For Lost fans, this has been a long time coming. A game that takes places on the island that has more mysteries and swerves that you think it was running for President. In any case, Lost: Via Domus has been talked about as a worthy addition to the Lost universe but then again this was told by TV producers who think that two cents for a DVD is adequate money for a writer. Oh and
I'm starting the SPOILERS!!! early. You've been warned.
Just like the TV series, Lost: Via Dormus begins on Oceanic 815 with the focus being on a male protagonist just like we were introduced to Jack. There's a little ruckus on the plane(you should know who did what if you see the series) and then the place gets torn apart(you should also know why because you've seen the series and know this by heart). We're greeted with the ever popular closeup of the eye and now we meet our hero. Of course, our hero, unlike everyone else on that damn place, is suffering from a bit of amnesia. What follows is a very Lost background with a very Lost twist. A unique part of the storytelling is that the game is split into "episodes". Just like Lost, the episodes usually end with some sort of climactic event and then quickly go to the Lost end screen with it picking up, after a short load screen, with the announcer saying "Previously, on Lost..." with a brief review of what happened so far. Then comes the start of a new episode that has a little surprise at the beginning and then to the Lost opening title screen.
Gameplay is typical of your adventure games these days. You control the character, you go up to someone, and you talk to them. You'll talk to several of the players in Lost and will have to go through a somewhat dialogue tree. I say somewhat because they usually have one response for you and very rarely will another question popup leading to another bit of dialogue. It's very basic and very vague with very few questions need asking since they will basically answer with their characters background story. Since the first two seasons of Lost were full of flashbacks, sure enough you'll have your share. However, the flashbacks require some actual "gaming". In each flashback, our hero will have a torn up photograph and will have to take a picture of a certain object/person/action so that he can remember what the actual flashback is. Believe me, this sounds more interesting than it is. With the actual picture being in pieces, you have a very vague idea of what to do. The flashback itself plays out like a video clip and then loops the same instance of time. Again, it's about that one perfect picture so you'll have to zoom and focus for that perfect picture. Once you get it, which can take many tries, the flashback will be played out fully and just like Lost, you learn just a little bit more about your character.
So what I've told you is the only unique gameplay aspect of the game. Aside from this flashback mini-game, there's really not much else. You will have puzzles which may require you to think of some SAT type questions, and others are the typical "play around with some sort of electric current until it turns on all the lights" mini-game. Both have some challenge at the end and you may actually spend more than 2 minutes on them. There is a couple of spots where you shoot a gun, and by shoot I mean you have to shoot the guy maybe 5 times in total, and by gun I mean just a standard gun. No Max Payne type action here. Also there's a kind of mini-game/mission areas where you have to either run away from the Monster(dont look at me like that, you know what this is), have to run around the jungle following markers around, going through caves while bats fly at your torch, or do some hardcore sprinting a la last level of Halo 1 but without any shooting or Warthogs.
The graphics for the game are on par with 360 games. Nothing to bring a tear to your eye nor making you want to stab yourself in the eye. The beach looks fine, the jungle look fine, and the character models are good. Dont expect any innovations in graphics but do expect a nice layout of the several stations that you get to explore a little. And I do mean "little".
With the sound, lets get the music out of the way first because it's exactly what you would expect with a Lost game. The same score is there and plays the exact way you would expect it to play during certain scenes. No problems there. We cant say the same for the voice acting. Granted, not all the cast members lent their voice to the game. So while some characters had excellent actors(namely Jack's voice actor who was right on with everything) there are those voices that really dont fit. You'll really get that the most with Locke who voice is very different and doesnt have that same passion in it. Kate's voice actor sounds like she played Yuna in FFX with very monotone answers. The cast members themselves are also hit or miss. While Hurley(who they say wasnt played by Jorge Garcia but it's so close that it has to be him)plays his part perfectly with some actual funny responses, Sun on the other hand is as basic as you can get. I think she put more acting in her Korean dialogue then her English. Ben is there doing just as a diabolical voice as ever but alas, he's only there for so long.
Here's where I ruin the storyline for you. Your character is Elliot. Elliot is a photographer who slept with a reporter chick to get a picture of a wealthy businessmen who has ties with the Hanzo corporation. Through the flashbacks, we learn that Elliot is a jerk who uses the reporter, named Lisa, to not only find out info on this particular suit guy but in the end using her as a distraction to sneak into the office of said suit guy. The result is Lisa getting capped in her head with Elliot getting the perfect photograph of it. Elliot's time on the island is him remembering who he is, why he finds a special compass with "Via Domus" on it, what he actually did, and why he's such a bastard for doing it. While on the island, Elliot will have an antagonist. A bodyguard of the earlier suit guy who makes his way onto the doomed plane as well. For whatever strange reason, they have this bodyguard assaults Elliot and escapes into the jungle where he will bother you in certain parts of the game because he's shooting at you. In the end, Elliot puts a cap in the bodyguards head, is told by Ben to betray Jack therefore allowing Elliot on a boat home, and thanks to better moral judgement, betrays the Others saving both Jack and Kate's life at the same time. In the end, Elliot must make a mad dash to the boat(of course the boat is named Via Domus) and leaves the cursed island. On the boat, we're given the last, ever so confusing Lost twist, with Elliot looking up and seeing a plan fly overhead and being torn into two. Yup, he just saw his flight. We're then given another eye closeup with Elliot waking up on the beach right after the plane crashing. With such great shock, the report chick he got killed runs up to him and ask if he's ok while he looks with great confusion as if he just played a game that ended with an ending that made no sense.
END OF SPOILERS!!!!
I'll make it real simple. If you're a Lost fan, RENT THE GAME. You have 6-8 hours of playing, and not much else. You're better off saving your money for the Lost 3 DVD box set whenever that comes out. Lost fans will probably disregard what I say but oh well, I tried.