LOS ANGELES--One of the creepier games we've seen at E3 this year is Evidence: The Last Ritual, a sequel to Missing: Since January. It's an adventure game about a serial killer who taunts the public by creating these bizarre and very twisted video puzzles that when solved offer clues to the killer's identity. We went over and met with the folks from The Adventure Company to see what kind of clues we could dig up about the game.
The Phoenix, the killer from Missing: Since January is back and he's up to no good. He is killing people and sending the media these cryptic CD-ROMs that contain images and video of his victims that reveal clues about his whereabouts. We saw a couple of these puzzles, and they're thoroughly unsettling.
In the first one we saw there was an image of a woman's face. The woman was asleep, but obviously had been through some rough times, as she looked disheveled and battered. When you click on her face, the woman wakes up, looking frightened and distressed. There are nine spaces on the bottom of the screen, and as you highlight each space the woman blinks a number of times. You have to count the blinks and enter in the corresponding number in the space.
The second puzzle we saw showed a woman sitting on a floor, with her wrists turned out so that we could see two large Xs on them. Clicking on the woman brings up a diagram that shows which order you have to click the woman's body parts to reveal the code to solve the puzzle. When you click on one part of the woman, she pulls her shirt down to reveal a tattoo on her shoulder. When you click on another part, she pulls up her gown to reveal several numbers tattooed on her leg. She points to the numbers in a specific order and you have to enter the code to continue.
Those are just a few examples of the weird puzzles in the game. One interesting feature of the game is the online play. There will be a built-in instant messenger system so that you can talk with other people online to share clues and help solve the mystery. There will also be an e-mail system, and occasionally you'll have to visit specific Web sites to gather clues. In fact, the online play is so integrated that you have to have an Internet connection to even play the game.
All of the scenes are live action, which only adds to the unsettling feeling as you're looking at real people being tormented and tortured. What we saw wasn't graphic, but it was certainly disturbing.
We'll bring you more details on Evidence: The Last Ritual as they become available, so stay tuned to GameSpot and look for the game to be released in the last quarter of this year.