Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon- A Rough Case

Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon- A Rough Case

Originally released in 1994, Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon uses live action FMV and 3D environments to create a goofy point-and-click adventure grounded in future noir sensibilities.

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I loved those kinds of games back in the 1990s when I first played them. I just wish they would release Take 2's classic gem; Ripper.

008Zulu:
I loved those kinds of games back in the 1990s when I first played them. I just wish they would release Take 2's classic gem; Ripper.

That game was un-*censored* believeable.

Though I really can just watch Spoony's multi-hour riff of it rather than playing it. He actually got it running a few years ago.

StewShearer:
After playing Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon however, I've come to the conclusion that point-and-click adventure games aren't that sort of genre for me. I had kind of been hoping they were.

You might want to judge older point and click adventure games by their own merits rather than taking the experience from the crappy FMV versions which I feel killed the genre for many years and ultimately Sierra. There were so many good ones from the era of adventure games and you seem to be lumping them all together like they're all as hammy and bad as Tex Murphy. I'd understand if you were talking about the FMV Adventure genre (which I consider to be a subgenre not representative of the collective). Games like Secret of Monkey Island, Quest For Glory (my favorite of the genre because it broke the rules IMO).

I know it's kind of outside the purview of "Good Old Reviews", but I'd be curious as to Stew's take on the recent Tex Murphy reboot. I'd be curious to know if they've worked out any of the kinks.

I enjoyed Martian Memorandum, but I never got a chance to play any of the later TM games. Maybe I'll give them a look one of these days.

(Glances back at Steam queue)

...Then again, maybe not.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

StewShearer:
After playing Tex Murphy: Under a Killing Moon however, I've come to the conclusion that point-and-click adventure games aren't that sort of genre for me. I had kind of been hoping they were.

You might want to judge older point and click adventure games by their own merits rather than taking the experience from the crappy FMV versions which I feel killed the genre for many years and ultimately Sierra. There were so many good ones from the era of adventure games and you seem to be lumping them all together like they're all as hammy and bad as Tex Murphy. I'd understand if you were talking about the FMV Adventure genre (which I consider to be a subgenre not representative of the collective). Games like Secret of Monkey Island, Quest For Glory (my favorite of the genre because it broke the rules IMO).

Very fair, and I will definitely be playing more in the future. Maybe I'll solicit suggestions suggestions from you all before that. :)

StewShearer:
Very fair, and I will definitely be playing more in the future. Maybe I'll solicit suggestions suggestions from you all before that. :)

Ya, this is similar to going 'Well, Gabriel Knight 3 was really, really stupid, so I'm just going to give the adventure game genre a pass'. There's a lot of bad examples of a genre in any of them, you've really only tried the bottom of the barrel here.

I...still kind of like this game.

It's probably nostalgia, just like with the older WarCraft and Wing Commander games.

yeah, I'm of the same mind when it comes to the adventure genre. I don't seem to like it as much as I hope. I love the character that genre can have sometimes, as well as the humour that is in part its bread and butter, but when you stall, man do you stall.

I definitely think that the genre needs some updates to its controls and mechanics that it never got or found. it's a shame. I really liked the Discworld games, so maybe you could check those out. Also Grim Fandango, of course.

one thing about the adventure genre I find, is, oddly, that it's some of the most memorable among genres. I can always easily recall things from adventure games, and I can't say that for games in other genres that were way better. one day somebody should maybe do a blog or something on the genre and try generate a discussion on what could be done to make it more palatable and deal with its downsides. I have a few ideas there from when I think about it from time to time, and I think everyone who plays an adventure could supply something there. there definitely should be a dialogue to see what people like and don't like about the genre. it's some of the most memorable stuff in all of games and it's yielded some great titles, but it seems lacking in something that it needs to modernize that it's yet to get.

check out Wadjet Eye, if you haven't. they make some of the finest adventure games around. I think it speaks to how good they are at it that their games can engross you given their basic production values.

And agree on RPGs and Space Sims

I'm a big Tex fan, Kickstarted the new one that came out this week and enjoyed it a lot.

If you're interested in Tex maybe playing the new one is an option, although if you do so I recommand watching a LP of the old games first, since the regular faces of Chandler avenue keep coming back.

StewShearer:

Very fair, and I will definitely be playing more in the future. Maybe I'll solicit suggestions suggestions from you all before that. :)

If you're going to try out more adventure games for the love of god don't play anything made by sierra, sierra games become unwinnable if you cough in the wrong location.

themilo504:
If you're going to try out more adventure games for the love of god don't play anything made by sierra, sierra games become unwinnable if you cough in the wrong location.

Or don't check your ID after handing it to someone and having it returned. When it never left your sight.

