Tex Murphy: Overseer

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Average based on 7 ratings




Rating by smulan posted on Jul 30, 2013 | edit | delete


Getting serious


This is Tex trying to be more grown up and serious. As
result it lacks much of the charm and humour of the two earlier games. Still a good solid adventure and with the looks of a more modern game than the predecessors thanks to a new and clean interface.


Time Played: 10-20 hours

Rating by Antrax posted on Jul 29, 2013 | edit | delete


Another worthy entry in the series


Tex Murphy: Overseer is considerably more polished than the two “previous” games (Under a Killing Moon and The Pandora Directive). The visuals are much better and control has been improved. However, the game is considerably easier (occasionally to the point of silliness) and includes some downright terrible puzzles.

The interface and control are much better. Menus pop up when you move the mouse to any edge of the screen, so everything is readily accessible. There’s finally a strafe button, so while you can’t really control Tex like an FPS, movement is much more convenient. The notion of switching between roaming and a point and click mode has been dropped. Instead, you’re always in point and click mode, and can move freely. This also means the graphics are considerably more crisp in all scenes, at the expense of reduced roaming area (there’s no longer an option to wander the street)
Hotspot interaction is now done with a contextual menu which pops up, showing all possible actions. That makes it slightly more difficult to find the “interesting” crate (unlike Pandora Directive where you could scan the mouse and look for actions to light up) but that wasn’t a problem in practice.
Finally, like Pandora and unlike Moon, you don’t need to position yourself awkwardly or search all the trash cans to find clues. Objects are located in reasonable places, which is a blessing because some scenes are very detailed.

Graphics are considerably better than the previous installments. The movies are higher resolution, the scenes are more detailed and look more crisp and the acting’s considerably improved (except for Chelsea, but her main role is to look pretty anyway).

The story is good, in an absolute sense, though it doesn’t stand up to the standard of the previous titles. I felt the atmosphere was somewhat lacking due to the very sparse use of music and due to the less structured storytelling. Days weren’t clearly cued, and the framing story really served no purpose in the end - the game interleaved it during cutscenes in a way that seemed haphazard and pointless.
Characters’ motivations are often vague. The game casts some doubt about whose intentions are pure, but because it’s ultimately not resolved and has no real effect on the story, it just ends up being confusing instead of adding depth to the characters.

The puzzles are the most problematic part of the game. Like previous games, you find evidence, talk to people, reconstruct damaged evidence and solve all manner of standalone puzzles. However, despite playing at the “Gamer” setting (which in Pandora was punishingly difficult), this time it was very easy to solve puzzles under the time limit on the first try. Don’t get me wrong, save-scumming is not fun, but there’s something off about a “hardcore” mode where you can figure out the rules AND find the solution quickly enough to get the maximum score on the first try, every time.
In case the puzzles themselves weren’t easy enough, the game downright solves things for you often. Sometimes Tex’ narration tells you what to do (“I should try X on Y now”) as soon as you face a challenge. Other times, instead of giving you means to figure something out, you just find a note that has a solution spelled out. For instance, a part of the game is figuring out passwords to computer systems. At some point the game just thrusts a piece of paper with all the passwords at you, and that’s it.
Moreover, inventory items disappear when they’re no longer needed (which threw me off at first, I thought it was a bug). That makes the game a lot easier, as you have very few “live” inventory items at any given moment.
To offset this, unlike Pandora, the game won’t let you overlay the clue to a puzzle over the puzzle itself. For some reason, as a player you have to copy down text from an item in your inventory, then approach the puzzle and refer to your own note. What this adds beyond annoyance, I don’t know. It’s especially infuriating near the end, where if you attempt to exit the puzzle to view your inventory (not expecting to need to refer to it), you die and have to reload a saved game.
Puzzles themselves, when not too easy, are often annoying. There’s one maze-like puzzle that could serve as the definition of unfun - beyond the maze aspect it requires some reflexes and good mouse precision. Another puzzle near the end actually astonished me by being a worse chess-based puzzle than the one in Broken Sword - it’s a proper chess puzzle, except it plays like a dialogue puzzle. You have to choose moves from a list that never changes, and the “solution” has the computer responding stupidly to one of the moves. In other words, chess skill actually works against you - if you find a side solution or try to figure it out reasonably, you’re doomed to fail.

