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The Orion Conspiracy - IBM PC (1995)

by Kurt Kalata - September 6, 2011

American Cover

Many PC games in the mid-90s desperately tried to handle mature subject matters, and practically all of them failed with varying degrees of spectacularness. The Orion Conspiracy is a standard point-and-click adventure that fumbles around aimlessly and tackles the subject matter about as well as a sub-average soap opera.

You control Devlin McCormack, who has recently lost his son Danny during an accident in deep space. After flying to the space station Cerebus to attend the funeral, Devlin receives an intriguing note - the death was no accident, and Danny was actually murdered. Eager to not only track down the killer but to piece together the life of the son he never really knew, Devlin begins investigating and uncovers the titular conspiracy for himself.

The story is a pretty standard murder mystery with a sci-fi twist - nothing terribly interesting. Its drabness has to do with the setting - space stations should be awesome, but the Cerebus is perhaps the most boring one imaginable, filled with identical dark, gray corridors and laid out in such a confusing manner that you'll spend half your time looking at maps and figuring out which elevator to take to which section of which floor.

The Orion Conspiracy

Outside of the violence, the "mature" themes come in when Devlin eventually learns that his son was gay, an issue never before tackled in a computer game. Alas, it doesn't have any real effect on the plot. The language is also salty and often quite silly. You can, for example, walk up to a female crew member and she'll volunteer tales of her sexual exploits in great detail. You've met but seconds before, and it's absurdly inappropriate. It also doesn't help that the voice acting is consistently terrible, with British actor Patrick Mower, who supplies Devlin's voice, providing some awful readings of what is already some pretty lousy writing. (The butchery of his son's eulogy is on the levels of William Shatner.) Combined with the silly puzzles (freeze a rat to distract the bartender to steal his pie) that contrast badly with the overtly serious nature of the plot, The Orion Conspiracy is alternatively excessively boring and hilariously awkward.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Divide by Zero

Publisher:

  • Domark

Genre:

Themes:


The Orion Conspiracy

The Orion Conspiracy

The Orion Conspiracy

The Orion Conspiracy


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