Vampire Saga: Welcome to Hell Lock is the second Vampire Saga game made by Alawar Entertainment. If there was one would to describe this game it would have to be ordinary. Whereas I’ve come to expect a high level of gameplay from Alawar, it barely met my expectations and by no means exceeded them.
You find yourself stranded in “Hell Lock” with a crashed motorcycle next to you and no recollection of how you got there. The main character is so bland I for the life of me cannot remember his name, nor recall if the game creators though enough about this game to even give him one. You move aimlessly from one area from the next collecting things and participating in areas of hidden object.
First, the hidden object areas are boring with a confusing hint system. Every hidden object stage looks almost identical to the ones that came before it, with the same items over and over again. Also, At times the names of the objects will glow to indicate that you are close to an item, but there is no rhyme or reason to this glowing, and it has you naturally scanning the words for glowing and randomly moving your mouse rather than actually looking for the items.
Next, the layout of the town is poorly designed. The entire game is linear, and there is no map so you can’t really tell where you’re going. The only saving grace to the poor layout is one of the “features” of this game is every time you enter a new area of the map, you take a picture and you can use these pictures to quick jump to anywhere in the game. The pictures also denote whether or not there are action items on that area of the map. While this seems a little unnecessary, since Welcome to Hell Lock is not well thought out I don’t know what I would have done without it; only because more than once the game left me scratching my head as to where to go next.
The puzzles lacked any sort of pizzazz and were completely one dimensional. It lacked all whimsy, cleverness or humor and was more and more just a way to pass the time. The end of the game brings about a small twist, but by the time you get there you’re not interested. The comic book-type cut scenes make for an interesting art style but not at all unique. I’ve seen it done before, and done better.
All this being said Vampire Saga: Welcome to Hell Lock was not the worst hidden object game I’ve ever played; it wasn’t even in the top 25 worst. They are obviously making an effort to make a smarter more interesting game, and they’re not failing, they’re just not quite there yet. Nothing they did was overwhelming terrible, but it is also easily dismissed and forgotten especially with the super-saturation of vampire stuff in our current popular culture. In short, it felt like a cheap knockoff of the better vampire hidden object games I’ve played this year. That being said I am interested to see what game they come out with next cause I think they are surely on the right track.
(2 out of 5)