Moebius: Empire Rising review
The Good:

The game has glimpses of the historical fiction magic of Jensen’s previous work; core concept is intriguing; competent voice acting; colorful, detailed background art; Robert Holmes’s work on the score is gorgeous as always.

The Bad:

Malachi Rector is bland at best and odious at worst; supporting cast lacks depth; a globe-trotting adventure is reduced to small, boring locations; character animation is distractingly poor; small graphical glitches abound; the game ends with a stupidly long and uninteresting cave maze.

Our Verdict:

While mildly entertaining at times, Moebius is disappointingly light on the charm, intrigue, and ingenuity that marked Jane Jensen’s earlier work.

Jane Jensen’s most famous creation, Gabriel Knight, is the owner of a shop that specializes in vintage books, who finds himself dragged by fate into a centuries-old supernatural conflict that has been waged unbeknownst to most of humanity. He overcomes his reluctance and skepticism and embraces his fate as a singularly important figure in the conflict. Malachi Rector, the protagonist of Jensen’s latest release, Moebius: Empire Rising, is the owner of a shop that specializes in rare antiques, who finds himself dragged by fate into a centuries-old supernatural conflict that has been waged unbeknownst to most of humanity. He overcomes his reluctance and skepticism and embraces his fate as a singularly important figure in the conflict.

With that on the table, I trust you’ll understand why I will spend much of this review using the Gabriel Knight franchise as a reference point. Unfortunately, Moebius would be mediocre even outside of the context of its predecessors, but because it tries to hit many of the same notes and falls flat, the comparison can help illuminate why it disappoints.

Gabriel Knight is one of the legends, and for good reason. He was a fascinating character – a rogue, a charmer, an alcoholic bum, a loyal hero, a jerk with a heart of gold. He was a mess of contradictions and despite the myriad ways that could have failed, we loved him for it. Judged against his forebear, Malachi Rector comes up short on every measure. He’s not funny, he’s not charming, he’s not particularly conflicted or interesting. He’s not lovable, but he is a jerk. He is simply not fun to spend time with.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s back up: Moebius is a collaboration between Pinkerton Road, the studio formed by Jensen and composer/husband Robert Holmes, and Phoenix Online Studios, the team best known for Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller. The story follows Malachi Rector, a famed antique dealer specializing in the appraisal of rare objects of great historical significance. Leaving his Manhattan-based shop in the capable hands of his doting assistant Gretchen, Rector spends his time hopping from country to country on jobs for wealthy patrons and fellow dealers, who are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a few minutes of his time as he identifies forgeries and rarities with unquestioned authority. He doesn’t cite his sources – he IS the source.

Soon after we meet Rector, he receives a job request from a mysterious new client, Amble Dexter of the shadowy government organization FITA. The job is strange: a young woman has been murdered in Venice, and they would like Malachi to investigate. Not the murder, mind you, but rather the life of the woman. FITA wants him to determine if her life resembles that of any prominent historical figures. Initially reluctant, Rector is eventually persuaded to go.

It’s not long before he encounters David Walker, a former US Special Forces soldier. They form a bond and Rector hires him on as a bodyguard. This relationship forms the backbone of the story. Rector and Walker uncover the truth behind FITA as they help the organization track down a very particular woman, one whose life is an uncanny match with a prominent and powerful historical figure. But who is the woman, and is her life repeating the details of Cleopatra? Anne Boleyn? Livia Drusilla? Jeanne d'Arc? And why is it so important that she be found and protected?

Like the rest of Jensen’s games, Moebius starts in a staunchly realistic world and slowly uncovers forces we can’t understand as the protagonist is plunged deeper into the supernatural. Like the Gabriel Knight series, the fantastical elements of the story are interwoven with historical fact. Much of the fun of those earlier games came from the blurred line between fact and fiction. It’s pretty clear that King Ludwig of Bavaria was not really a werewolf… but damn if it didn’t seem like he could have been.

