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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: June 26, 2000
As a lover of adventure games, I have noticed some consistent patterns running through most of them. Perhaps the most striking is that many take place in fantasy locales set in the future or completely imaginary in nature, paying little attention to the laws of physics as they involve you and other entities in actions that utterly defy logic. In contrast, Dreamcatcher Interactive’s new release, Traitors Gate, is linked right up to the tangible here-and-now, with both past and present reality playing a dominant role. Developed by Daydream Software, this new title set in the Tower of London is a story that could have been ripped from today’s headlines of modern day intrigue and treachery.
In a way Traitors Gate appears to be a takeoff on (or sequel to) Daydream’s previous adventure release, Safecracker. The interface and overall look of the two games are indeed very similar, and they both have the same 12 hour limit to complete the task at hand (there are even a few cute mentions in Traitors Gate of Crabb & Sons Safe and Security Systems, the safe company in Safecracker). But while Safecracker has barely any storyline or tension at all, just repetitively breaking into safe after safe in order to get to a master safe at the end, Traitors Gate has a much more complex plot and a much more multifaceted set of tasks you need to undertake to succeed.
The story in Traitors Gate reads like something right out of the television series Mission Impossible, and it is delivered in a similar way in an initial briefing portrayed in the opening video. Because the American Pentagon suspects that one of its directors is planning to steal the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London using classified information and secret blueprints, you have to break into the Tower and replace them with replicas outfitted with tracking systems that will lead the Central Intelligence Agency to the culprit. The Crown Jewels are the most protected treasure in the world, and in 500 years nobody has succeeded in stealing them. While attempting this daring feat you have to overcome numerous highly trained security guards and a multimillion dollar security system. It is very suspenseful, and it is a lot of fun trying to thwart the plans of a suspected arch-criminal.
Traitors Gate is a historical adventure, as along the way you learn a ton of factual material about the Tower of London and the history of those unfortunates who inhabited it. The information is never provided in a “ram-it-down-your-throat” way and instead is well integrated with the story and puzzles themselves. Having been to the Tower myself, I can vouch that the visuals are so photorealistic that at times it almost seems as if you are being given a grand tour of the infamous site. With an exact recreation of the Tower of London environment and security systems, I cannot help but whimsically wonder whether playing this game might not help real-life thieves learn all of the tricks necessary to break into the edifice.
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