Take a piece of Tomb Raider, add a dash of Splinter Cell, and then mix it with in elements of classic puzzle solving, and you'll find yourself with Traitor's Gate 2: Cypher for the PC gaming platform. Unfortunately, this particular dish might not be palatable to most adventure gamers out there who are hungry for a decent meal.
It's not that the game is completely awful. Compared to some of the truly crappy releases we ran across for 2003, Traitor's Gate 2 was at least a semi-interesting game. The graphics were decent, the modeling good, and the depiction of the ancient Babylonian architecture and tombs was actually interesting to check out, especially with the Tomb Raider like 3-D/third person control perspective. Even the audio aspects, both ambient and musical, were good as well, providing a nice background audio aesthetic to the game. No, the real problem we had with Traitor's Gate was with the lack of substance in the game's design, as well as the gameplay itself.
Filled to the brim with puzzles, and puzzle like operations, after the first few runs through the gauntlet, the game just became boring and stale. The tedious hunting for buttons and objects was too much after only a short period of time. Add to that the expansive areas to explore, it just felt like running a marathon with no end in site. Adding fuel to the fire were a few bugs that totally shut down several aspects of the puzzles in the game: nothing burns a bridge faster in a game than when you have to start from an earlier save because of a stupid glitch. Also of note, while some of the puzzles were almost too simplistic in nature, others were just overwhelming in their design. As an avid adventure gamer, this reviewer is always up for a challenge in his gameplay. However, some of the puzzles found in Traitor's Gate 2 were just too much even for us.
While there are some similarities between TG2, Tomb Raider, and Splinter Cell, they're few and far between for the most part. A couple of instances where players can utilize a few nifty spy devices are about as close to Tom Clancy's form of gaming as you can hope to get. While the aforementioned control aspects of the game ring true when compared to TR, none of the inherent action that accompanies the adventures of Lara Croft. The exploration portions of the game were also not as entertaining as those found in the Raider series of games: too many repetitive rooms, closed off and poorly lit areas.
you're a true fan of adventure gaming, you just might find at least some
Traitor's Gate 2 appealing. There are quite a few puzzles to rummage through,
and some of them will challenge even the most seasoned gamer. The stability
issues with some of the game's features will no doubt drive you crazy sooner or
later, if the slow pace of the game doesn't kill you first. In the end, I think
most PC gamers will find Traitor's Gate 2 uninspiring and not a whole lot of fun
Published by The Adventure
Developed by 258 Games