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Have You Played... Project Eden?

Cyberpunk Lost Vikings

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

AKA ‘The Lost Vikings as cyberpunk shooter, made by the folk behind Tomb Raider’. Sounds even better today than it did at the time.

At the time, I felt a bit put out that it was at least as much a puzzle game as it was an action game. Post-Half-Life and Unreal, all I wanted was fluid man’n’monster shooting, and having to – ew – think seemed so deeply unappealing. As did the idea that there was only one perfect route, that I couldn’t make my own one – I was still fired up by Deus Ex too.

Project Eden – not to be confused with giant Cornish domes – has you control four armoured agents, one of which was basically Robocop, investigating crimes in a vertical city – it’s extended far into the sky and far below the ground. You get mutants and cannibals and scary little girls and – well, this was doing BioShock long before ol’ Ken decided to pay Ayn Rand her dues. Frankly, a lot less philosophically too, but my point is merely that Project Eden is relatively forgotten – its devs couldn’t wrench the Tomb Raider albatross from around their necks – and perhaps it shouldn’t be.

I never played all of it, I confess. The elaborate puzzles, often involving a great deal of patience and combining the actions of all four characters at once, did cause a few frustrations. Maybe I’d have the patience now that I didn’t then. Maybe I’d appreciate it more, for trying to do something so different. 15 years too late for Core, alas.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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