What I always liked about the Journeyman Project series is the feel of adventure they portray; like the very best works of Carl Barks and Keno Don Rosa; the painstaking regard to historic detail, the vivid locations and powerful atmospheres, the characters that succeed to be memorable despite the frequently cheesy acting, and story lines that can both stand tall on their own, and pays homage to the very best authors and works of the sci-fi/alternate history genre.
LoT has a few nitpick problems though; for one there are plot holes the size of solar systems. Usually that's not such a bad thing, it's just that the plot-holes in this case feel rather obvious and feels like they could easily have been avoided with a few more lines if dialogue (for instance, one of the characters somehow manages to jump not only thousands of years through time, but even from Earth to Saturn without a time-suit - no explanation given, though one can be guessed). It just makes the otherwise great writing feel sloppy at times.
There's also the lack of random interactivity you could find in the two previous games; LoT is more straightforward, more streamlined and more focused than its predecessors, and that's not always a good thing. I miss the feel of being free to explore and experiment beyond the puzzles and storyline; of just messing around with things in my apartment, of buying a fully licensed soundtrack in-game just because I can, or reading a full hyper-linked encyclopaedia about the future where most of the information has nothing to do with what happens in the game proper. The forerunners felt more exploratory in that not everything was associated with a puzzle, things were there because the developers felt like putting them there, just for the heck of it. This is what made especially BiT a remarkably immersive game for its time and genre. There is no true feel of randomness in LoT, no exploration beyond the beaten path. It feels a bit more like a very lite Myst game at times, rather than a Journeyman Project game, with less reading and less interaction than either of those two.
Still, there is room for some experimentation; you can try out different guises for instance and see how the denizens of the various eras react differently to each one. No, you can't interact with them disguised as themselves, or with no cloak whatsoever, but there is still fun to be had with the new cloaking system. And there's Arthur! One of the very best companions in any computer game ever (in my opinion), Arthur is both your friend, your translator, your resident historian and stand-up-comedian all at the same time. He is funny, he is fascinating, he is brilliantly well written and acted, and simply perfect in every way imaginable. After BiT, it wouldn't be Journeyman Project without him. He not only delivers upon the promises of a great companion character. He delivers extremely well.
So yeah, great game with a few problems, none of which are game-breaking, and most of which are just rants from an old fanboy. It is a much simpler, more straightforward game than its ancestors, and never really challenging. I think it is still worth buying and playing though, for the story (when it works - some fantasy may be required on your part to fill in a few blanks), for the incredibly well realized locales, and a great atmosphere. It isn't the lost and forgotten diamond of a game that BiT was, but it is still worth getting, and worth playing. A fine and playable conclusion to a magnificent series.
My score: 4.5 out of 6 - Great!
Post edited March 20, 2012 by Skystrider