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Doctor Lautrec And The Forgotten Knights review

Is this the new Layton?

Lautrec does have a lot in common with Layton. He has a young sidekick, there's a policeman trying to interrupt his investigation, the dialogue scenes look almost identical and the plot is progressed by solving puzzles.

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However, the gameplay goes in a somewhat different direction. While Doctor Lautrec and his young assistant Sophie are trying to discover the hidden treasure of Louis XIV, a huge chunk of The Forgotten Knights is split into three-part missions.

First you accept a challenge, which comes with its own treasure map, and figure out the location in Paris the map relates to. Once you find the right one, you have to navigate through that location's underground maze, avoiding the police and solving puzzles to unlock doors. Finally, once you reach the treasure, you have to fight its spirit in a turn-based battle.

Frown Of The Underground

Each part develops its own problems. Finding the treasure's location inevitably involves walking to the blue areas already marked on a map of Paris, watching a cutscene in which the Doctor and Sophie decide whether it's the right place or not who then look for a little symbol if it is.

You don't get much say in trying to decipher the map and you can feel a little left out at times just watching the two of them chatting and essentially doing what should be the most interesting part of the adventure without you.

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The underground sections are also underwhelming. Each maze involves the same sort of stealthy guard-dodging, block-pushing stuff, chest-finding gameplay, and by the time you've played through just a few of them it'll start to feel repetitive.

The only variation to be found is in the locked doors, each of which have a puzzle to solve in true Layton style before you can proceed. Even these start to feel samey, though as many are of the same type.

I Choose You... I Suppose

Once you make it through each dungeon you're thrown into an RPG-style turn-based battle with the spirit of the treasure. You have to use spirits and gemstones (found while exploring each dungeon) to defeat these enemies by placing them on different stone pedestals. The brief tutorial informs you that there's a strategy involved in how you place your items in relation to others, but leaves it at that, meaning many of your early battles tend to be a case of trial and error until you find something that works.

The Forgotten Knights has clearly had a lot of time, care and attention spent on it - the voice acting is top-notch, the fully 3D animated sequences are nice and there's enough content to keep you occupied for over 50 hours.

The similar puzzles we can deal with, but the refusal to let you figure out treasure maps for yourself and the deep-end dunk of the battle mode lead to more frustration than we'd have liked.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the Christmas issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is on sale now. For more in-depth analysis and screenshots, buy the magazine here.

Want to discuss this Doctor Lautrec And The Forgotten Knights review? Comment below or go to our Reviews and Buyer's Guide forum. Like this game? Here are some more reviews of games similar to it that you might enjoy.

Professor Layton And The Spectre's Call review

Pyramids review

Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure.

Comments

12 comments so far...
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  1. zelda97 Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 14:50

    At first I thought this was just a Layton ripoff but now, that I have heard more about this I think this might be a great game after all.

  2. jimbob555 Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 14:51

    A real pity! I was looking forward to see this do good!

  3. zelda97 Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 14:56

    A real pity! I was looking forward to see this do good!


    same. :(

  4. imbusydoctorwho Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 15:35

    A real shame,I was really looking forward to this.
    Might get it if it's under a tenner in months to come.

  5. ploiper Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 16:13

    i still may get it at some point, it still sounds like it will be quite fun.

  6. issun1412 Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 16:42

    SOLUTION! only play it for a couple of hours then leave alone for eternity.

  7. zelda97 Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 17:27

    SOLUTION! only play it for a couple of hours then leave alone for eternity.

    HAY. It might not be to bad, you can't just buy a game then never play it again. Think about it, if you where a game stacked on a shelf and you where dying to be bought, you won't like it if, when you where bought, that sombody put you on a shelf or in a draw never to look at you until they were having a clear out so they chuck you out into a disposle heap in the cold to be fogoten for eternity, never seeing day light ever again, you get peed on by dogs pooed on by cats, and all you can do is think about how misrable your life is and then to top it all off, you get incinerated by the machine that created you: Mankind.

  8. killganon Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 18:45

    ignore this review and buy the game

  9. Stachenscarfen Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 19:37

    Ha it's like a terrible mix of Professor Layton and Indiana Jones.

    Pity Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle couldn't have the dialogue parts like that, you know in 2D, the way it use to be or for us the way it still is (in Spectre's Call). They changed something that was already brilliant in to something that doesn't look good at all and they didn't even need to change for it work on 3DS or anything like that.

  10. ninjafox Sunday 27th Nov 2011 at 15:17

    It is a real shame to see Doctor Lautrec only get 69% as the previews in ONM pointed towards it potentially getting 80% or higher. Obviously though you couldn't tell the game was going to get repetitive until you played the whole game. Maybe it will end up selling well and Konami can sort out the problems for the sequel.

  11. 08boatfg Monday 28th Nov 2011 at 13:10

    in a word: dissapointing

  12. kingeo Tuesday 29th Nov 2011 at 13:46

    It might not be professor layton but it's still a good game and at least it does not take 2 years to come to europe with half the content

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