Whereas each GK game was practically drenched in the history and culture of its setting, Moebius merely dabbles. Perhaps it is the global nature of the game – rather than keeping to a single city (such as New Orleans or Munich of GK1 and 2, respectively), Rector and Walker travel from New York to Venice to Paris and beyond, and each is just a brief sketch of the place, contained within a few screens and perhaps an Eiffel Tower in the background of one. Each location feels shallow and is quickly forgotten.

The same can be said of the science-fictional elements of the plot, which centers around the ill-defined “Moebius Theory.” The theory involves the idea of repeating patterns of history, which is an intriguing idea that goes woefully underexplored. It is never given more than a couple of paragraphs of explanation and some lip service as to its paramount importance. No evidence is ever given for its existence (surely as an expert on the theory, Dexter would be able to drum up even one such previous example of a repeated pattern), and its pillars are a bit wobbly – some people’s lives apparently seem to mirror the lives of important historical figures, but how closely and in what ways are barely explained. The theory ends up being less convincing than the writings of Nostradamus – and when it’s the crux of the entire narrative, that’s a problem.

This shallowness extends to the characters. I’ve already mentioned that Malachi is uninteresting at best and repulsive at worst. He is, supposedly, devastatingly handsome and electrifying to be around, except that he’s not. He’s a distant, elitist braggart – the fact that his coldness is due to a tragic backstory doesn’t help things because the tragedy in his past is honestly kind of hilarious. He reminded me a bit of a middle-aged Edward Cullen, another supremely uninteresting and unlikeable character who, we are told, is impossibly attractive.

Walker is shallow as well, an unflinchingly loyal puppy dog who occasionally punches people. His relationship with Rector feels forced, and while the story gives them reasons to feel a connection, their total lack of chemistry prevents those reasons from ever feeling valid. I never bought that Walker would put his life on the line for Rector, and I never for a second believed that Rector would want to keep a meathead like Walker around. The game hints at a possible homoerotic attraction between the two, which might be interesting if it was the slightest bit believable. Instead it feels like bad fan fiction. Nearly everyone else is a one-note archetype, which is a less of a problem for side characters, but disappointing nevertheless.

Continued on the next page...



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Game Info
Digital April 15 2014 Pinkerton Road Studios

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User Score

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User Reviews

Posted by Teresa Vidal on Apr 25, 2014

I liked itt!!

Even if I was waiting for a game with the same approach and extraordinary and original adventure (with some action) story as GK and was... Read the review »

Posted by Iznogood on Apr 19, 2014

Enjoyable but with issues

Let me start by saying that this is not the best game Jane Jensen has made but it is also not a terrible game. If we start with the positive,... Read the review »

Posted by giom on Apr 18, 2014

Nice game, with some flaws

I’ve now finished the game. Globally I enjoyed it and it was a nice experience… In term of graphics, the background art ranges from... Read the review »

Posted by millenia on Apr 15, 2014

Not a perfect but entertaining story about an epic friendship

I am quite a die hard fan of Jane Jensen and I definitely enjoyed her newest game, but I have to admit it has some flaws which clearly makes... Read the review »



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About the Author
CitizenArcane's avatar
Nathaniel Berens
Staff Writer

Comments

Doom Doom
Apr 18, 2014

Way to go. The game is not Gabriel Knight, the main character is not likable, the story is not believable and lacks depth, the graphics are ugly, maze is horrible and not up to modern standards, even deduction puzzles do not appeal to author as they lack hints. And the same author praised Jazzpunk and Amnesia 2 as “fun, innovative games”... Way to go, Adventuregamers, show those old-school beggars from Kickstarter!

gray pierce gray pierce
Apr 18, 2014

WHAT!!!??? Man I was so looking forward to this. Well I bought it already anyway so I might as well play it. At least this way I’ll go in with the right expectations. Thanks for the heads up AGs.

zane
Apr 18, 2014

Very good review. Pretty accurately describes all of my feelings on the game. I’d like to think it is possible for a game to pull off a “unlikable jerk” protagonist, but not when the world of characters presumes him likable. Thankyou for giving this the same score it would get regardless of who made it.

