Lair of the Leviathan Review
As episode three of Tales of Monkey Island rolls along, it becomes increasingly clear that this series of games is a bit different than Telltales' previous offerings. With Sam & Max and Strong Bad each episode felt like standalone games connected to a larger story. Tales, meanwhile, is structured like the old Monkey Island games, i.e. one large game divided into smaller parts.
In other words, if you liked the two first episodes, you should in all likelihood like Lair of Leviathan also. And, of course, if you didn't like the first parts... Well, really, you just suck.
Leviathan is in many ways a strangely bizarre episode, taking place inside the belly of a giant manatee. It's all a bit odd, and I mean that in a good way. You are, of course, not alone in there, and some of the relationships between established characters -- no points for guessing who -- start taking interesting twists.
The best part of this episode, however, are two characters you meet, one new and one familiar one. Again, no points for guessing that I'm talking about De Cava and Murray.
De Cava is -- and this makes his and Guybrush's respective relationships with the Voodoo Lady all the more bizarre/cringe-worthy -- similar to Guybrush, in that he specializes in coming up with complex and strange solutions to get out of a bind. He's definitely an entertaining addition to the series, and again adds some twists and turn to the show. In fact, this is what I feel is one of Tales' greatest strengths: it keeps you guessing and never feels predictable, something which certainly was one of Curse of Monkey Island's greatest weaknesses.
Speaking of which, Murray is, as widely reported, back, and finally lives up to his potential. Don't get me wrong, I always liked the character, but felt the writing lacked the oompf to truly push him to the highest echelon. In Leviathan, Telltale really nails his character, and using Murray with anything you can (yes, you can pick him up) should add a good 15 minutes to your playing time.
Other than that, for the most part, Leviathan stays true to the previous chapters of the series, not to mention the original games. There is one character that might seem a bit out of place, but for whatever reason I liked him. The only true criticism I can think of is that some of the background textures seem to be in too low of a resolution.
That's minor, of course. The episode is about as long as the previous ones, and the music and voice acting are,
again, top notch. More importantly, the repeating character models have been
disguised quite a bit
better this time around.
If you liked the previous chapters, you'll love Lair of the Leviathan. It's a fantastic episode.
- You will like this if you liked the previous episodes. Pretty much anything that was positive from those episodes apply here.
- Murray is better than ever.
- A few outstanding puzzles.
- Some background textures are a bit suspect.
Another fantastic addition to Tales of Monkey Island.
Agree? Or are you plainly wrong and disagree? Post your comments at Mojo!