The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure, also known as Perry Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim, is an adventure title set within the universe of the long-running German science fiction magazine/novella series Perry Rhodan. The game even sports the same protagonist, Perry Rhodan himself. In publication since 1961, with over 2500 issues of the original series released so far (with numerous spin- offs), and covering millions of years of history though time travel and immortal creatures, The Perry Rhodan universe is considered to be one of the most successful sci-fi settings. So how does the game cope with this 50+ years of publication and millions of years of in-universe backstory? Surprisingly well, at least from the perspective of this reviewer who has never read a single Perry Rhodan story. In a time of frequent reboots and re-imaginings, this hefty and substantial platform on which to base a game is appreciated.
In the original series, the main story-line starts in 1971 with the first manned moon landing by Perry Rhodan and his crew. Diverting from reality even more, they encounter an alien spaceship which contains advanced technology. Then, they return to Earth to share these technologies and strengthen humanity. As the series progresses, it covers pretty much every aspect of sci-fi from parallel universes to time travel and everything in between with the main crux being the relative immortality that many of the major characters are granted. The game incorporates this backstory terrifically and with the notable exception of the history museum, backstory is always given in small bite size chunks that leaves you wanting more.
The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure is set within the 3rd century of Perry's life. He is currently the regent of the League of Free Terrans. The game starts off with an attack on his headquarters by some unknown enemy who captures Mondra Diamond, Perry's love interest. As he investigates the attack, Perry quickly learns that it is somehow linked to the mysterious and little-known Illochim that Mondra has been researching and who appear to have disappeared from this part of the universe 10,000 years ago. What follows is an adventure spanning many planets and involving many alien races, where Perry discovers the mystery of the Illochim and the abduction of his love.
The puzzles are well done and work well within the equally well-executed plot. The lions share goes to a wide variety of inventory-based puzzles. The rest of the puzzles are made up of a special style of logic puzzle, which I would call puzzle through obfuscation. And what I mean by this is that the puzzle itself is relatively easy. The challenge lies in figuring out what the controls do and what the visuals/audio indicators mean. This puzzle style works very well alongside alien technology (of which much is present) and compliments the exploration aspect of any game very well. It is a shame that I see this style so infrequently. In fact, the only game that compares to The Immortals of Terra in this department is the legendary classic The Dig.
Matching the rest of the game, the visuals certainly do not disappoint. Whether the scene is in a Terran building or in a cavern deep below the surface of an alien planet, The Immortals of Terra impresses and is always excellently science-fictiony with its semi-3D fixed camera graphics and its classical sci-fi flair. And that is just the regular in-game graphics. In addition to these, there are the fantastic, almost Hollywood movie quality, cutscenes and one of the best looking interfaces I have ever used in any graphical adventure.
The one trouble I have with this game is how to rate it. By any scientific methodology this game would come out almost perfect (at least in my opinion), but there simply was not that spark of love that some games have given me. Still I loved the universe and really found nothing but great story, graphics, and gameplay within.