The Bitmap's first add-on disk - great for Cadaver fans, of sod all value to the rest of us
First things first - this isn't a complete game, it's a levels disk (the first one we've reviewed in fact) and the only way you're going to be able to play it is if you have a copy of the real Cadaver to boot up first. Levels disks have become fairly popular over the last couple of years, though it's the first time the Bitmaps have done one - the idea is that you increase interest in a popular game, and satisfy the demands of fans for a sequel, without going to the time and effort of doing a full-blown follow-up. The downside is that it's only going to be of interest to owners of the original game - and ones who are desperate for more of the same, at that - so the market is limited.
The plus side is that since all you're really doing is changing locations, graphics, and particular in-game tasks (as well as perhaps fixing a few bits and pieces you may have felt weere wrong about the original game) it's really only a couple of week's work. This one costs two thirds of the price of the full Cadaver, but then it's a bit smaller (about two thirds of the size, in fact!) so all's fairly fair. (Or something.)
So... is it any good? Well, yes it is. The plot follows on neatly from the first game (our mercenary hero returns to collect his wages for the first mission, only to find that his employers have gone missing - what's up?), the main character still looks like his limbs aren't properly connected to his body when he walks (a bit of a downer) and overall, everything gives the impression of being better than the first game, but not stunningly so.
Puzzles are still a mix of arcade style jumping about, arcade adventure style lever pulling and text adventure style lateral thinking, but in some ways the new tasks seem a bit more action packed than the last, or at least a bit more visually interesting. The monsters you come across are no longer mindless baddies out just to get in your way, but form integral parts of the puzzles and can even, in some cases, be won over to your side and used to your advantage.
Many of the locations are new too - the disk takes us outside into the streets of a village for the first time, for instance - and the distinctly Germanic look to the whole thing (from the names of the towns to the whole look and feel of your surroundings) goes up a notch as well, a neat reference to the particular success of the original game in Germany.
So there we have it. Lots of new rooms (200 or so), four new levels and a very professional looking product. Great news for fans of the first game, unlikely to be of any interest at all to people who didn't like it and, erm, that's it really. Levels disks, eh? Don't you just love them?
Nice addition for all Cadaver fans, of little interest to anyone else. (Exactly as a levels disk should be really!)