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Friday, February 29, 2008

Those expecting the typical lame action game based on a hit TV show (see "Alias" or "24") will be surprised by Lost: Via Domus.

Ubisoft worked closely with the creators of the hit ABC show "Lost" to craft a classic adventure game filled with puzzles, answers to the show's rich mythology and an occasional action sequence. Designed for fans of the series, this game puts players in the middle of the action as Elliot, an original character who is a fellow survivor of the crash that stranded passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 on a mysterious island.

With amnesia from the crash, Elliot has his own story that unfolds through seven chapters of the game, which lasts about a dozen hours. Flashbacks, so vital to the show, are interactive in the game: Elliot can walk around in his memories (including a sequence aboard Flight 815 before it took off) and snap photos to unlock clues to his past. On the island, Elliot interacts with central characters from the show, including the survivors and the strange Others.

Although next-generation graphics bring each character to life, only six actors from the show provide voices. The voice-alikes are a mixed bag, and those that don't work can hamper your enjoyment.

Elliot's adventure takes players to locales familiar to fans, including the hatch and the survivors' beach camp, but also allow gamers to explore new areas. Mysteries will be solved along the way as the show's creators reveal new things about the first three seasons.

The challenging puzzles drive the narrative. The game features action and exploration elements, including a journey through dark caves and a frantic run from the dreaded black smoke. The look and feel of the series is enhanced by an original score from the show's composer, Michael Giacchino.

This is one game that lives up to fans' expectations.

-- John Gaudiosi

Lost: Via Domus Teen; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ($60); PC ($30) Ubisoft Lost: Via Domus Teen; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 ($60); PC ($30) Ubisoft


© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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