Jack the Ripper (2004)

Video Game   |  Adventure

Jack the Ripper (2004) Poster

Set in New York in 1901, where James Palmer, a reporter of the newspaper New York Today, is investigating a set of murders similar to those of "Jack the Ripper" in Whitechapel 13 years earlier.


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28 December 2004 | TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews
| Basically just far too buggy and dull to be worth playing through
This is a rather unusual title. I was attracted to it due to the name and story-line, when I found this available to borrow from the local library. The plot is decent, but it seems a bit far-fetched... Jack The Ripper showing up in New York thirteen years after the London killings, and starting a new massacre? Come on. It seems like the makers of the game just needed something more commercial than London, so they went for a big city in the U.S. instead(admittedly, they do a pretty reasonable job of recreating it, with locations, clothes and so forth, as well as building a mood). The game has you as a reporter looking to find out what you can about the killings and the perpetrator, and returning to the office daily to write about what you've found. The game-play is kind of repetitive, as hard as it tries to be different from the other point-and-click adventure games... yes, you read that right... point-and-click. Even though we all thought this genre died in the mid-nineties, games like this are still made. Or maybe this is just one company that didn't realize the death of the genre. The game has a 360 degree interface, which means that not only can you look in front of you and at your immediate surroundings, you can look downwards and upwards as well. It won't help you, most of the time, but you do have the ability to do it. This helps make it feel natural to move around in this world, but it also induces slight nausea and dizziness, which means you have to either play very little at a time or get used to it and try not to eat too much before playing. Once you do get used to it, you won't have too much trouble with it, though. The voice-acting ranges, but most of it is mediocre. Even the most simple lines are either overacted or underacted. The dialog is poorly written and too obvious. The writers apparently don't know the meaning of the word subtlety(this is true of many older games, too, but after the year 2000, games really started to have good plots and writing of high quality, so this game has no excuse). Something that caught my attention, more in the way of a 'what' look than actual annoyance, was the subtitles. Being a Danish person, I'm quite used to subtitles whenever Danish is not the spoken language, both in films and games. So I played the game with the subtitles on... and it seemed to me like the subtitle people weren't very good friends with the dialog writers, since almost every single line has several mistakes. Some of these are just word placement(putting "on Tuesday" on either side of "she'll meet you there") some are minor words("man" becomes "boy") but some are major, and disturbed my concentration. Of course, few people will have issues with this, as the English is sufficiently loud and clearly pronounced(well, most of the time, at least), and most people won't use the subtitles. The only place the game really accomplishes something worthwhile is with the audio. The music, background noises and area-based sounds are quite well-done. This is, unfortunately, also one of the only positive things I can say about this game. It has too many bugs and is kind of dull, mostly due to the lack of freedom(you can only do things in a certain order, most of the time, to get further in the game) and the repetitive nature of the genre. Of course, had the game had more puzzles, or had these puzzles been more challenging, that wouldn't have been that big of an issue. But it doesn't, and they aren't, so it is. The game goes for several interesting and admittedly potentially good things, such as crafting a game around this interesting person who actually lived, revitalizing and reinventing the point-and-click adventure genre, building a credible and realistic New York circa 1901... it is quite a shame that they are all wasted due to the execution, which needed considerable work before this should have gone into production. Oh well, the graphics are fairly good, and the animation is mostly smooth. Some of the characters are well-written, and some of the things you do are cool enough. If you've got a bit of a detective in you(though you can probably find better games for that than this), and you've always wanted to investigate old Jack, I suppose you could do worse(if not by all that much). Finally, the way the whole thing ends... is that the worst darn cop-out ending to a game ever? After everything you've gone through to get to the end, and then... I won't say here what the end is, but I will say that it's not worth playing the game through to see. I suppose I do understand why the creators of the game ended it like that, but it just leaves you feeling kind of... "So, what was the point, anyway?" not to mention wondering why they even made the game in the first place(if *that* was all they could think of for the end). Games that aren't more entertaining than this should take care not to have such unsatisfying, anti-climactic endings. Had the ending been somewhat good, or even decent, I might have rated this game a 6/10, but as it is, the game is just, like my one line summary says, far too buggy and dull to be worth playing through. I only recommend this game to fans of point-and-click adventure games(I guess it isn't bad for nostalgia) and huge fans of adventure. I suppose it might interest fans of the story of Jack The Ripper(though those seeking facts should steer clear, so as to not be offended by the considerable liberties taken with this *actual*, historical character) as well, but I think there are quite a few pieces of literature that would prove more informational as well as more interesting. 5/10


Release Date:

29 January 2004



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