Artifex Mundi is certainly no stranger when it comes releasing puzzle games on the Xbox One. We’ve seen a wide range of titles from their impressive catalog over the years; some good, some not so good. I think, however, that we can all agree that they’ve never under-delivered. Their games tend to be top quality as far as point and click hidden object adventures go, so I’ll always welcome in any new additions. This time, they’re bringing forward Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends. Does it prove to be as good as its predecessors?
The game centers around world renowned botanist, Mary Gilbert. When her brother is seemingly kidnapped by sinister creatures known as Zmeys, Mary once again finds herself caught up in a struggle that will demand every ounce of her capabilities and resolve to overcome. Her brother John has been taken to the forgotten flying islands among the clouds and it falls to Mary to gain the favor of a thunder god and put a stop to an evil sorcerer, once and for all. I know what you’re thinking. Another kidnapping story to contend with?
I was right there with you from the get-go, but Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends is easily one of the better ‘kidnapping’ stories to come from Artifex. Aiding Mary along the way is a magical house spirit known as Aitvar, who just so happens to be able to get Mary to where she needs to be. What follows on from there is a well crafted story that finds a good balance between its over-the-top fantasy elements and its solid gameplay structure. I for one, who has enjoyed quite a number of Artifex games, can wholeheartedly back up its quality here.
Those of you that have played any given hidden object game, or indeed any given Artifex title, will know exactly what to expect. Players will take Mary through a range of wonderfully designed locations whilst solving a collection of interesting puzzles along the way, in order to make any meaningful progress. This typically amounts to picking up objects from one location to use in another location, sussing out some well developed puzzle variations and then ultimately seeking out those pesky elusive hidden objects screens.
Much like Eventide and Eventide 2, Eventide 3 is loosely based on Slavic mythology. This serves the game well alongside its fantasy-esque setting and theme. I wont dish out any more of the story than I already have, but I personally found it to be quite lax and endearing. This struck me as a little odd at first, simply due to its full-on backdrop, but I have to admit that by the end-game, I was thoroughly satisfied with this design choice. The pacing also gets some top marks from me too, with the story beating at all the right turns.
I also have to commend (a first from me as far as Artifex is concerned) the difficulty curve here. I’ve played every game from Artifex on Xbox One since Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart. One thing that always stood out for me as annoying, was that each and every game had a fluctuating difficulty curve that never made much sense. In Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends, I thoroughly enjoyed the gradual and steady climb in its complexity. The game initially holds your hand for a bit longer than usual, mind, but it’s easy to overlook.
Do note that I played the game on its base setting, so I suspect its difficulty will accommodate your needs if you want to change things up. With that to the side, some of the puzzles here are awfully similar to the puzzles found in other Artifex titles. That means that newcomers are more likely to get the most out of this game than returning genre-fans, but it’s still bound to scratch that puzzle-itch either way. Puzzles range from seeking hidden objects to cross-off lists of items, using items at certain locations, manipulating scenery and more.
Pretty standard stuff as far as games of this type go, but very well executed all the same. There’s also some hidden collectibles to seek out for those of you that enjoy truly searching high and low in each area. The game clocks in at around eight hours worth of playtime, which is a decent trade-off when we take the price point into account. Sadly, I cant quite commend the whole package. In true Artifex fashion and despite the improved character animations, the voice acting is cringe-worthy and far too sub-par to be taken seriously.
It’s quite hard to forgive this, seeing as it’s a criticism that tends to be shared across the board when it comes to Artifex’s games. I extend the same feedback to the game’s writing, which does very little to excite. Still, in the grand scheme of things, Eventide 3 is well worth a visit. The story is isolated too, so you don’t need to play the first two games to enjoy this. Finally, the artwork and the soundtrack is top notch. There’s some truly breathtaking scenes and locations on offer here, all of which are beautifully detailed, distinct and unique.
With its bad voice acting and its poor writing to the side, Eventide 3: Legacy of Legends is another stunningly detailed and well rounded hidden-object puzzle game from Artifex Mundi. There’s a decent variation of puzzles within, which is further upheld by a difficulty curve that gradually climbs in complexity as you dive deeper into the plot. It may not be the best from Artifex’s catalog, but it’s certainly high up the list.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.