ycioannidis
Apr 18, 2014

Using the game’s captivating and innovating mechanics lets try to analyze the reviewer’s personality:

A.He is stuck to the past and compares everything that Jensen makes with Gabriel Knight (I don’t like Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” because it doesn’t look like “Guernica”)
B.He has very high expectations without being pragmatic and taking into consideration the budget limitations
C.He identifies himself into Malachi’s bad ass personality and that bothers him (do you think art critics that write reviews because they cannot really create art are by any chance pleasant to be around?)
D.He is grumpy and needs to get laid

Tough choice….

Archer
Apr 18, 2014

I have to say, I do disagree with the review. IMHO, this is an enjoyable game with a interesting story. More importantly, I find the puzzles to be organic (for lack of a better term) and logical. True, there are no real head scratchers, but there are also no bizarre puzzles than make me think, “what?!”. I’m about 7 hours in so far, but I’m really enjoying it. If I had to complain about anything, the graphics aren’t exactly amazing, but I can let that pass.

zane
Apr 18, 2014

I thought the reviewer explained very well. some comparison to GK is warranted, because the formula for the concept is very similar.  And context like “but they only used x amount of money” doesnt belong in a review score.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 18, 2014

Doom, your attempt at sarcasm is ridiculous. A reviewer thinks some games are better at what they’re trying to do than others. Imagine that. Not everything is a conspiracy.

ycioannidis, you only embarrass yourself with posts like that. I’d say people who attack others simply for having a different opinion are the ones least likely to be pleasant to be around.

We obviously do keep budget limitations in mind when reviewing—we don’t demand every game look like the latest AAA release—but it’s still on the developer to adapt the design to the budget.

teme
Apr 18, 2014

Very well-grounded review and I agree with it. As a backer I wanted to like this game more, but to be honest, it’s not very good. It was definitely enjoyable and memorable to follow this project closely as a backer, even though the end result is somewhat disappointing.

Gabe Gabe
Apr 18, 2014

Well written review but kinda of hilarious that taking Jensen’s work too serious,
she’s just trying to keep up with times.

Castledoque
Apr 18, 2014

A VERY disappointing review. Shallow, below-par and inferior to many Nancy Drew games? Really? Totally unfair… Though flawed in parts, as a whole the game was excellent. I am really saddened to see adventuregamers following the trend of bashing a first-rate old-school-ish adventure game.

duerer
Apr 18, 2014

Rant mode ON:
Let’s face it: adventure games are commercially dead. Therefore, many of the developers resort to Kickstarter and other limited funding sources.
The results are exactly that: LIMITED.

Needless to say, Dame JJ should have been able to create something much more interesting if she was on constant salary, if she had access to talented persons paid by the Wealthy Company, if she was the boss of her team if the quality is not good enough.

Since this is clearly not the case, I consider Moebius as a humble amateur effort that happened to fulfill my adventure game hunger for a few hours.
Rant mode OFF.

Good game? Objectively: no (lots of technical problems). Subjectively: yes (I had fun playing it).
Will it enter the Hall of Adventure Games? Never (too average for that).
Is it a proper JJ game? Yes (well researched, good story yarn, terrible puzzles)

As my expectations were exactly in line what I got, $20 well spent, that’s my bottom line.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 18, 2014

Castledoque, there is no such “trend”, and Nate was following his own impressions, period. That’s a reviewer’s job. I’ll say again, not everything is a conspiracy.

zane
Apr 18, 2014

@Castledoque believe it or not, there are some nancy drew games that are very good quality. I cant understand considering moebius “first-rate” other than the name attached.

ycioannidis
Apr 18, 2014

Why do you consider my personal opinion on the reviewer an attack and don’t consider his review an attack on the game and Jensen’s team??? Do you have the right to say whatever you want without hearing back? You don’t like reviews of the reviews? Do you have authority issues ?
(Btw you answered yes in any of the above questions the diagnosis is hypersensitivity personality disorder…don’t worry there is treatment).
Oh…and I don’t feel embarrassed at all (again you were wrong…personality analysis doesn’t look to be your forte… Maybe that’s why you didn’t like the game)

Regards

Jackal Jackal
Apr 18, 2014

Wow, ycioannidis, you’re really doubling down on the same obnoxious behaviour? There’s a patently obvious difference between critiquing a work—the very point of a review—and insulting a reviewer’s “personality” based on totally fabricated nonsense. That you can’t see the difference speaks volumes about you, and nothing about those you mean to insult.

