Under a Killing Moon Review

Under a Killing Moon is an excellently wrapped package with some less than compelling contents.

Under a Killing Moon (UAKM) is an excellently wrapped package with some less than compelling contents.

You play Tex Murphy, the bumbling, disheveled detective from two previous Access adventures, Mean Streets and Martian Memorandum. You wander at will through his sharply detailed 3-D environment, examining objects, opening drawers, and talking to characters. Tex's gaming world is huge, ranging from his cluttered office and nearby dark alleys to a glittering mansion and a gargantuan space station. Your goal? Save the world. You'll accomplish this by exploring (high and low), gathering clues and items, solving typical adventure puzzles, and conducting interminable interviews. Experienced adventurers will find that the gaming elements are moderately challenging and if you do run into a brick wall, UAKM has an easy and effective built-in hint system. The game's install process sets a standard for ease-of-use that is thankfully becoming more common. Problems arise in the acting and dialogue. Both are uniformly stilted.

Access hired some "name" actors to lend UAKM some Hollywood cachet, but they have only minor roles and offer less than stellar performances. Most of the acting was done by Access employees—and it shows. Dialogue is more interruptible than interactive since you select questions and listen to responses one at a time. And the storyline, while complex and deep, unravels awkwardly. Nevertheless, the overall experience is entertaining and full of surprises. Access has created a clever story-telling engine; it's the ingredients that need work. A little more time spent on designing a creative story and finding qualified personnel to portray the game's many characters would have gone a long way.

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The 6.9 is almost an insult.

Under A Killing Moon is a real masterpiece and one of the brightest example of interactive movies. A soundtrack that is pure joy for those who listen, thanks to fantastic sax pieces that open each chapter of this rewarding adventure game.

Not everything is perfect but to me, this game is worth 9.5. My nitpicking is exclusively aimed at the acting itself that ranges from poor to decent. All the rest is excellent, including the 3D engine that run beautifully on a 80486 processor! I still wonder today how they could support such details with so little power and memory.

Pandora Directive is the direct sequel and is equally good. The third, Overseer, is considered the weakest of the trilogy and I would agree. It's still a must buy but doesn't reach the heights of the first two games.

Now we are all eagerly awaiting for the successfully kickstarted fourth instalment which will feature our beloved Tex Murphy in Project Fedora.

Way to go!

Under a Killing Moon More Info

  • First Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • Unix/Linux
    Under a Killing Moon is an excellently wrapped package with some less than compelling contents.
    Average Rating216 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Access Software
    Published by:
    Night Dive Studios, U.S. Gold, Access Software