Lost: Via Domus

Written by Joe Martin

March 7, 2008 | 08:02

Tags: #abc #abrams #dharma #jack #kate #license #locke #lost #numbers #review #television

Lost: Via Domus

Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC, Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 3
UK Price (as reviewed): £29.88 (inc. Delivery)
US Price (as reviewed): $58.99 (inc. Delivery)

I have an odd love/hate relationship with Lost and my viewing habits for the show have shifted dramatically over the years. When the series first debuted I was instantly hooked and the series played heavily to my love of all things survivalist and mystical.

It was a perfect blend of Ray Mears and Stephen King, and I lapped it up like the lamentably lazy couch potato I am.

When the second series came round I was hooked into the mysteries of the island and desperate to know what was happening I watched every episode at least three times, harvesting story cross-overs and analysing each scene for mention of the ubiquitous numbers. This dedication lasted until the third series, by which time I was lagged out and ready to abandon Lost in favour of House. Now the fourth series is airing I’ve decided to only watch it when the series is over, avoiding the long painful wait between episodes.

Lost: Via Domus
Click to enlarge

The problem is though that there’s a videogame spin-off of the series too, Lost: Via Domus, and I’ve got to play it as part of my job. Now, I’m deathly worried that I may end up getting hooked on the series once more. For that to happen though, the game would have to be pretty good – something licensed titles aren’t renowned for.

Will Lost: Via Domus be an exception to the rule prove to be at least a little bit good? Will my love for Sawyer and Sayid be reignited by the brilliance of Ubisoft’s new game? Will Jack and Kate ever get nekkid on camera? There’s only one way to find out – via very long flashbacks by checking our review!

A Whole New World

Lost: Via Domus is a game that is mainly going to be of interest to fans of the series, so one of the key things to get out of the way early on is that the game isn’t written by J.J Abrhams or Damon Lindelof – creators of the original series. Instead, the game has been written by a separate team who were given insider knowledge of the series and tasked with writing a story that sat within the boundaries given to them.

They came up with this.

Lost: Via Domus
Click to enlarge

Lost: Via Domus follows the plot of the series closely, but tells the adventure from a new perspective – that of an amnesiac passenger on Flight 815 who must struggle to piece together his past and find out what the island wants of him. If that sounds like gobbledygook to you then this clearly isn’t the game for you.

The game starts right at the beginning of the series and players will spend the first few minutes running through the jungle on their way to the beach. From there the timeline progresses rapidly as players will first discover and then explore the hatch. You’ll enter the numbers, face off against Jack and be threatened with torture by Sayid all before the game is out.

In fact, just like the TV series, the story on offer here is the major attraction and although the backstory of the player character is both predictable and at odds with the rest of the game fiction—in fact, I’d go as far as to say that the story is just plain stupid at points—it never stops it being engaging.

In that regard it’s very similar to the TV series. At this point in the show’s lifetime it’s become clear that no matter what the ending is it’s going to be disappointing – but that doesn’t stop you from watching and pushing on episode by episode to get to the end. You somehow feel involved with the characters and—in both the series and the game—that manages to pull you on even through the worst of it.
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