And that will be the end of your non-contribution to this discussion.

CitizenArcane CitizenArcane
Apr 18, 2014

No, Jack. He’s right. He saw right through my facade. I only wrote this negative review because I am so bitter due to a total lack of creative ability. And because I need to get laid, apparently.

It definitely has nothing to do with the fact that I was disappointed by a subpar release from a designer whom I greatly admire and who has inspired me for nearly twenty years.

Doom Doom
Apr 18, 2014

Jackal, I’m not talking about conspiracy or anything. I just find it ridiculous how one author finds Amnesia’s story (basically everything that 3-hour ride has to offer) so much superior to the one in Moebius. He made his best to search for deep meanings, hidden messages and all that stuff in Amnesia, yet all he has to say about Moebius is “shallow”? The writing alone is much superior and professional on Jensen’s part.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 18, 2014

Don’t dispute me, Nate! I have authority issues! Mwa-ha-ha!

(Okay, end of digression. Back to Moebius.)

liogm
Apr 18, 2014

ycioannidis, dude, come on. There’s no need for that. If you don’t agree with the review AT ALL, just ignore it, or better yet, make your own, and point out respectfully everything you believe was wrong with the review. A review isn’t the be-all end-all reputation of a game, and I don’t think this review has any bad intentions against JJ or her team for you to start ranting like that. Personally, I agree with a lot of things in the review, and yet I really liked the game.

Jackal Jackal
Apr 18, 2014

Doom, that’s a perfectly reasonable post. I think you’re comparing apples and oranges, but at least it raises an interesting question. But when you say things like “Way to go, Adventuregamers, show those old-school beggars from Kickstarter!”, you’re clearly implying we have an anti-traditional agenda, and NONE of us would be here if we weren’t all fans of the classics. This one just didn’t measure up, ‘sall.

Doom Doom
Apr 18, 2014

Jackal, I was a bit too emotional after reading the review, alright Smile I just struggle to understand those unnecessarily harsh and angry reviews. Was expecting some more in-depth critique from AG and was disappointed to see the same arguments used on mainstream sites. Also it’s not the first review from Nathaniel that makes me think he is expecting modern games to follow modern trends, rejecting old formulas. His marks given to the titles released in recent years are some of the highest on Adventuregamers.

CroGamer CroGamer
Apr 18, 2014

I find this review unfair, because this game should not be compared to GK THAT MUCH (Malachi is not trying to hunt monsters or voodoo cults, or anything of the kind), and should graphics and animation be so important in an adventue games. What matters is the story and/or puzzles, which is great and unique.

I think that the game should be an easy 4 stars or close to that.

And, ycioannidis, i choose A.

CitizenArcane CitizenArcane
Apr 18, 2014

Doom, I’ll answer you personally.

First, I’m confused by your accusation that the review lacked “in-depth critique.” The review is one of the longest I’ve ever written, and while I have a lot more I could say about the game, a review is not a long-form essay. There’s only so much room, and there’s a lot to cover.

I also don’t see why the fact that my review shares opinions with mainstream sites is a negative.

I think if you look through my past reviews, you’ll see that I have nothing against old-school adventure games. I gave glowing reviews to traditional adventure games such as The Whispered World and Resonance. Broken Age (a product from an “old-school Kickstarter beggar”) is one of my favorite games of the year so far.

