Via Domus - Lost

Thanks to Kayvan for the heads up.

One of the best parts about being a Lost fan is the amount of Lost-related fun that can be had when the show isn't even airing. Because of the show's cryptic, intertwining, time-shifting storytelling, Losties have been known to rewatch episodes over and over, unearthing new clues each time.
Lost is a game...finally!

Lost is a game...finally!

Lost has also found a warm welcome online, where it has been the subject of several dedicated fan sites and a pair of nifty alternate-reality games (ARGs) put forth by ABC. So it's only natural that a Lost video game would soon hit store shelves, as was announced about 18 months ago.

Ubisoft, one of gaming's largest publishers, is developing the game--Lost: Via Domus--at its studios in Montreal for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The game is due out in late February, and will likely retail for about $59.99 on the consoles and $39.99 on the PC.

Ubisoft invited down to its headquarters in San Francisco for a world-exclusive peek at the game, and being the huge fans of the show that we are, we sped down there like we were being chased by the Black Smoke.

TV-to-game translations don't exactly have the best track records, so we were a little skeptical of what we were about to see. But thankfully (and this is coming from a diehard Lost fan), our doubts were put to rest quickly. In a nondescript room in Ubisoft's offices, Lost: Via Domus producer Gadi Pollack walked us through various stages of the game, answered our pressing questions about Lost mysteries, and even had some very entertaining anecdotes about Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who were very tightly involved with the game's creation.

The developers have done a fantastic job capturing the atmosphere of the show. The game is divided into "episodes," each of which are sewn together by "previously on Lost" vignettes that give the game more of an interactive television-show feel. In addition, Michael Giacchino, who creates the drama's haunting score, composed original music for the game, and those spooky, spiraling Lost title cards are all over the place.

With next-generation technology at their disposal, the producers of Lost: Via Domus went all-out to make the game look as much like the show as they could, and ABC was more than happy to accommodate. The network flew Ubisoft's art director down to the location shots on Hawaii so he could get the minute details just right; even the leaves of the jungle foliage are recognizable. Lost producers also handed over the blueprints to many of the show's sets, and the results are impressive.

We found ourselves giddy with joy the first time we saw the interior of the Swan Station, which was laid out perfectly. Lost producers also gave blueprints to areas TV viewers haven't even seen, including a room behind the magnetic wall in the Swan Station, as well as the interior of the beached Black Rock.

Checking in on the timeline, the game takes place during the first three seasons of Lost. Players will experience most of the major events of the first two seasons from their own perspectives; for example, they may not be around when Locke blows the hatch up with dynamite, but they'll definitely hear it, and it will affect the story. However, landmarks and locations were taken from all three seasons.

As far as gameplay goes, gamers should think PC-classic Myst more than fast-twitch shoot-'em-ups like Gears of War or Halo. In fact, Pollack told us that Lindelof and Cuse count Myst as one of their major influences on the show, a fact that had eluded us previously but is so obvious in hindsight. Lost: Via Domus is a return to the adventure genre riddled with puzzle elements, with an emphasis on exploration rather than running and gunning. In fact, it's pretty much the only way the producers would agree to make it, according to Pollack.

Players will start off as a brand-new character named Elliott, a photojournalist who was on board Oceanic 815 when it crashed. Elliott is one of the first round of survivors, along with Sawyer, Kate, Jack, and the rest of the season one cast. When Elliott awakes on the island, he can't remember who or where he is. Ahhh yes, the old amnesia trick. Don't blame the folks at Ubisoft, though, because the idea was concocted by Damon Lindelof himself.

Because of this twist, Ubisoft was able to make the show's trademark flashbacks playable. During Elliott's flashbacks, players will be asked to take pictures of key events in order to jar Elliott's memories. As the story moves forward, Elliott's past unfolds and intertwines with all of the familiar Lost cast members, just like it would in the show.

Speaking of cast members, Ubisoft was able to wrangle the voice talents of about half a dozen actors for the game, including Michael Emerson (Ben Linus), Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet), and M.C. Gainey (the Others' Tom). We will admit that not all the characters looked spot-on compared to their real-life counterparts, but there's definitely no mistaking them for anyone else. The other characters were voiced by soundalikes who did a pretty good job as vocal chameleons. (Michael's whiny "They took my son!" is just as annoying as ever.)

After harboring high hopes for previous TV-to-game adaptations but ultimately being incredibly let down, we went in with low expectations of Lost: Via Domus. Thankfully this time, the results were different.

We were incredibly impressed with how much attention to the Lost lore, style, and fans Ubisoft gave the game. Gamers will be able to enter the numbers and push the button. Gamers will encounter the Black Smoke. Gamers will get caught up in the mysteries of Lost from their own point of view. And isn't that what Losties want? This one sure does.

Source: TV.COM

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