C.I.T.Y. 2000. (computer game) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Rick Broida
C.I.T.Y. 2000: London isn't meant to be a comedy, but I guarantee you'll get a few laughs out of it. This is the Plan 9 from Outer Space of CD-ROM games, a graphic adventure that tries to take itself seriously in the face of goofy acting and silly dialogue.
On the serious side, C.I.T.Y. 2000's premise of James Bond-style intrigue and espionage set on the streets of London seems interesting enough. Before the game begins, you're introduced to your character--American agent Jon Daring--with an impressive five-minute video clip of his latest spy episode.
Then the fun begins. While lounging in his spiesonly flat, Daring receives a phone call summoning him to London. Apparently, evil drug lord S. Rooter has some nefarious plans for the city (the game's name is an acronym for City In Trouble, Year 2000), and Daring is England's first choice to do the thwarting.
You assume his role upon arrival at Heathrow Airport. From there you'll do the standard spy stuff: knocking around the city looking for clues, making contacts, drinking martinis, and so forth.
Movement within C.I.T.Y. 2000 is mouse-driven. The pointer becomes a left, right, or up arrow depending on which area of the screen you move it to. Most of the screen is occupied by a digitized color photo depicting where in London you are. ("Look, there's Parliament! There's Trafalgar Square! There's the Heathrow snack bar!" This might make a good tool for travel agents.) The game is little more than a collection of photos interspersed with the occasional live-action video clip. There's virtually no interaction with any of the scenes--you simply point and click your way from one photo to the next. What's worse, continuity between scenes is lacking. It's easier to get lost in the C.I.T.Y. 2000 version of Heathrow than in the real airport.
At the bottom of the screen are game-control icons for picking up objects, examining your inventory, talking with others, mixing chemicals, etc. Whenever you examine an item, you're treated to a nifty 3-D animation of the object and a verbal explanation of what it is.
What might have been a clever, interactive romp through London ends up as a hard-to-follow game that's so goofy you might actually enjoy it. This game can't help but make you smile on occasion, as long as you don't try to take it seriously.
Aditus (514) 737-8547 $59.99
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