Largo Winch: Empire Under Threat

Adventure 2002 Windows Akella Third Person

Sub-par mix of Batman, Bond and Metal Gear

Winner of the award for perhaps the most bizarre videogame hero name, the original Largo Winch is an intriguing and rather obscure third-person stealth/actioner that was based on a Belgian comic book, sort of a cross between Metal Gear and XIII. It told the story of a playboy billionaire and crime fighter, Winch himself, as he got caught up in a complex terrorist plot. This sequel is a similarly largely unknown game and provides some amusingly dated action for the undiscerning retro fan. The plot is the usual sub-par James Bond-style nonsense and which requires Winch to save his business empire under threat from outside forces but which proves entertainingly silly thanks to its globe-trotting nature and exotic locations and characters. The game itself is a mix of third-person adventuring and action, mixed in with stealth sections and a fair smattering of puzzles. These are generally quite interesting, but are rather on the easy side thanks to some overly generous signposting which gives things away, but the game does fall down with the inclusion of several tedious hacking scenes which really do prove frustrating. The visuals are quite strong in a slightly dated fashion, with some nice environments and character design but there is a certain sense of amateurish-ness to the dialogue and voice acting which does make the game feel cheap. The controls are fine and the story rattles along at a decent pace but unless you are a Belgian comic book fan or obsessive collector, there is little to get overly excited about here.

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