Review: The 'Lost' videogame
A diehard fan of the hit TV show spends some time with 'Lost: Via Domus.' Plus: 'Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village' will captivate (and challenge) gamers of all ages.
LOST: VIA DOMUS
(Ubisoft; Xbox 360, PS3, and PC; Teen)
You’re a Lost fan. You’ve watched every episode. Scrutinized the supplemental material on the DVDs. Read Bad Twin. And the novelizations. Played through the ”Lost Experience” and gobbled up the mobisodes on ABC.com. Now what? Lost completists — and, we caution, only them — might want to answer the call of Lost: Via Domus, a new game that bears the name of the TV series but is conspicuously lacking in its inventive soul. As Elliott Maslow, a heretofore unseen passenger of Oceanic Flight 815, you find yourself marooned on the mysterious island with no memory of who you are. Through a series of awkwardly presented flashbacks, puzzles, and interactions with some of the show’s established characters, Elliott must cure his amnesia and find his way off the island. (Via domus, as the game reminds us 1,000 times, is Latin for ”the way home”).
Lost-ies will probably get a kick out of doing things they could only previously imagine, like getting a closer look at the smoke monster, punching ”4-8-15-16-23-42” into the vintage computer, intentionally walking through the fence o’ death, and exploring the various Dharma Initiative stations. Of course, they’ll be far less pleased with the truly horrendous voice impressions of some of their favorite characters: the vocal stand-ins for Locke and Sawyer are particularly cringe-inducing. Following the template of most Lost episodes, Via Domus lobs a tantalizing plot grenade at you during its last few moments. We won’t spoil it for you, except to say this: while it by no means provides any sense of closure, it does address a theme currently raising a ton of questions midway through this season. Indeed, it’s here when the game most closely resembles the show — we were told that executive producer Damon Lindelof came up with this twist — and when you wish the rest of the game didn’t leave fans so…stranded. C — Gary Eng Walk