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Friday 28 April 2006
The film is out next month. The multi-million selling book is still pounding the sales charts week after week. It's was about time we delve into The Da Vinci Code game and unravel the mystery of what it's actually like to play.
Although it's based on the film, The Da Vinci Code fleshes out the action with a fresh line-up of cryptic puzzles and locations. For example, Langdon - the bookish hero - treads the stones in a church called Saint-Sulpice, while his cryptologist cohort Sophie Neveu tracks through her grandfather's clue-ridden mansion.
Each of the new puzzles has been devised by Charles Cecil, the man behind Broken Sword. The heart of the game is in solving his brain-straining puzzles and, although it's a third-person adventure, The Da Vinci Code is closer to the slower, unhurried pace of a point 'n' click game.
At the same time, there are moments that demand you think with your fists. Going toe-to-toe requires quick button-pressing reflexes, as you've got to press the right button to dodge attacks or quickly punch in a set combo that appears on-screen to smash your enemy down.
The action feels slightly at odds with the clue-hunting, and Langdon doesn't strike us as a brawler, but it's also possible to sneak around any threat and avoid conflict altogether. And sometimes it's a bit ridiculous - like Sophie clubbing a fellow officer to the ground just to grab an item from a cupboard.