There are two rules in life. 1st rule is when something is likely to go wrong will probably go (Murphy’s law) and the second rule is that the sequel does not exceed the high standards of the 1st. The exceptions you think exist, exist only to confirm the above rules. For those who disagree, proceed immediately with the review below.
Before proceeding to my criticism I would like to make it clear that the first and second Lost Horizon games, I played them back to back and so the experience of each game and any comparisons it was reasonable to do next. I liked the first Lost Horizon since it had elements from Indiana Jones but also a bit of this air of 90s adventures that we missed. But in Lost Horizon 2, Animation Arts, taking advantage of the momentum of the first game of the series, proceeded to some bold, in my opinion, changes that pretty much altered the gameplay, adding some “innovations” supposed to improve the adventurous atmosphere. We could only be so wrong.
Lost Horizon 2 begins several years after the 1 st Nazis fall. The sympathetic Fenton Paddock is now a secret agent at the service of Her Majesty when an unexpected visit by a mysterious woman, Anna, with news about the disappearance of Gwen’s daughter, will bring him back to hunting for lost cultures and secret forces, which if they fall into the wrong hands, can wipe out the entire world. Fenton’s opponent in this battle is not the Nazi but the KGB, but that has no difference in the intentions of the latter. During the course of the game, Fenton will visit locations ranging from Africa and the Iron Curtain to distant Iceland in order to carry out his mission. The story, although interesting, does not manage to keep the player, and that’s why the various plotholes (what happened to Kim from the 1st?) and the so much needed plot twist. Significant less in the whole affair, is the peak of action that never comes in, while in its place comes a dry finale which really annoys you with its amateurish and rush aisthetic.
The Lost Horizon graphics are beautifully designed with respect to the backgrounds (three-dimensional as opposed to the first one designed in the hand), the models on the other are three-dimensional but really such an inconsistency in their design I had’nt seen in a long time. The game is in 2015 and it has to have more well-designed character models, and it’s also good to be on par with the cutscenes that pop up here and there, mostly for trivial things (picking up something, cutscene). Something like that is getting tired and messing up the flow. Also in some cases you visit a site and although there are points of interest, zooming into the affected areas is only possible if there is a puzzle.
By saying puzzles, I can not help but mention the part of the puzzle that comes from everywhere, especially in the design of some of them. If you want to be called and adventure that respects the smart players, you give some details and let it go. You do not let go of it when you open a safe (which is supposed to contain important info for the action) at the beginning of the game and find out a code that is supposed to be important. That’s where you are wrong !!! He is not used anywhere.
At another point you have to combine five symbols to open something. To do that, Gwen gives you a notebook with the five symbols copied, but one has been copied incorrectly (probably a bug). You end up in the logic of the trial and error of the four symbols (the 5th one you know where it goes), that is, we are talking about many combinations. That is, the complete absence of a compass to guide you throught the action combined with the built in walk through destroys the atmosphere, with the given solution not explaining the logic of the puzzle except telling you only what needs to be done. On the other hand, I liked the combination of items that appears with question marks if you do not have the necessary items but this on the other hand adversely affects the duration (you soon know what you have and what you do not have to make something).
As far as gameplay is concerned, the game is eager to present innovations, which disappear shortly after. The Quick Time Events (QTE) in the cutscenes disappeared after (for the better :)) they presented, while the timed events in the action are a bit fallacy because time is enough with the above even for the beginner to understand what to do while in in some cases the time is renewed as soon as you get into the space where the timed event is triggered.
Finally, I was annoyed by the completely dumb action tracks that if there were none they would not be missing. Do not forget to mention the “hands” that appear when you use an object, but you also have to move the mouse with its movement (spin of a lever). In short, I saw a willingness to experiment with innovations, but they removed points from the atmosphere, irritating the player.
I liked music quite a lot, but there was a problem with the intensity of something that every three and a little brought me to the options to increase its intensity because sometimes it fell on the speech and sometimes did not hear at all. The speeches on the other hand I found some of them to be non fitting, with the exception of the voice of Fenton and Gwen. I think some of them have to Wadjet Eye for a voice over seminar.
To summarize I can say that the Lost Horizon 2 was aimed at the top, but the innovations brought along with their moderate performance and the bad design of some puzzles condemned to mediocrity something that is not forgiven for a title that wants to be called AAA (at least in matters of price). If you did not play your first Lost Horizon I highly recommend it as the 2nd part of the series together with the lost horizon also loses contact with the player leaving behind unfulfilled expectations and most of its high outlook.