Good games get good scores, whether they’re traditional or experimental. Mediocre games get mediocre scores. It’s not that I dislike old formulas, it’s that I dislike bad design, and certainly there are old adventure game tropes that have not aged well. If you have a greater tolerance for those, then hopefully I’ve written lucidly enough that you can decide not to put as much weight on my criticisms of those elements.

As for my high scores, I’ve been fortunate enough to get called on to review some genuine modern classics as well as some stinkers. I stand by my scores.

gray pierce gray pierce
Apr 18, 2014

Personally I think the idea of anti-traditionalism on AGs or at least the reviewer’s part is ridiculous. Nathan/Arcane gave the extremely retro Resonance a hugely glowing review. Then again I’m pretty sure he was just trying to big that game up for his buddy Vince. (just kidding here of course)

Also there have been a score of non-traditional games which were reviewed far worse than this title. Sometimes a non-traditional game is just really good and sometimes a traditional game just isn’t.

In my opinion AGs is pretty fair in their reviews even though I don’t always agree with them but that’s just a matter of taste.

Lambonius Lambonius
Apr 18, 2014

Anybody feel like arguing about the definition of a traditional adventure game?

Just kidding.  Wink

I think this review is pretty fair and balanced, honestly.  Though with any review, you always have to take into account that your mileage may vary.  Some of the perceived problems mentioned here didn’t bother me, so I’d rate the game a bit higher.  If I had one critique on the review, it’d be the use of some needlessly inflammatory language i.e. “stupidly long,” but those instances are pretty few and far between in the main body text of the review itself.

tomimt tomimt
Apr 18, 2014

I pretty much agree with this review, it even has some thing’s I’ve said about Moebius myself. I’d even give it the same grade.

Lambonius Lambonius
Apr 18, 2014

Just remember, a review is an opinion, and we’re all entitled to our own.

aaroncarney
Apr 18, 2014

2.5? Ouch! :-\

jfrisby
Apr 18, 2014

I’m kind of shocked to read a critical review on this site.  I totally agree with it.

As a backer who followed the project closely I felt like there was pretty willful dismissal of critical feedback even during the beta phases of this project [beginning a year ago].  A number of the issues (small and large) were discussed heavily in beta feedback threads.

I don’t really understand the antagonistic history POS seems to have with feedback, but I do see many reasons to root for them and the ambitions of Moebius—it’s generally aiming for a higher level of puzzles and complexity than Broken Age (IMO), on a smaller budget and with an actual indie team… that’s pretty huge.  It was a fun project to back.

ncf1
Apr 18, 2014

I thought it was a very good review. And I don’t agree with any of this rubbish that point and clicks are dead therefore it fine if the effort has to be amateurish : you’re either good at you do or you are not and Jane Jensen has proven herself time and time again that she is most certainly one of the very best. This game was below par - in some places well below par - and I bet she knows it. The dialogue alone was disappointing and you don’t just lose your skill overnight. Sure it must take a huge effort to make such a game but I don’t sense her heart was in it quite as much as previous efforts. The review score was warranted, and I think its time JJ called it quits. A fantastic career but that’s enough, its not going to get better from here.. the ending section of Moebius was, sadly, plain embarrassing.

zane
Apr 18, 2014

@jfrisby fully agreed. I also beta tested, and ultimately the flaws were all thoroughly outlined and discussed by backers months ago.. and it feels a little bit like we were ignored on many issues. At the same time… a lot of the problems wouldv required them to drastically rewrite and change direction and that probably wasnt feasible. So i dont know what to say.

Doom Doom
Apr 18, 2014

CitizenArcane, thank you for the in-depth answer Smile I didn’t mean the review should be ten pages long, focusing on every small detail, no. I meant some of the argumentation.

For example, you notice how the main couple spends the whole game traveling to different countries and cities, meeting lots of people. And at the same time you compare it to Gabriel Knight series that focused on one place and one set of characters at time, and then complain about unmemorable locations and about characters being one-dimensional.

