The year is 2047 and the citizens of Adrianopolis flourish in their part of the near-perfect World Union. Only those smart and healthy enough may enter this utopia, and one of these elites, Phoenix Wallace, is a Peace Officer, charged with…well - keeping the peace. This very familiar-looking, British-sounding young woman has little experience under her belt, but players will soon learn what serious potential this dame possesses. Strategy First, the game's publisher, has brought other lesser-known games into the open market, and its introduction of Momentum AS's Culpa Innata is a nice surprise.
The game begins with Phoenix Wallace on her way to a summons by her head honcho at the GPSN Peace Corps., Chief Morssen. A World Union citizen has been murdered in the Rogue State of Russia, and Phoenix must investigate the murder along with an accidental death of a local professor. It seems that there must be a connection, for Adrianopolis is a key border town between Russia and the World Union. To discover what she must, Phoenix will spend her time investigating over 40 unique locations, as well as conversing with the general public. It is up to the player to decide how best to achieve the necessary information - investigate location A or speak with citizen B? And the game sports a non-linear storyline along with optional activities. The replay value on this one will keep players coming back for that missed piece of information or undiscovered character.
Momentum AS fuels the game with its dynamic cameras and patented 3D facial animation technology, bringing each and every environment and character into believable life. Considering a lot of playtime will revolve around interrogating characters - each conversation has branching paths which require thoughtful choices - equipping them with realistic features is necessary, and Momentum AS has done well. The life-like faces speak on-cue for the most part, and their expressions match the emotion in their voices. As for the environments, moving through them is as simple as clicking which direction to head, and the available paths and obstacles fit seamlessly in with the backdrop. The only complaint here is the apparent lack of a consistent run option - as it is now, double-clicking will cause Phoenix to run to the designated spot, and a single click compels her to walk. Having the ability to hold down a button and click once to make her run would be a welcome addition. Other than that, interacting with the world of Culpa Innata is very user-friendly, and the interface stacks up well with the game's environment.
Culpa Innata can be defined as an adventure game integrating logic puzzles and other challenges that can be solved utilizing hi-tech gadgetry. Instead of simply clicking and sliding a piece into place, these puzzles involve multiple steps and layers and feel real and enjoyable, rather than hackneyed and out-of-date. One piece of a long-winded puzzle may not even come into play until a few hours later. To aid this sensation of real-life deciphering, Phoenix Wallace has an inventory and a computer that combine to examine pieces of evidence. Clicking an object in the easily-accessible inventory brings it into the playing field, rendering it useable. This can be utilized within her computer as well - dragging a piece of unrecognized data into the correct analyzer will bring about interesting results and perhaps a piece of the larger puzzle. To put it quite simply, everything dealing with interactivity feels and reacts like it should.
The original soundtrack that accompanies Culpa Innata is enjoyable and fitting - who doesn't like running about and exploring to the beat of funky techno? As well as the music, Phoenix's footsteps and narrative voice reverberate and echo as they should, and environmental sounds such as birds chirping are realistic and properly-placed. Phoenix's voice will become quite familiar, but the other actors throughout the game deliver their lines in an authentic (and sometimes quite humorous) manner. Momentum AS has done well with integrating the ambience and voice acting necessary for an adventure title of this sort.
Culpa Innata aims to impress the gaming community with its engaging dialogue and intriguing plotline. As well as creating living, breathing characters and outstanding logic puzzles, Momentum AS goes a step further by integrating its own history. Players should explore and investigate everything, as seeing a timeline of events in our world right alongside another four decades of unseen history is an epic feeling indeed. Not only that, but the developer has thrown in its own flair for humor - what exactly are those pills in Phoenix's desk drawer for? Momentum AS and Strategy First bring Culpa Innata onto the market in a brilliant fashion, and no one should miss this engaging adventure title. Not for all the money in the World Union.