It's worth giving the old Blade Runner game a play if you can get your hands on it. It's not on GOG but it has some really cool multiple path story telling and a very cool immersive world with an awesome soundtrack. (Some of it riffed from the original film.)

The plot line follows a little along the line of the book and introduces electric animals, kibble and a namecheck of Mercerism along with some plot points. It's a nice bridge between the film and the book, even if it gets a bit weird and a bit TOO Phildickian in places. The gameplay has some excellent touches but it does have a few of the running around for hours pixel hunting and lateral puzzles.

I was always a big fan of Lucasart's The Dig. It's not as funny as Grim Fandango or cool as Full Throttle. But it scratches a very specific Sci-Fi itch. There is a sense of exploration and mystery to it. A game that still has an amazing sense of atmosphere to it and a great soundtrack. It has pretty top notch voice acting too. A real turn off the lights and soak it in game. I only played it 5 years ago and really wished I played it back in 95.

You know, I genuinely enjoyed this game when I was younger and have not picked it up again out of fear that I will in some way sully my memories.

I learned what a marble obelisk was because of this game.

I found the mixture of humour and an interesting sci-fi (ish) setting to be both interesting and fertile ground for our Noir Gumshoe to stumble around in with his bad back.

My Father and I also played this together and we would try to work out the puzzles, so perhaps my memory is clouded by enjoyable time spent with my dad - hard to say I guess.

I love the Tex Murphy games ... yes the controls are bad. Yes the graphics are attrocious if only because they occupy that weird phase when real-time was being slowly implemented (UAKM and beyond)and the ray tracing '3D' rendering of games like Wolfenstein were on the way out.

But in a lot of ways, I find these qualities endearing. The characters are (typically) well cast, Tex Murphy is a delightful character in his own right. FMV allowed the game to take own a surreal, almost futuristic atmosphere. I still remember playing it back when I was a kid (11 years old when I played it when it was a new release), and it blew my mind.

There was, quite literally, no game like it. You felt like you were watching the future of digital entertainment. So everything about the game to me, and still to this day, felt like a big experiment into the potential of video games. Everything about it was experimental.

I recently played all of the TM games to reacquaint myself with the TM universe in anticipation of Tesla Effect. And yes ... it was almost glaring. I do see where you are coming from, but I will NEVER forget the impact UAKM and TPD had on me as a kid.

So the graphics thing for me is actually one of the most endearing aspects. If only because I can appreciate the context of why it was a groundbreaking game in many respets. Much in the same way you can appreciate the artistic stylings of a painter who has had their artworks naturally evolve due to some background personal, political or familial strife.

Secondly ... yes they are hammy, but all the TM games hit home with the central, core philosophical question they attempt to answer with each new game. It is hammy, but intentionally so. But it is testament to the game writers that the core premise or philosophical conundrum that each game attempts to solve is still treated with utmost respect.

The Pandora Directive is my favourite, for that very reason. As the central premise of TPD is the nature of secrecy, surveillance and power. The game intentionally informs you about the nature of personal freedom and the inherent malicious nature of institutionalized secrecy and power serving only the most debased and wicked in common society. And all of this was well before The Patriot Act or TSA officers groping you at airports.

I guess new gamers won't really get why the old-timers either love the game to bits, or steer clear of them like they were the plague ... me personally, put me in the pro-Tex camp.

I agree completely with PaulH. UaKM is the game that got me into the series, and in its day, it looked phenomenal. I'll admit, graphically, the game hasn't aged well, and the controls predate the industry having a solid grasp on how to handle 3D environments well (but, once you get used to them, are entirely usable), but the writing keeps it among my favorites.

Now, that said, UaKM was Access pushing into unknown territory; they were frequent technology pioneers in the game sphere. This was them figuring out how to make this sort of game work. And they took those lessons, and made Pandora Directive. The world was larger and more detailed, the characters were deeper, and the FMVs were much better composed and directed (and the story, eerily prescient at times). Similarly, the direction in Overseer remains quite good, though they were kinda forced to make that one in a hurry.

I still go back and play UaKM and TPD every couple years or so. It's been a while since I last tried Overseer, though -- mostly due to issues getting it working on modern computers. But, for me, it's less about the game itself (though I do enjoy the puzzles still), and more like going back and rewatching a favorite movie, or rereading a beloved book. It's the stories I enjoy. They have a brilliant mix of humor and tension, full of endearing characters (and, in the case of TPD, a villain that you just love to hate) and a really fleshed-out world.

But screw the fireball room. Seriously. :P That alone is the only reason I'd want to see the games remade (as opposed to just rereleased). The mouse movement is serviceable for exploring static environments, but is maddening for navigating a narrow and winding walkway through a dangerous environment.

StewShearer:
...back when I looked at I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream I walked away from it feeling really positive.

This is the first time anyone has ever said this...you monster.

 

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