But that’s just wrong. To quote Jackal, “Some games are better at what they’re trying to do than others”. Those are different types of gameplay, they try to achieve different things. And even then many characters have more than several lines of dialogue to them. They have historical doubles, we investigate and compare their biographies. There’s not enough scientific or pseudo-scientific explanation made, that’s true. But no matter how believable this theory is, the whole gameplay is based around it, and those archetypes are actually part of the global idea.

I also disagree about main heroes being shallow or unlikable. That’s a matter of taste, of course. But even then your description of Malachi’s character is somewhat incorrect, as it was mentioned during the game (by Malachi’s secretary) that people tend to like Malachi DESPITE his awful nature. He just attracts people by some unknown force, probably following the steps of his (still unknown) historical twin.

Then there are puzzles… But I don’t mean to argue with everything Smile I’m glad you are open to all kind of games. After all, I can see how this one may leave people disappointed. It’s not the best effort from JJ.

Colster
Apr 18, 2014

I finished the game and enjoyed it. IMO, this review is quite fair and adequately discusses the ‘why’ of its criticisms.  Thanks for that, Nathaniel! I’d have given it 3.5 stars, but scoring is always subjective.

—-EDIT—-
Looking at it now in the context of the comment thread, I’m extremely unhappy with the way I originally worded my next paragraph about how POS seems to handle criticism.

I’m afraid that I unintentionally fanned the flames, and implied that POS wasn’t listening as well as they could be.  I did not - and do not - believe this to be the case at all.

I fully believe they *are* keeping tabs on ALL criticisms - they’ve demonstrated that much through their blog posts and Twitter account alone.  My comment really was on the PR angle; that I felt the tone of their public response seemed to minimize the significance of the criticisms.

However, I don’t think even that was accurate.  After giving it a lot of thought and reading more from POS and others about Moebius, I truly believe Phoenix is not only listening to the discussion in earnest (which I always believed), but that they are also doing the best they could be at reacting publicly to it, too.

I mean, when you are in the position of needing to market a strong but imperfect game favorably, AND want to respond to concerns in the age of social media - what more can you expect than how they have handled it?

I fully support Phoenix. They make good games, and they do always take the time to engage on social media.  There’s never a perfect way to do that, but I think they’re actually doing a very good job of it.  You can bet that I’ll be playing Phoenix’s upcoming releases for the foreseeable future, not to mention Jane Jensen’s upcoming games.

TL;DR - I have to take back what I said about how Phoenix reacts to criticism.  They obviously are listening, even if it’s hard to communicate publicly about that from a PR perspective at times.  I think my original comment misrepresented that, regretfully.  I support Phoenix, and think they’re doing a solid job altogether.

camocat_28
Apr 18, 2014

I thought this was a very fair review article. Nathaniel was critical about the overall game but he also mentioned the highlights and what he liked about it.

It is pointless to make personal attacks against reviewers whose review you don’t agree with, because A) It makes you look like a six year old; and B) Trolling doesn’t add any value to the game or peoples’ opinions about it. Having said so, the flame war about Moebius game reviews is much more entertaining than the game itself!

Aduro
Apr 18, 2014

This certainly was a fair review, especially compared to the rather biased reviews I’ve read in the last few days. Hopefully any future games developed by Miss Jensen are provided with a more suitable budget.

Frogacuda Frogacuda
Apr 19, 2014

The review doesn’t dismiss it as terrible, just far short of the high expectations set by Jensen’s prior work. A 2.5 is a mediocre score and it’s one that seems pretty consistent with what I’ve played, seen, and read. I think POS did a good job with the limited resources they had and I’m willing to overlook the graphical shortcomings, but I’m less inclined to overlook the problems with the writing, characters and pacing.

We all knew not all of these Kickstarter games would live up to expectations, but it seems like enough of them will to justify the whole thing. Broken Sword is a solid enough return to form, Broken Age is excellent, and Tesla Effect and Dreamfall seem unlikely to disappoint. So we still have a killer year for adventures and that’s not even counting the too early to call games like Armikrog and SpaceVenture.

