Hmm, I Find Myself In A Very difficult position here. I've been raving about Nemesis for the last couple of months without having played it properly. I even raved about it in the preview we ran on it last month. Okay, I know it was a stupid thing to do, but sometimes you just can't help getting over-enthusiastic about something you've really been looking forward to. 1 mean, the graphics just looked so amazing and the last Zork game was brilliant, so 1 guess I just got a little bit carried away. (Cough up Chris, what's wrong? - Ed.) What's wrong?
Well, there's nothing actually wrong with it. It just hasn't turned out to be the type of game I was expecting. Let me explain (Yes, that would help - Ed). If you look at the way the adventure genre has developed over the last year or so, you'll notice that some software houses have been copping out and producing crap interactive movie things with lousy actors in them (Phantasmagoria, Ripper, Critical Path etc), while others have been developing pretty games with lots of static screens where you had plenty of objects to mess about with, but never got to meet any characters (The 7th Guest, Labyrinths Of Time, Myst et al). Nemesis sadly falls into the latter category.
Don't get me wrong, I know there are lots of people who adore pretty games where you do nothing other than hop from one room to the next solving puzzles, it's just that, well, I'm not one of them. So you see, my disappointment with Nemesis is purely on a personal level. Having played and loved Return To Zork, the last game in the series, I was rather stupidly expecting Nemesis to be fairly similar, with better graphics or something (you know, the sort of stuff they usually do for sequels). Seeing as this hasn't happened, I'll simply give you a report on my experiences with the game, and you can make up your own mind whether it's your sort of thing or not. Let's start with the plot...
Three alchemists have rather stupidly allowed themselves to be placed under a curse by the evil, unfriendly (and no doubt unpopular) Nemesis. Because of this, the silly old buggers are stuck in coffins, completely bored, and with no hope of getting out. Yup, it's up to you to travel through the forbidden lands, find out what this Nemesis bloke has been up to, remove the curse, and free our intellectually challenged alchemist friends. Why? Well, because you bought the game so, er, you may as well have a go, I suppose. Oh hang on, I remember now: according to the game's manual, if you don't remove the curse, the Nemesis is waiting in the wings to imprison you along with the other three, and let's face it, who wants to spend eternity in the company of that lot? Anyway, that's the gist of it. It sounds exciting (well sort of) but maybe it isn't...
But where have all the people gone?
My first impressions of Nemesis were extremely good indeed. The music is very moody and atmospheric, and the graphics, as you can see from the screenshots, are absolutely stunning. They look even better still when you find yourself doing a full 360 degree turn around the part of the environment you're in and discover you can see everything around you.
This is an absolute first for this type of game, and is something that I reckon other software houses would do well to incorporate into their own adventures. Unfortunately, no matter where you go, or how many times you spin around the playing area, you won't find anyone to talk to. If you read through the booklet that comes with the game, you will discover that the forbidden lands (which provide the setting for Nemesis) have been evacuated. This of course explains why you never come across any characters to interact with.
I've got to say that this is my biggest single problem with the game. After only half an hour of playing it, I started getting uncomfortable (and bored) with wandering around the place looking at, and solving various puzzles. After just two hours I began to question why I was playing the game at all. I thought that things were looking up at one point, though: I found a puzzle in which 1 had to memorise a series of notes in order to get through a locked door. Having managed to solve the puzzle I was rewarded with the pleasant sound of the big door opening behind me. I hurried into the room to find... another bloody puzzle.
This is basically what Nemesis is all about: solve a puzzle and you'll be swiftly rewarded with another one. If you liked any of the games mentioned in the "In Perspective" section, you'll more than likely love Nemesis - but if you didn't, I suggest you give it a miss and find something more interesting to do, like watching paint dry.
Download Zork Nemesis
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode