Belief and Betrayal  - Review

Belief and Betrayal
Ages: Mature

I am very fond of adventure games. I like the story, the puzzles, but most important - the adventure - and for me where the adventure takes place is most important. Sure, I'll scrounge through back alleys and sewers - but I'd rather it be some wonderful place. This game lets me wander through all my favorite places.

Jonathan Danter, a journalist, is on his way to Miami on assignment when he is essentially kidnapped by New Scotland Yard to keep him from harm and is brought to London. They want to know the contents of a safe deposit box belonging to his presumably, but now actually dead uncle. There have been other killings. There is some evidence that the Cathars - a dangerous and heretical Gnostic sect, may be the ones perpetrating the ritual killings. Uncle was on the trail of the Imago Sanctussunus, a medallion supposedly forged from the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas that was to answer all the questions of mankind, hold the secret of life, hidden revelations and contain enormous power. Shades of Da Vinci Code.

All the exciting props are there, Knights Templar, ancient tomes, tombs, hidden compartments, mystical codes and objects, sacred religious artifacts, priests and hooded monks. The trail is directed by the puzzles and by discovering the next clue, which leads to the next clue which leads to the nextů

The trail is one of the unexpected bonuses of the game - Chartres, the Vatican Museum, the Pantheon and the Ducal Palace in Venice are all rendered in wondrous detail. I saved the scenes so I could go back and examine them in leisure when the heat of the game was past.

Besides Jonathan, you play Katrin McKendal, who is fortunate to have friends who can do computer searches, fly light planes and forge passports. The are all well detailed with good voices that fit the characters. It is only Jonathan, who needs to be continually upbeat and clever, who begins to wear.

The music is liturgical - often with heavy pounding choruses. But it is an Italian-made game after all. The game designers - the Calamari brothers and staff appear on the intro screen and there is no way to skip past it each time you enter the game.

The game is heavy with dialogue - with many of the characters you meet telling you about the history that makes the backbone of the game. You come away with some interesting information the might actually have you going to Wikipedia.

I am at a loss to understand why this game received an M rating. There is no nudity, no profane language, the one grisly murder takes place off screen. I checked out the ESRB site and it reported "Blood, Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes". Nonsense - only if questioning some Catholic dogma is considered "suggestive".

Fun Factor: A thoroughly enjoyable game
Female Factor: Katrin is a smart co-protagonist, wears glasses, no suggestive clothing or comments.
Player Friendly: Action to pick up and use objects slightly confusing requiring too many clicks.

Reviewed by: Editor - 06/08

  • Belief and Betrayal
  • © Lighthouse Interactive / Artematica
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP W2K
  • To Order: Win $29.99