I am a massive fan of Adventure games of all kinds, and the Tex Murphy series are no exception. They have always been on the cutting edge with 3D graphics and Full Motion Video. Overseer is one of the first games to use DVD, but unfortunately the majority of users will not have access to the new technology or have the kind of monster PC you have to have to get a good frame rate out of this game. I personally have no plans to purchase a DVD player just to play this one game, and have decided to review Overseer on a PC with almost the minimum requirements Access say you need.
What is the Game About?
The Tex Murphy games have been around for longer than most people think, they started way back in 1989 with the release of Mean Streets and was followed by (what i thought was excellent) Martian Memorandum in 1992. Under a Killing Moon was released in 1994 and was one of the first games to use Full Motion Video too good effect, but was easy to complete. Next came the excellent Pandora Directive in 1996. Now in 1998 we have Overseer, this time making use of DVD technology which most of us don't have so I'm pushed to ignore it.
Tex Murphy: Overseer brings Tex and Chelsee (both are "lovers") back together again with Tex retelling his story of his first major case.
We begin with a 5 minute Full Motion Video intro depicting the beginning of your case. A man called Carl Linski has seemingly committed suicide by throwing himself off of a bridge. His daughter Sylvia played by the gorgeous Rebecca Broussard has asked you to check into this so called "Suicide" and the case carries on from there.
The game engine is easy to get to grips with, if you have played the previous games then you will get down to investigating straight away. You basically have to solve puzzles, follow clues, collect and use various objects you pick up along the way.
Graphics and Sound
If you have played the last 2 Tex Murphy games then you pretty much know what to expect, little has changed, the 3D engine is almost identical to "The Pandora Directive". The 3D engine must have had some large additions to it that i can't see because the Frame Rate has dropped by a large amount and i can't see what has changed.
The midi music got on my nerves early in the game so i switched it off, but by doing so you lose a lot of atmosphere and the locations you visit seem to have little sound. The 3D sound is used to good effect when you are wandering around the various locations and the CD music is excellent.
The quality of narrative by Chris Jones is always good, if you played the previous two games then I am sure you will be able to tell Chris has got better and better at playing Tex Murphy.
The Ups -- Good graphics, Excellent CD Music, good acting, excellent Full Motion Video, well directed. Puzzles are hard and varied. DVD MPEG video is by far the best video seen in any game so far
The Downers -- Awful frame rate, graphics are worse than the last Tex Murphy game, Pandora Directive. Annoying Midi music (Can be switched off). MPEG DVD Video is still poor quality compared to DVD-Video.
Overall -- If you have a P166 or less i just cannot recommend it. Overseer unfortunately has too many problems to recommend it. Access have said they are working on a Direct 3D patch for the game, if it can increase the frame rate then i will re-review the game as soon as i get hold of it. It is such a shame, if the game was faster with less problems it would get a much higher mark.
In The Box?
Reviewers PC Setup