Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren

Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren

Mac and PC

THQ

Friends are great when they give gifts, but giving me a computer game is like trying to cure a heroin addiction with cigarettes…

Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren is set sometime during the Pirate Age when jolly fellows like Blackbeard ravaged the Caribbean in search of “booty.” The player’s job is to preserve his own booty, protect good guys, kill bad guys, and find out why someone is killing off a pirate gang who called themselves “the Brethren.” The Brethren, we learn, through the eyes of a thin-wristed, ne’er-do-well of a youngster named “Nicholas Dove,” plundered the high seas for cash and prizes, which they’ve hidden somewhere on an island fortress. However, the fair Nicholas must first join a pirate gang himself, requiring that he prove himself as “good enough” to risk having on board ship. In the course of earning a position, Nicholas must learn to fight, eventually besting his teach, a hearty, big soul named Lyle and solve a few puzzles. He also must avoid being killed by these ubiquitous hooded assassins who are systematically hunting down and killing the remaining members of the Brethren.

Brethren members, in addition to being crazy, lusty pirates, each boast a gnarly tattoo of a giant octopus or kraken-like thing on one of their arms. And whenever the assassins strike, they take the tattooed arm with them; one of Nicholas’ tasks is to find out who is the arms collector…

Basically, Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren combines elements of 3 in 3 , any one of those shoot-em-ups out there, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and a PG-13 Disney pirate film. For those who remember, 3 in 3 was an early color Mac game where the player solves a variety of puzzles, ranging in complexity from pretty easy to nearly-impossible. In Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren , Nicholas must solve similar puzzles, that, when solved, allow the “adventure” to continue. Combat-wise, the tender Nicholas must learn to fight and defend himself with a sword, gun, cunning, and subterfuge. Someone like me, who prefers chess to just about anything else, might be bored by a combination of Duke Nuke’Em and a homegrown HyperCard game, but this was not to be: the player interface made up for any possible disinterest a typical shoot ’em up might have registered.

Playing Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren is about as close to participating in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean one can get. I never felt so intimate with computer game characters before. And the graphics are amazing 3-D mock-ups that are so real… Hey, the good guys make better friends than some humans! You can really talk to these folks and they really talk back! They bleed when you strike them, too. The only downside to it all was that there’s only two female characters, neither of which you get into the sack. Also, “Nicholas Dove” is so scrawny, I was waiting for him to get gang-raped while in jail — which doesn’t happen.

Good gore and hours of wasteful excitement abound in this 3-CD, 3-D swashbuckler.

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