Like the others, this game has some stealth sequences. Most of them are pretty easy, except for one where you’re sneaking around when someone’s in the shower - the idea is good but you often get killed without really understanding what you did wrong (and to be honest, even after finishing it I’m not sure what the problem was).
There are a couple of dead ends of sorts, but they require replaying about 30 seconds, and the game warns you that you should search the area well.

The game suffers from some technical issues. To run it I’ve had to work around a bug in the game’s loader. Then, late in the game there was a game-crashing bug where you had to run around staring at the floor, lest the view of the wall crash the game. There were other cases where the game got stuck or crashed. The good news is there’s some sort of autosave for those cases, so you don’t lose a lot of progress.

All in all, it’s a fine game. I might’ve liked it even more had its predecessors not proved a Tex Murphy game can be a lot more than what it was. Still, a very solid game.


Time Played: 10-20 hours

Rating by Niclas posted on Feb 16, 2013 | edit | delete


Amazing Game!!!


I finally got Overseer to work on my computer after 6 months of trial and error, and I finished the game yesterday. I played it straight for 15 hours per day over the weekend. Man, this is a good game. I’m a big fan of the previous UAKM and Pandora Directive, and I was a little bit worried that this part would not live up to those games sine I read a few reviews that said it was not as good. I can tell you this; I really loved this game as well. Story and acting is as always good, the plot might not be as good as Pandora Directive, but still VERY good. What Overseer actually did better than Pandora is the stand-alone puzzles and inventory puzzles. Just the right amount of stand alone puzzles (I’m usually not a big fan of too many of these per game, and when playing Pandora I was a little bit overwhelmed since there were so many of them, and I got a little bit bored in the end.). In Overseer there is a great pace of a mix of inventory puzzles and isolated puzzles. Also noted that many of the stand alone/isolated puzzles are more interesting this time around since they require the player to gather pieces of information in the environment to solve it, instead of just relying for instance on solving a jigsaw or a slider puzzle. Of course there are unfortunately puzzles like that, but still less. Examples of stand alone puzzles that I enjoyed was figuring out the combination to a safe by understanding time zone differences in different cities by referring to a map and another clue, or using bible references to solve a hidden message, or figure out another safe combination by referring to the letters on the buttons on a phone. I find these kinds of isolated puzzles more interesting rather than just randomly push buttons until you see a pattern (those kind of puzzles are just tiresome and time consuming, and rely to much on trial and error, and I almost always end up consulting a walkthrough to save the time)

The inventory puzzles are also very fun and clever (something I really missed from UAKM, where the gameplay was focused on these kind of puzzles instead of stand alones).  2 parts of Overseer that I especially enjoyed playing was when Tex breaks into a hitman’s hotel room while the guy is taking a shower. This part requires Tex to search the hotel room, while hiding from time to time in different locations like in the wardrobe and shower to avoid getting caught. Another one was when Tex is searching a cabin for evidence while being under attack. Both these parts of the game had some really fun and clever inventory puzzles that Tex had to do to avoid being killed/caught. It really got me involved in the solutions to the problem in a different way that no other adventure game had done before.

The reason that it is not as good as Pandora Directive and not getting a full 5 score is that the environments in the game does not feel 100% Tex Murphy, the game is more of a pure Film Noir (which is definitely not bad at all, but it is not the Tex universe that I got to know), rather like UAKM and Pandora being a combination of different elements like Film Noir/Blade Runner/Indiana Jones.

Overall great game with fun inventory and stand alone puzzles which are well integrated into the environment, solid story, and great acting (most of the time). Play it


Time Played: Over 20 hours
Difficulty: Hard

Rating by Adventure Games Forever posted on May 21, 2012 | edit | delete


Rating by Fien posted on Jul 9, 2012 | edit | delete


Rating by supaplex posted on Jan 1, 2013 | edit | delete


Rating by AstroChicken posted on May 26, 2013 | edit | delete


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