VrE Online
Evolution - Humans III, Lost in Time
from GameTek
The third Humans game in the series should remain lost.

Rating: graphics 65, sound 50, interface 47, fun factor 30, overall 48

Humans 3 The Humans are having a few problems. While sitting outside his hut, Arthur the Caveman sees a flying saucer land off in the distance. Curious, he approaches the bizarre object as a hatch opens. Doing the only thing a Caveman knows to do in this situation, Arthur bashes the invaders into unconsciousness with his club. After taking care of business, Arthur blunders inside and sees Humans from other time periods in cryogenics. Again using his finely honed skills, Arthur bashes chairs, computer screens, and instrument panels. In the process the other Humans are brought back to life, the flying saucer crash lands in the future on the moon and the other Humans run off. Starting with Merlin and Thorgrim, Arthur will have to gather the other humans, rebuild the space-craft, and get everyone home.

Remember that highly addictive game with those cute little critters a few years ago that caught everyone's attention, you know, Lemmings? Well, Humans 3 isn't that game. Trying to capture the same puzzle-like feel of that rodent-filled mega hit, you're job in Humans 3 is to help guide the unwary Humans to the goal or exit. You make each human perform different tasks (just like Lemmings). Unless you specifically tell each one what to do they'll just stand still letting anything harm them (just like Lemmings). Unlike Lemmings, H3's graphics haven't improved over the years. The music has gone from FM synth to CD audio, but the songs aren't that great. The mouse only interface has become rather irritating because of some design flaws. The puzzles in Humans 3 will initially have you stumped, but later after 10 or so levels will all begin to feel the same.

Humans 3 still lives in the stone ages when compared to the games of today. The first indication of what kind of game H3 is can be found in the fluffed 32 page "instruction" manual. On pages 2 and 3, you'll find the same paragraph about "Controlling your team" 3 times--word for word identical. This is just bad. Then there is the introduction with poor graphics, poor animation, and an overall low quality feel to it. The cut scenes designed to advance the story are of the same low quality; and they're anything but funny. The game itself introduces so many limitations in gameplay that it takes longer to figure out what the designers had in mind than it does to actually finish the first levels.

Humans 3 The graphics in Evolution, Humans 3 are nothing short of disappointing. From the simplistic graphics in the introduction to the basic renderings of what are supposed to be humans, all are pathetic. A few years ago, these graphics were standard for VGA, but today they pale in comparison to, well, anything. The graphics are exactly the same as they were when the first Humans game was released and all I can ask is why? I guess we'll never know.

The music in Humans 3 is okay if you listen to the CD music, and horrible if you listen to the MIDI. The MIDI songs sound good outside the Humans game, but inside the game, the music drags out, sounding slow. The overall quality to the music is that it uses a lot of synthesized instruments. Usually this isn't a problem, but soon every song sounds identical. This will eventually force you to turn the music off because of the repetitious nature of the generic, uninspired music. Sound effects are okay, but nothing was note worthy.

Everything you do in Humans 3 must be done through the mouse. The only problem here is that the manual doesn't really tell you what each mouse button does in different areas. Should I left click here? Oh, no! Now I'm going to have to restart the level _again_. What doesn't make sense is that you can't scroll the environment around just by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen. You have to select a different Human and then your view will shift to them. Then of course, if you click and miss the Human you were supposed to click on, the one you're currently controlling starts walking.

During the first few levels, your goal is to gather the other Humans together and then go on to collect the different pieces to the space ship. When you first start out, the computer will select each human for you until you get all seven. After that, you'll have to select four out of the seven to complete each level. Unfortunately, there is no indication or clue as to which Humans you should take. Since each has their own special abilities, some will be naturally more suited to completing a level than others. What ends up happening is that you'll just select four Humans and hope. Only after you've played the level a couple times will you figure out the proper formula for completing each level. This forced replayability is completely unnecessary.

Humans 3 Overlooking the repetitive music, the sloppy graphics, and silly interface, the thing that kills Humans 3 is the difficulty of the game; it never changes. I played the first few levels and was able to complete them without much frustration or thought. I went to the last level in the game, 65, and zipped through it like I was on level 8. It took me a couple tries to figure out which humans I needed, but the level was much too easy for the last level of the game. Every game I've played and enjoyed has increased the difficulty progressively. This lack of challenge leaves you feeling like you haven't accomplished much.

Evolution, Humans 3 - Lost in Time (can we add any more sub-titles folks?) is a game to be avoided. Unless you are one of the few people who are still running Windows 3.1 on your 386 DX/40, you can safely pass this game up for something much more entertaining. With poor graphics, apathetic music, mediocre gameplay with an interface that's restrictive and confusing, H3 is a waste of good plastic and paper. It's a shame that such a low quality game is being released as a game worthy of purchasing. We can only hope that another Humans game is not in the works.

-- Louis Stice
-- louis@psyber.com

System requirements: 386 DX/40, 4MB Ram, 8 Meg HD, 2x Cd-Rom, Sound Blaster or Compatible

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