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The Whispered World review

Decent
AT A GLANCE
  • Wonderful visuals
  • Solid adventure base
  • Some decent puzzles
  • Dreadful voices
  • Some obtuse puzzles
  • Irritating main character

The character you play in The Whispered World is called Sadwick, a young clown in a travelling circus. His name is apt, because he’s constantly glum and morose, possibly in an attempt to personify the mumbling teen stereotype we all loathe so well. Curiously, he talks an awful lot as well, considering he’s meant to be sullen and broody.

In fact, everyone in Daedalic’s point-and-click adventure talk a lot. A hell of a lot. Far too much, in fact. The worst thing about this is that almost every single one has a repellent, odious voice, none more so than Sadwick himself. Being as he’s the fellow you’ll be listening to throughout the game, it’s not long before you’re literally wincing every time you hear him describe a bit of wood or a stone or something. Nothing can prepare you for the horrors that await you if you choose not to mute the voice audio.

Sadwick’s painfully vocalised quest is to save the world, the twist being that he’s the one that’s apparently destined to destroy it. On his journey, he’ll be helped by his pet caterpillar Spot, a thankfully mute sidekick, who gains different abilities as the adventure progresses, all of which can be used to solve puzzles.

The world Sadwick and Spot inhabit is gorgeous and is easily the best thing about the game. The backgrounds are beautiful and the cutscenes are exquisite, but there’s a slight let down when it comes to the actual animation, which is flat and rather disappointing.

Puzzles-wise, things are pretty much standard European adventure fare, with relatively easy progression occasionally halted by a randomly oblique conundrum. It’s all good enough to satisfy adventure fanatics, but nothing could possibly disguise or make up for the sheer torture of the voice-acting. It totally destroys the game and makes it almost impossible to glean any enjoyment from it, often because you’re repeatedly clicking through the ridiculously over-extensive dialogue.

Few adventures make you wary of talking to people, but The Whispered World makes you fearful of chatter, to the point where muting the character’s voices becomes the only way to have fun.

The underlying adventure beneath this terrible audio work is solid and worthwhile, with huge ticks in the win column for the graphics. Developers should note of what can be achieved in this area, but lessons should be learned about the importance of making your lead character actually enjoyable to listen to, for that is The Whispered World’s ultimate, massive undoing.

Jun 25, 2010

More Info

Release date: Apr 26 2010 - PC (US)
Apr 26 2010 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Deep Silver
Developed by: Daedalic Entertainment
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Alcohol Reference, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language
PEGI Rating:
3+

8 comments

  • JamesT - June 29, 2010 2:44 a.m.

    I assumed the writer was overreacting about the voices too until I looked up a trailer. Believe me, he was putting it nicely.
  • Cleanser247 - June 29, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    I laughed at the voices.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 28, 2010 11:30 p.m.

    So, are we gonna hear some of the dialog on the podcast, as we did with that old PS2 game a long time ago, or like the Ace Combat 5 intro?
  • MikelRapearse - June 28, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    i absolutely love Sadwicks voice, and even though i can kinda see where you're coming from, i think that you're totally overreacting. his voice is part of his personality, man!!!
  • tayls - June 28, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    Ahem...*first few scenes. I hate myself.
  • tayls - June 28, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    I couldn't get past the few few scenes. The voices are just too horrible.
  • Tygerclaws - June 28, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    Eh, the voice acting can't be as bad as Final Fantasy XII, so I'll be able to overlook that problem. I'll definitely give this a go whenever I have the spare cash.
  • Redeater - June 28, 2010 6:53 p.m.

    meh....6....

Showing 1-8 of 8 comments

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