Lost: Via Domus - first hands-on

Let's skip the mystery and cut straight to the facts. The videogame adaptation of Lost is not what fans of the television series are probably expecting. You don't play Jack. You don't play Locke. Hell, you don't even get to play as Nikki or Paulo. You won't be torturing Sawyer, kissing Kate or wielding Mr. Eko's almighty Jesus stick. Less than half the characters are voiced by the original actors and many events, such as major deaths, are kept off screen to avoid spoilers.

So why bother? Because somehow, Lost the game still looks, sounds and feels very much like Lost the show.

The hero may be new, for example, but the tone and theme of his story are not. An American photojournalist rushing back to Los Angeles with the story of a lifetime, Elliott is haunted by his memories. Although the rough landing of Oceanic Flight 815 has given him temporary amnesia, he cannot escape the troubling figures of his past... even on a deserted island. Some of them, like the love interest he betrayed in Sydney, are imaginary. Others, like the criminal he exposed there, may be real.

Everything surrounding Elliott is familiar as well, including the tiniest details. When we first saw the crash site, we were floored by the accurate recreation of the beach and plane debris, but we were more impressed by careful touches such as Locke's abandoned wheelchair and the sound of Michael calling desperately for his son. When we talked to Jack and Kate for the first time, we didn't notice the difference in voice acting because their dialogue was so true to the show (apparently, an actual Lost script writer helped here). When we came face to face with the infamous smoke monster, its rattling / clicking / breathing was as scary as it ever was on TV.

The biggest similarity, however, is in the structure. Like the series, Lost is split into episodes - seven, to be exact, each with its own story arc, character interactions, dangers, twists and flashbacks. Episodes begin with a "Previously on..." montage of your exploits in the last section of gameplay. Episodes end with the unmistakable slam to black.

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!