended. The second half of the game's story was supposed to be covered in the sequel, but the game's poor performance in the retail market coupled with the dissolution of Ion Storm suggests that no sequel will ever be made.

The game has notably good music.

Since its release some fan-based updates have been produced which provide such improvements as taxi-cabs between distant points, greater stability under newer versions of Windows, and enhanced save game functionality.

Anachronox did poorly commercially. This fact, coupled with the poor performance of Daikatana, another Ion Storm release around the same time, partially contributed to the collapse of Ion Storm's Dallas branch. The game nonetheless developed a cult following, largely due to its off-beat, humorous storyline.

In response to favorable input about the game's story, the developers independently spliced together the game's cutscenes into a single hour-and-a-half long machinima movie, which has since been distributed over the internet.

About three hundred years ago a number of artifacts were found. Named 'MysTech' (Mysterium Technology), they were believed to be devices left by a long dead alien race. Some of the devices were weapons, others healed and some have not been fully understood.

A small planetoid-sized reflective sphere, a Sender, was discovered in space. Long spikes could be seen protruding its outer shell at regular intervals. A star pilot approaching the Sender noticed a signal being transmitted by one of the spikes. He found himself accelerating toward the Sender and was then transported to another part of space via some sort of hyperspace tunnel. These came into regular use once ships had been equipped with inertial dampers. Senders later became the hubs of lucrative trade and galactic civilization. Right in the centre of the universe lay Sender One, which orbited the city of Anachronox.

It is believed that Anachronox was home to millions of quarantined aliens many years ago. These aliens are thought to have died of a horrible plague. Anachronox is now largely a ruin and has become the centre of nefarious dealings in the galaxy.

Sylvester "Sly" Boots lives in a cheap apartment above Rowdy's, a seedy bar on the seediest street in a section of Anachronox called the Bricks. Somehow surviving an attack from a number of mysterious henchmen, Boots is enlisted by a renegade scientist and begins a perilous journey which pits him against some of the most dangerous enemies in the universe.

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