Heaven’s Hope is an adventure, point & click that follows the story of a fallen angel by the name of Talorel, who is looking for his way back to Heaven. When I saw this game I was intrigued by the hand painted scenes and was reminded of some of my favourite adventure games, such as Simon The Sorcerer and my absolute favourite game The Longest Journey. With this nostalgia in mind I really wanted to try this game out and unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.
The highest point of this game is its graphics, it is beautifully presented, the visuals are top quality. With most adventure point and click games, it has the perspective of 2.5D, the illusion of 3D with 2D graphics. They have pulled this off really well with the larger foreground, but without so much detail that you are inclined to look at that instead of what is happening in the middle ground. Alongside this the animations of people talking, although they are repetitive they fit with the style and some are quite humorous. However on the flip side when things take a darker turn it reminded me a lot of The Cat Lady, with the warped and distorted animations.
The beautiful graphics, however, were let down by the story itself, when I started the game it was a really interesting concept and some bemusing things happened to keep me intrigued. However after about 3 hours of gameplay, the story became stale, it felt like it wasn’t trying very hard to keep my interest and I was quickly getting bored. Though the puzzles were of average difficulty (some being quite easy to figure out, whilst others took a while longer) some were illogical, I couldn’t get the answer because the answer just didn’t make sense to me. This often resulted in trying to combine everything I had in my inventory with each other till I got something and even then I was confused with how the game came to that conclusion.
After hitting the 5-hour mark, I thought I had been playing much longer and it was at this point that I couldn’t actually recall hearing any music in the game. I played for a while longer and there was indeed music but that meant the music was easily forgettable. This, in my opinion, is a problem when you create an adventure game, music is everything as it sets the mood and the most magical moments I’ve had in adventure games, have had extremely touching music alongside the events that were unfolding.
Although the story didn’t hold out as much as I wanted it to, the actual gameplay was very well done. However there was an odd period where the loading screen would take longer than normal, but that wasn’t a big deal. Other than that all the actions that I could perform were self-explanatory, there was a point where the gameplay got quite interesting. It gave you the option to play more than one character, I found this an exciting concept and it was pretty cool that you could switch from character to character in order to solve a puzzle. Also included was a map that you could quickly jump to locations, this saved a lot of time. Alongside this, other helpful interface options included a notebook with nicely drawn illustrations that would help you remember what your current objective was. If that wasn’t enough in the top right-hand corner there was a question mark that you could click on to get further help.
Though having some help in adventure games is appreciated, there was a definite case of repetitive lines. When it came to being told the objective or story, the character lines were often repeated several times and it got very annoying. Thankfully you could skip the dialogue with right click if you had the misfortune of hearing Talorel explain yet again that he can’t do that. The story also didn’t make a lot of sense with regards to the interactions with other characters, there was a point in the story that caused me to think “Why would Talorel do that?” It didn’t make any sense to me. It felt as though the developers had come up with an interesting puzzle (Which it was) but didn’t know how to implement it. The outcome was an out of character situation towards Talorel and made it seem like he was absolutely fine with lying to a friend, he’s an angel, surely that is wrong? It felt like the ends justified the means and completely contradicted Talorel’s character.
As I was close to the conclusion of the game I was thinking if there was any replay ability to the game and on paper, there is, as there were a few things I could have done differently. However, there wasn’t any want to, I didn’t feel the need to go back and see what would happen if I did. I can only imagine a person going back to get all of the achievements, even then, there wasn’t an overall desire to do this.
It was then that I came across what I thought was the final cut scene, it was an extremely touching moment and it left me feeling warm and happy. I felt proud of what I had done in Heaven’s Hope, it made me feel accomplished through all the puzzles I had experienced and as it faded to black, I was confronted with the actual ending of the game. It wasn’t even animated, it was just a black screen with voices talking that left me feeling defeated, every single part of me wished that the ending had come much sooner. That way I could have ended on a high note and felt good at the end, except it left me wanting and depressed.
Although the game had a very interesting concept with puzzles that I would consider the right difficulty, albeit a lot of brute force when it came to the inventory. The story let it down with quickly becoming stale and not doing enough to keep me engaged, to the point where I found that the character Talorel was doing things that were completely out of character. The highest point of the game was it’s graphics which I thoroughly enjoyed looking at, if only the game ended sooner it might have made me feel better about playing the game. However the disappointing end just added to the somewhat boring story.