The ill-fated mansion of deranged toymaker Henry Stauf has been left to corrode and decompose for 70 years. However, the ominous silence only concealed the deadly legacy of madness and, when a journalist named Carl Denning arrives to search for his missing lover, the malignant past and undying forces are brought back to the real world. From the second you enter the mansion, every moment is filled with horror. Three mysterious women are your only guides as you try to escape the haunted house.
The 11th Hour, the much-anticipated sequel to record-selling adventure horror The 7th Guest, follows the path of mystery, desolation, horror and grotesque logic set by its predecessor. It is one of the finest examples of blending cinematic sequences with a 3D environment. The 11th Hour, in a fashion similar to The 7th Guest, features 22 wonderfully pre-rendered 3D rooms that took almost three years to craft. This challenging interactive story offers a wide array of games, puzzles and quests wrought by the twisted mind of the legendary Henry Stauf. Will you unearth Old Man Stauf’s fate at last, or seal your own forever?
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: MATURE with Suggestive Themes, Realistic Gore, Realistic Blood.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7, 1.8 GHz Processor, 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended), 3D graphics card (NVIDIA, ATI or newer Intel devices) compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), 2GB HDD, Mouse, Keyboard.
Compatibility notice: The game is incomatible with older Intel graphics devices. Only GMA and HD-series cards are considered compatible.
Posted on 2012-02-06 22:06:18 by BeorntheBear:
As with most sequels, The 11th Hour suffers from trying to outshine its predecessor by doing something completely different while failing to retain the essence that made the first one great. Instead of relying on the exploration of Stauf’s mansion to tell the story as you witness past events, discover clues, and solve puzzles, the story of The 11th Hour is provided throughread more FMV cut-scenes players unlock by completing puzzles and locating items. The gross majority of these scenes take place outside of the mansion to supply background information on the person you are trying to find and the mystery she was trying to unravel about Stauf. Unfortunately, it disrupts the feeling of being immersed within the story and serves as a constant reminder you are being helped by someone on the outside who could probably call for help at any time. These design changes for the game mechanics and storytelling transitions the series from a suspenseful tale of horror into a detective mystery.
The 3D rendered graphics are fantastic and make exploring the mansion feel like a whole new experience. It is thrilling to walk around where you’ve been before anticipating what has changed and how, what has stayed the same and why, and what new rooms will you discover. Thematically, searching the house at night using your flashlight is creepy and sets the mood. However, since you cannot control where you shine the light, it also eliminates the opportunity to appreciate how much detail and effort was put into creating each room. You have the option to play the game in black and white, but most of the puzzles remain in color and the juxtaposition is distracting.
Moving through the mansion feels awkward when compared to The 7th Guest. Whereas before you would glide from room to room or item to item creating the sense you were physically moving, in The 11th Hour most of your movements snap from one place to another similar to Myst. If there were a time limit on the game (as the title may suggest), then streamlining how the player moves throughout the house would make sense. However, the title is just a gimmick and the eleventh hour has no bearing on your progress through the story.
Unfortunately, the game suffers the most from the poorly done FMV sequences (the acting and production in Night Trap was better) and shallow plot. The relationship between Carl Denning and Robin Morales is forced and superficial, leaving no reason to believe he would actually go searching for her in the Stauf mansion—why not just call the police. And since the FMV scenes are narrowly focused on the details surrounding Robin’s disappearance, you learn more about the people in town than about Stauf or his mansion. The worst part of the storytelling resides in the multiple endings, which only cause you to wonder “Why did you need to enter the mansion at all?”
Overall, The 11th Hour transmuted a captivating psychological horror experience into a cheap B-movie with puzzles. If you can look past the bad acting and forced storyline to focus on the puzzles, then you might want to consider this game. Otherwise, purchase and play (or replay) The 7th Guest while Trilobyte continues working on their third installment of this series.
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Posted on 2012-03-01 10:52:26 by JMScion:
This game was the first to ever seriously scare me. I was seven years old watching my dad play The 11th Hour when a cutscene of a women's face shifting into some horrible bug-eyed monstrosity freaked me out so badly I ran upstairs and wouldn't touch the computer for weeks. Naturally, this game would never have that kind of effect on a kid raised on today's games, but it still holdsread more a darkly comedic appeal, whether or not most of the comedy is intentional.
This game's predecessor, The 7th Guest, was no doubt a spooky game, but also a rather PG one, with cartoonish characters and a mostly pristine mansion that looks like the dollhouse of a psychopath. The 11th Hour steers the series deep into the macabre. The host mansion is now a dark, rotting mess loaded with bloody surprises and gruesome traps. The designers really put a lot of effort into giving you the impression that something horrible happened in every room you step into (and could happen to you). As in the previous game, the primary focus rests on puzzle-solving, and unlike other adventure games you may have played, the puzzles are not necessarily integrated into the environment, like trying to start a broken generator or anything. Rather, you're retracing the steps left by the mansion's insane owner Stauf, who left deliberate puzzles throughout the house, some of which can be brutally difficult and lengthy to solve. This gives the game a rather anarchic structure: There's no logic to the puzzles thrown at you, so each one tends to be radically different from the last.
The story of the 11th Hour is also a strong departure from The 7th Guest, and this is were most fans of the short-lived series jump ship on this game. The developers went for more of a contemporary mystery story this time, and the result is an FMV-heavy narrative with the aesthetics of an early-90's TV crime drama. As you solve puzzles in the mansion, you unlock video clips that offer you a glimpse at what's happening in the outside world and lead you to solve the primary mystery. The cutscenes are just as poorly acted as in The 7th Guest, but since this game doesn't have its predecessor's cartoonish charm, it's harder to forgive the performances. Still, anybody who survived the cutscenes of the 3DO days should appreciate the accidental hilarity the actors offer.
The 11th Hour is a controversial title no doubt, with fans of The 7th Guest urging players away from this sequel. But on it's own, the game has a wonderfully unique macabre atmosphere while retaining the spontaneous puzzles of the original. Perhaps it is difficult to like both games (I personally thought 7th Guest looks too much like a Saturday Morning cartoon), but if you want a spooky, cerebral adventure into darkness and decay, the 11th Hour is worth the trip.
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Posted on 2012-03-09 14:53:18 by letishaquantez:
This is by far the best re-release of 11th Hour (it was previously available from dotemu, who didn't truly offer a framerate / compatibility fix) - this appears to have its own shell and works absolutely perfectly on both Windows XP and Windows 7, with the original intended framerate - I can't thank you guys enough!!
The game itself is a slightly more frustrating variationread more on The 7th Guest; some of the puzzles where you actually play against Stauf are maddeningly difficult (not to mention the unforgivably difficult "furniture" puzzle). Nevertheless, the game is good fun if you enjoyed 7th Guest, and the story wanders quite a bit, but all in all it feels great and has that neat early 1990s feel of 'pushing boundaries' via CD Rom. Thank you GoG for another perfect release!!
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