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Review Secret Files 3 (PC): Lacks the charm of the earlier games and is the most tedious in the franchise.

genre: adventure
year: 2012



 
Secret Files 1 and 2 offered a much needed boost into a genre that at that time was a bit forgotten. Both visually outstanding games with adequate storytelling and likable characters. The game play was a throwback to older point and click games only where some puzzle solving was needed to advance. Luckily it was never of the variety where you might have overlooked or missed picking up an object. Everything that you need is right there on the screen. You just have to look for it. Even with this simplification it had just enough challenge to satisfy the puzzle solving needs. Since the focus naturally was on the story difficult puzzles would have gotten in the way of the enjoyment.



The third part in the franchise just as previous games looks stunning and the introduction puts you right in the middle of some dramatic event. It bothered me a little that the main character for the most part seemed so emotionless. And brushed things off like it is a normal day in the office. It’s not fair to blame this on the voice actors but more on the writers and director not putting more thought into this. After this introduction though you will immediately notice something is off. And I am talking about the puzzle solving. Somehow there is no real pressing incentive to start your adventure. The emotional connection you normally would have for the main characters is almost non existent in this one. Just puzzle solving because an adventure game needs to have puzzles I never found appealing. To me it had to make at least a little sense. The Gabriel Knight and Tex Murphy games are a good example how to combine puzzles with storytelling that don’t feel random at all. But Secret Files 3 is filled with puzzles that aren't logical. As opposed to the earlier parts who mere more so. At a certain point this really got on my nerves. To make a comparison. It took me one day to beat the first,two days to beat the second and almost half a year to finish the third. I kept quitting and forgetting to play the game since I never felt motivated to play it unlike the first two who I just had to see through the end as soon as possible. The story also has a lot to do with it. It simply is not interesting enough.  



Overall to me this part lacks the charm of the earlier games and is the most tedious in the franchise. Skip this one and ignore it's existence. (Ok I realize this sounds real harsh and it might not deserve to ignored. But to me this game felt soulless. And an adventure game even if it is heavily flawed not to have a soul shows that the developers are not really understanding the genre.)



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