Let me start with what they got right on this game: for a story-driven game, I thought it was fine that they didn’t have any real motion or action coming from the characters involved. The cartoonish representations of the actors from the show weren’t exactly awe-inspiring in the realism, but the characters were all recognizable, and they managed to make “13” look hot in a couple of scenes (not that it’s all that hard). Finally, the actual diagnoses provided at the end of each case made sense for how the story line developed.
One of the complaints that I’ve heard PR folks and developers give when they get a review in which a game is torn to shreds is that the reviewer says “it sucks” but then doesn’t provide the details as to why people should avoid buying the product. So, I’m going to provide for you the many reasons why NOT to buy this game.
First off, the true strength of House M.D. is the acting of Hugh Laurie. He literally embodies the character of Gregory House in a way where no other actor could walk the fine line of savior and misogynist the way he does that keeps House human and a character we can love despite his drug abuse and other failings. Making a House game without the voice acting of Mr. Laurie (or in this case any other actors) is completely without validity. If there’s going to be no action, there should at least be voiceovers by the actors or at least narration by House of the case at hand. Instead, the player is forced to read dialog off the screen. This limits the minimal amount of immersion into the game even further by drawing your eyes away from the graphics.
Even if the player can get around the way in which information is presented in the game, it’s hard to get around how the game expects you to solve the cases you’re presented. For each case you’re given a series of interactions with the patient and House’s team. You are provided multiple scenarios within each case to attempt, and much like on the show, investigate the places where the patient lives and works to collect samples. These visits do not rely on your ability to notice minute details or logically assemble what might be causing the illness of the patient; you simply mouse over the entire screen looking for an object that becomes highlighted. Once you click on the item, you have collected it, and can move on. It takes no thought to do this, and it merely adds to the amount of time spent on the case, not to the enjoyment. A far better solution would have been to simply allow the player to explore the environment and either made everything collectible or nothing collectible, and have the player use their own deductive reasoning to understand what was wrong in the environment that should be tested for based on clues in the game.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
On my 12th birthday, I got a floppy drive, I stayed up all night playing Stock Market for Commodore 64. I owned everyone I knew at the various NHL titles for Genesis. I first learned how to code in LPC in the middle of the night from a heroine addict on the campus of Michigan State University back in 1992 when MUDding was the only ORPG there was. I was a journalism major my first time through college, and have been writing off and on since, and programmed up until 5 years ago, when I put down the tools of ignorance to become a business analyst. I'm a member of several gaming 12 step programs for MMO's, and I don't game nearly as much as I used to. I'm mostly on the lookout for items you haven't already seen reviewed 50 times, whether they are games, or just things a gamer might use. I'm now work out of GN's east coast office in Boston, and looking forward to spending the weekends my fiancee is away with Boston University Women's Hockey playing games while the snow falls. View Profile