Hot damn, I finally get to review an adventure game! Next to space shooter games, this is my most adored genre. I've played them all, from Monkey Island and Kings Quest, to Gabriel Knight and Day of the Tentacle. As the nineties labored on I begrudgingly accepted the genre's transition to 3D with games like Broken Sword III, and now the once-mighty adventure genre is going the way of the evening news paper and SARS. While there definitely were a fare share of time-wasting piles of I-can't-believe-this-is-a-Kyrandia-game, I always gave them a chance before speaking ill. I cannot find a single thing to say in favor of Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller. Not as bad as Quantum Gate (if you've never heard of Quantum Gate, only look it up if you've swallowed poison and need to get it out!) but still without an iota of originality or fun, this thing should be avoided like Bird Flu (I love you H159!)
Hell's story is one for the books alright; in a future America ruled by the oppressive Hand of God regime, a portal to Hell has opened on Earth and demons run rampant looking for sinners to cast into the fiery bellows for pure pleasure. As sexy as that may sound it's "brought to life" in such a tired and predictable way you really won't want to see the story play out. In fact, I hope I've aided in scaring some of you who considered giving this worthless load a chance...in hell! (I also love you, cheesy pun!)
Of course, all the standard conventions apply; the Hand of God forbids new computing technology, books, singing, dancing all willy-nilly like an idiot (my favorite kind), etc. So, the futuristic dystopia stage is set, it's nothing but slow, plodding characters and grating spoken dialogue until you commit Hari-Kari with the disc itself.
The game is played by selecting either Gideon Eshanti or Rachel Braque, two officers who's job is to suppress new technologies. Essentially, all you will be doing is watching poorly-animated characters jabber on and on about things you really don't care to hear until a new location appears on your map for you to travel to and listen to the same dull dialogue spoken from a new poorly-animated character. Sure, there are objects to use, sort of, and you can kind of explore your locals, but not in the true spirit of the adventure game. I would venture to say that this game alone was the first and final nail in adventure's modest coffin. The game opens with a horrendous musical number about going to hell, which nearly converted me to Christianity alone! If Hell is really as bad as that song and accompanying CG sequence, I'll pray to ANYTHING to save my eternal soul from another minute of it! Total Garbage!