Evil Twin: Cyprien’s Chronicles

Gamestyle Archive intro: Like buses we have another review from Richard Stephenson. Another entry in the bargain bins I seem to recall from a decade ago. This review dates from November 2001 and the following year arrived on Sega’s glorious console aka Dreamcast.

eviltwin

Two years, yes count them that’s 24 months off development time – that’s how long Evil Twin has been in development. It all started when Ubi-Soft and In Utero decided to produce a platformer adventure title for the PC, PS2 and Dreamcast, but no normal platformer, no – it’s a twisted and dark universe, full of swearing, gloomy worlds and twisted monsters that go “bump” in the night. So if they have been spending all that time working on Evil Twin we have high expectations for this promising title.

Let’s see if it lives up to all the hype Cyprien is our hero in this adventure. living in an orphanage as he parents past away on his birthday many years ago. His friends, having no idea of this, organise a surprise party for Cyprien, yet somewhat predictably, Cyprien isn’t in the best of moods when surprised with balloons and cake. He storms off, only for Cyprien to get seriously frustrated, causing terrible things happen, ending up in what seems to be a dream. Soon after he has calmed down from his birthday blues, Cyprien realises his friends have disappeared and he is swept off to a nightmare world, as his very world and himself have become prisoners to a dark and very sinister influence.

The first time we saw Evil Twin we were very excited about a game that promised to be a cross between Silent Hill and Mario 64, further cemented by the first time in-game videos, displaying the amazing quality of the artist work of this new world. Given the potential the developers have had to make this world as enchanting as possiblem, and while it does look above average, the lands can look sparse and empty in places.

The graphic engine hasn’t aged too well over the two-years of delays. The character design is very polished and it’s a joy to meet new characters as they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The animation and motion capture all also very well presented – Cyprien runs, swims, jumps, climbs realistically, however there are a few graphical glitches on top of the sparse landscapes. As with most PS2 games these days, there are a few glitches and pop up (during FMV). Originality, a key feature that is lacking in many of new releases. Devil May Cry, Gran Turismo 3, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 and WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It! – All three title that, despite being excellent, don’t offer much more than there previous titles in the genre.

Sadly, Evil Twin suffers from this too, being reminiscant of previous platform games that have been doing the rounds for years and other that the adult nature of Evil Twin is combined with the platformer, there isn’t anything new or “revolutionary”. Evil Twin has nothing not previously seen in Mario, Sonic, Spyro, etc before.. Of course, it brings its own odd new feature to the genre, such as Resident Evil-style puzzles and the fact you can convert yourself into your darker side, your “Evil Twin”, essential for some challenges where you need to use your darker form’s aditional strength and abilities (such as being able to walk through fire), although to obtain this, you need to collect gems and even then, as expected this effect only lasts a certain time limit.

To be frank, we expected a lot more from a title that has been in development for two years, especially considering the game still isn’t perfect – There are still a few bugs that really should have been ironed out. Don’t get us wrong, this is a good, solid adventure title, enhanced all the more by the twisted worlds and story. Sadly, though, it isn’t enough to beat the like of Mario and Sonic, however, the concept is good, as is the cast, so with any luck, Ubisoft will take the game back to the drawing board and come up with a much improved sequel.

Gamestyle Score: 7/10

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