Geoff Kelly Geoff Kelly
Apr 19, 2014

I honestly find it a little weird when people say a game deserves a better score for having a low-budget. That is insulting to low-budget games. There are amazing games made on a shoestring, that truly deserve to get good scores. If a developer fails to account for their budget and make the game appropriately, then that is entirely their failure. Moebius pushes at the boundaries of its budget and it really shows in parts. It wants to be a more expensive game and has personality issues just like its main character. Low-budget games are not automatically going to be bad – in fact they can often be better – yet this thread is full of people insinuating that they are just that.

Lambonius Lambonius
Apr 19, 2014

Saying that Jane Jensen (or any artist for that matter) should “call it quits” because they made one less than stellar work is completely asinine.  Nobody is perfect all of the time.  Jesus.

Calil Calil
Apr 19, 2014

I respect all opinions, but in this case i disagree, because we can´t compare Moebius with Gabriel Knight. Never. Gabriel Knight is a legend now after a long time, after 3 games (and now with remake), and Moebius is a new game or franchise. We can´t compare a new game or Gray Matter with this respected series, that achieve many fans around the world ,after a long time, and with a big, studio, Sierra.

Many respects sites are comparing this game with Gabriel Knight, and i says that just the time will (really) says the true.

incometrader
Apr 19, 2014

I don’t care what the review says, this was an excellent game

I’d give it a 4 out of 5

I also started out disliking the main character but unlike Cognition, the main character’s unlike-ability is actually explained and redeemed as you play the game. Original story with logical puzzles and an excellent interface.

This feels like a polished version of Cognition without the ridiculous puzzles.I will agree the graphics were sloppy but the only issue I really have is the game was quite buggy for me and does not autosave so I had to save often.

DaveyB DaveyB
Apr 19, 2014

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, obviously, and there are flaws in Moebius that the reviewer is entitled/obliged to point out. Nonetheless, the review does give the impression that the reviewer was over-influenced by Jane Jensen’s previous games, and that should not be the case. Each game reviewed should be judged on its merits, not what the designer previously produced (and I agree, budget shouldn’t really be relevant either). I feel the reviewer didn’t manage this and if it had been a good by a new studio, it would have got around 3.5 stars - the comparison with the reviews and scores of Cognition is an interesting one.

The reviewer also seems to have missed the point quite a bit re Malachi - seems like he decided early on he didn’t like the character, and closed his mind after that.

borabosna
Apr 19, 2014

I’m surprised nobody talked about the game’s hinting at a sequel and its unfinished story. What happened after they rescued Helene? The game says the characters are “code red” and “secured”, what happens to them later on? We never got to go to Reinhart’s neuroscientist father’s conference in Manhattan, was that just irrelevant?

HK12345
Apr 19, 2014

I don’t agree with everything the reviewer said here, however I heartily agree about the character models.

Many of us who backed this game in Kickstarter complained about Malachi’s horribly awkward proportions, and the unnatural glitchy animations LAST YEAR, when the first beta went out. However, no one listened. I understand that perhaps fixing the animations would have taken more $$$, but the model proportions…how long would it have taken to fix Malachi’s overly broad shoulders and skinny limbs? Five minutes tops?

I agree with others here who have said that Phoenix Online doesn’t take negative criticism to heart. The proof is in the fact that they did not fix what was, for many of the Kickstarters, a huge complaint about their work. I never was a fan of Phoenix Online before, and definitely am not now. Had I known they were touching Moebius AT ALL during the Kickstarter, I would never have given this game any of my money. However, for Jane and Robert’s part- I think they delivered. I’m happy with the story and I’m more than happy with the music. It’s Phoenix Online who really dropped the ball in my opinion.

Mclashlan
Apr 19, 2014

Hello!

