: Project Eden
: Playstation 2
Project Eden was billed as an action/adventure game released in 2001, designed for the Playstation 2 by Eidos. In practice, however, it has puzzles contained within that make Obsidian or Myst feel like child's play.
The Earth is vastly overpopulated, and there is no room left to grow. North, south, east, and west, all of it covered by city. Thus the only alternative was to grow upwards. This growth had occured for very long periods of time, to the point where "ground zero", or flat ground was miles below city limits. Only the rich, famous, and well-to-do will ever feel the sun's rays. Downward in the city, conditions worsen to slum level, and even further is a deranged, unspeakable hidden world occupied only by the insane, criminals, and worse.
Project Eden casts the player(s) into the role of the Urban Protection Agency, responsible for keeping order in the city. A riot breaks out at the Real Meat factory, and some technicians have gone missing.
Eden is the first to feature a four-player simultaneous single-player story driven mode. There are four squadmates that can be controlled (in either first-person perspective or third), and thus four can play. Each of the four squadmates has a different ability: Carter is the squad's leader, so he has access rights and can open locked doors. Minoko was a hacker at a very young age and was drafted into the UPA (after being seperated from her father and sister) and she can hack anything. Andre is very handy with all sorts of tools, and with patience can fix anything. Amber was involved in a horrorific skytran accident and instead of undergoing cyborg-human replacement surgery, chose to become one of the "metal heads" of the UPA. She can negate hazardous obstacles like fire and steam, as well as use certain weapons that the others cannot.
After the first few missions, the game really starts to shine after a few combatless puzzle levels. Eden evolves into a survival horror themed game. It gets very scary very quick; a little five year old named Lucy is the source of the trouble. Just hearing her say (in an abandoned hospital, nonetheless) "Doggy doggy doggy! Where's my doggy??" and then watching her grow a second head (and so forth) and then attacking you is enough to send shivers down any spine.
Project Eden also contains a multiplayer mode with deathmatch and Capture the Flag. You can perform the same actions you could in the single player game here. The levels are dynamic: when a charater steps on something fragile, it will break. Walls can be destoyed, and buttons that do things can be pressed. The multiplayer does seem a little out of place, though.
Of course, the game has its fair share of problems. The Torch (a flashlight) does nothing to bring out detail. When looking at a black wall with the Torch on, you'll see a gray wall. Some characters also don't die when they fall an exceptionally long way, thus making it impossible to complete the puzzle at hand (when characters die, they go back to the last regen point, thus making all of them immortal.). And it randomly freezes.