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The Da Vinci Code review

The anagrams aren't the only things that feel scrambled


  • Solid
  • solvable puzzles
  • Atmospheric music doesn't annoy
  • Well-intentioned and not unplayable


  • Combat and puzzles don't mesh
  • Passionless performances
  • Whole thing feels rushed

How's this for a deep, dark conspiracy: we think a secret society seeks to make crappy games out of intriguing book and movie licenses. When we uncover the identities of any of the members, we're going to strap them down and force them to play through The Da Vinci Code for themselves.

As in the bestselling book and box-office powerhouse, American professor Robert Langdon and French cryptologist Sophie Neveu stumble into a murder investigation at the Louvre; a cryptic string of clues leads them to a secret so shocking that it threatens Christianity and civilization as we know it. You'll play as both characters, sidestepping both the police and religious zealots while solving ciphers, anagrams and physical object puzzles. Most are easily cracked (and since hints are free, you'll never get stuck - or even have to think for yourself) but the puzzles were clearly designed to be the focus. It's the other elements of the game - combat and narrative - that feel tacked on around them.

If you're just here to solve puzzles, you don't need to get dragged into fistfights - using stealth to sneak around gives you a fair chance to run away like a bookworm-turned-hero might. Inevitably, however, you'll accidentally alert a guard or a monk and trigger the clunky turn-based combat. Press a sequence of buttons to set up a string of attacks, then watch them play out. This was intended to make fighting easier for action-averse adventure gamers while giving twitch players something beyond brainteasers. It looked promising, butthe result ultimately pleases no one.

More Info

DescriptionWe can't think of a better license for a puzzle game - and maybe that's why we're so disappointed in how this one turned out.
PlatformPS2, Xbox, PC
US censor ratingTeen
Release date17 May 2006 (US), 19 May 2006 (UK)
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