Anachronox was an RPG produced by Tom Hall and Ion Storm Studio (the makers of Deus Ex, Daikatana and Thief: Deadly Shadows), published by Eidos Interactive and released around June 2001.
The story is about...guess what? Anachronox!
Anachronox is a small planet inside a giant artificial satellite called "Sender One".
The planet is home of a lot of alien species and humans, but while the northen part of Anachronox is a "nice" place to live, the southern part is crime ruled and full of slums and misery.
Our main character is Sylvester "Sly Boots" Bucelli, a detective that runs his agency in a bar's storage room in South Anachronox.
Being a laxy ass, he has no luck in finding himself a job and the first thing we see of him is being punched and throwed out of the window for being unable to repay a debt he has with one of the local crimelord, Detta.
|Our hero, ladies and gentlemen: being beaten by a dwarf with sunglasses in the first 2 minutes of game...no, seriously!|
Other characters includes Fatima Doohan, Sly secretary who died in an accident years ago and now lives as a digitalized life from inside a special PDA, called "LifeCursor" that acts also as the mouse pointer in the game (ok, that's just awesome XD), Grumpos, an old schoolar with a bad attitude and the longest beard in the universe, PAL-18, Boots personal modified robot and many more for a total of 7 playible characters.
|Some of the characters|
There are a lot of things that makes this game special, first of all, the gameplay: it's a successful experiment of mixing western RPG with j-RPG, taking the best of both styles.
In Anachronox you can explore big cities and dungeons, receiving missions from NPCs and it's up to you to decide how to complete them.
One example? At the start of the game, you can meet somebody who's searching for his father murderer, asking you to search for his house address; you'll eventually find that out, and you have the choice to tell it straight to the orphan lady so she can make justice on her own, or you can advice the murderer and let him run away, either way, you'll get rewards (and doing a special trick, a double reward, but you must discover it on your own XD).
So, where is the j-RPG part of the gameplay? Well, unlike most western RPGs, here you have an Active Time based battle system, like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger to mention some.
Your party will engage enemies when they'll find them on the field (unless they're not trying to ambush you!) and fight with their weapons and special attacks when their ATB is full.
You can also move on the battle field to escape from enemy melee attacks or to hide from their ranged attacks, but since the movement takes one turn, you have to choose wisely when to do it.
At the end of the battle you receive EXP points, items and eventually level up, just like ordinary j-RPGs.
|The battle result screen|
The graphic of the game is quite good too, since it uses a modified Quake 2 engine to give characters improved facial expressions, movements and great quality textures (even if sometimes they lack on most NPCs and some locations) but it's overall an awesome visual experience.
Let's not forget about the sound, dark tunes but also energic ones, and great battle themes...here for you, the Main Theme!
The game was critically acclaimed when it was released: the great combination of two different role play game styles, a great sci-fi/cyberpunk adventure and subtle dark humor made the game famous and it's recognized as one of Ion Storm studio best games...but, unforunally, the game wasn't a commercial success and the planned sequel was cancelled, leaving the game ending with a big cliffhanger...
We don't know if a sequel will be released in the future (Tom Hall said that he really wants to make a sequel and already has the plot written and that, if he'll not be able to make the game for the 2020, he'll release the plot script on his website), but for now, we know that you can play this awesome game on your PC, since GOG.com recently released it on his website and you can buy it for 5,99$
Don't miss it, this awesome RPG needs love, a lot of it ^^