I Just regged myself on the site because I felt I wanted to contribute with my personal judgement to this review, witch I thought was fair and just on most parts. I’ve been following Adventuregamers.com for a long time so the sub would have happened eventually anyways I’m sure of it. Thanks for all your work so far, Jack, and all others comitted to the adventuregaming community!

after reading a review in general I do what most people do I guess.. i read the comments. And in this case I’m baffled why so many rage after viewing it. I’d giving it 2 - 2.5 stars myself. I was very disappointed to say the least. And yes I played Gabriel knights in my youth and I liked especially “Sins of the father”. I have great memories from that game. But despite the fact that Jane Jensen been the backbone of this production i still think it’s a very mixed bag of pros and cons - most of it on the negative side. Like the graphics, the models and Malachars persona etc. And to be fair i have to say that I haven’t completed the game. So please take that into consideration. I’m simply trying to point out the flaws that I have vitnessed so far.

One thing that really bothered me was the false freedom of choice and how it affects the story line. well in this case how it DIDN’t affect the story line. In the early beginning, after a short meeting with this mysterious Dexter-guy at the FITA-building I turned down his offer to go to Venice to investigate the sircumstances regarding the murder. I wanted to know more about the guy or the company and not taking hasty decitions. But i couldn’t go any where else after that than to my antiques shop. there’s was no more dialogue between me and my female associate. I couldn’t use computer.. nothing! so why give us a choice to turn down the offer if it didn’t matter? I just thought that was really stupid!

The puzzles are ok. sometimes fun sometimes a bit to easy for my intellect. Like connecting wires to get a lamp post working. That was just silly. But I enjoyed the sort of connecting-dots-mind-game that Malachar frequently needs to perform to advance in the story. However it felt repetative and tideous in the long run. But initially i really liked the concept.

Small budget or big budget i dunno.. I think it’s very hard to compare a big production to a small Independent freeware prod. For example I read your review on “The cat lady”  witch received so much praise and love and I thought to myself that I gotta try that game out for myself.. turns out I couldn’t bare to play it - it was so crappy graphics and the model of the cat lady could have been drawn by any 2 year old. even the backgrounds. And the story, music, sound effects didn’t appeal to me at all.. and it’s scored a 4 I belive? anyway that’s a side note.

And finally i just wanna inform the people that can’t take a bad/mediocre review without going beserk that Jane Jensen or the gaming company involved in the production can handle it! and If they can handle critique so can you. And like I already stated earlier i thought it was in most parts a spot on review. Thanks,

/peter

talkshow talkshow
Apr 19, 2014

Not finished with the game yet, but, I have to agree that the main char is unlikable and arrogant.  Plot isn’t that interesting or epic compared to JJ’s other games - and I’m a fan of hers. Enjoying part 2 of the new Broken Sword game much better.  I’ll finish Moebius… eventually.

MoonBird MoonBird
Apr 20, 2014

“stupidly long and uninteresting cave maze.” Good to know. I will never ever play this game.

doron
Apr 20, 2014

I think the review is fair for the most part. I don’t agree with it, I like the analyzing puzzles and the characters, but it conveys the author’s opinion and I respect it. One thing the author didn’t mention and is worth another half a star IMO, is the cut scenes. They are expertly done, given the limited budget. It’s obvious that a film director orchestrated them, and the nice gimmick with the text of what the main character is thinking throughout the scene is great. I would give Moebius somewhere between 3.5-4 stars.

cogwheel
Apr 20, 2014

Oh, how I wish they had chosen to make Gray Matter 2 with the funding, instead of this.

Such a shame, such a missed opportunity.

camocat_28
Apr 20, 2014

For those who participated in the kickstart campaign for Moebius, and felt that POS did not listen to your initial feedbacks about the graphics and animations, is it possible for you guys to write a joint letter to POS to raise this issue again? It just seems very strange for a game studio to ignore negative comments during beta testing and perhaps this is a lessons learned opportunity for them.

I am now looking at the screen shots of the games and Malachi does seem to sport a jacket with pointy shoulder pads (very Alexander McQueen!) and his arm muscles look as if they have atrophied o_O

Zifnab Zifnab
Apr 20, 2014

talkshow - Gabriel Knight was unlikeable and arrogant too, and what’s more he had no reason to be. I could relate to Malachi (considering I have something close to his condition, minus the time-space Moebius thing) and that’s the important part.


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