Still Life - Official Website

Victoria McPherson is a brilliant young FBI agent who's investigating a serial murder case in Chicago. The body count is now at five and she has no real leads, nothing but a mountain of circumstantial evidence and a boss who's breathing down her neck.

In order to take a break from it all, she decides to visit her father in the suburbs. Their discussions involve family stories which include Victoria's grandfather, who used to be a private investigator. This leads Victoria to read one of her grandfather's old case files, a file which reveals an uncomfortably high number of similarities between a seventy-five year old case in Europe and the current string of killings in Chicago...

Take a deep breath and enter Still Life.

Features:

  • Adventure Game of the Year Developers!
  • Available on PC and Xbox!
  • Compelling scenario set in modern Chicago and late 1920's Prague, this 3rd person perspective, investigative puzzle-driven adventure introduces logical problem solving mixed with a complex and highly involving storyline to completely immerse the player.
  • Play as two characters: Gustav (Gus) McPherson, returns from ‘Post Mortem’ in lengthy flashback gameplay sequences triggered by his granddaughter, Victoria MacPherson, reading his diary of his time spent in Prague. Gus was a Private Detective turned painter, and Victoria is an investigative police detective. Her current Serial Murder case is tied in a twisted and incredible plot to the Prague case that Gus solved too many years before
  • Opportunity to investigate the crime scenes of gruesome serial homicides and to solve challenging puzzles finely integrated into the storyline
  • Beautifully detailed environments, deep and intriguing characters
  • Breath-taking cinematics reward the player throughout the experience of playing Still Life
  • Numerous interesting NPCs to interact with which triggers story elements
Game Chronicles takes a look at this bold new adventure game with an exclusive GCM interview.

GCM: Thank you for your time! Please get us started by introducing yourself and telling us about the team behind Still Life.
Mathieu Larivičre: Hi, I’m Mathieu Larivičre, lead game designer and writer of Still Life. Now, the team which I’m very proud to have been apart of: Jean-Francois Pelletier worked on Post Mortem as project manager and is now doing the same thing on Still Life. Former animator on Post Mortem and Syberia 2; Elspeth Tory, is lead animator on Still Life. We have Stephane Cyr as lead integrator who was doing the same on Memorick, The Apprentice Knight. Terence Chiu is now lead programmer on Still Life and whom I have worked with in the past on Tennis Master Series. Finally Hubert Corriveau and Jacques Marcoux shared the role of lead artist on the project.

Still Life was very fortunate to have the best-assembled integrator team ever imagined. Let’s put it this way, if they were a hockey team they would make the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team look like posers. As for the animators… they rock! Thanks to them, Still Life has motion and action never before scene either in-game or in cinematic cut scenes. The programming team made what seemed impossible actually happen. Last but not least, the art team who made the Syberia series so breathtaking made Still Life even more beautiful with an eerie atmosphere.


GCM: Can you give our readers a brief synopsis of the story in Still Life and how it influences the gameplay?
Mathieu Larivičre: There are two settings in the game. The first is set in modern Chicago. In this setting, we get to play Victoria McPherson, an FBI agent who’s been assigned to help local law enforcement with a serial murder case. She heads the task force with the help of Detective Miller, Claire Ashby and Officer Tate.

The second setting is in Europe in the late 20s, more specifically in the city of Prague. You get to play Victoria’s grandfather Gus McPherson, a private investigator. Gus takes on a serial murder case. Ida, Gus’s girlfriend, brought the case to his attention. Gus is alone but meets some very interesting and mysterious characters.

The general gameplay (point and click) is unaffected by the different settings. However the puzzles were greatly affected by the two stories just for the simple fact of difference in periods. Our puzzles were thought up to match story and time. We went to great lengths to achieve this and I think the design succeeded.


GCM: PC games ported to the Xbox are generally met with some skepticism. What steps have been taken to ensure the console experience is as good or better than the PC?
Mathieu Larivičre: I wouldn’t include all PC games. I know that the adventure genre has had a lot of trouble on the console market. When I refer to adventure games I’m not referring to titles like GTA, Resident Evil or any FPS like Half-Life and Doom 3. For some reason people think these are adventure games. They’re not. I don’t know why, but the industry is having a hard time categorizing games. I think the real problem is controls. When we think of console we think controller and on PC we think mouse and keyboard.

In Still Life’s case the PC version is very mouse driven which the FPS genre can sympathize. For Still Life, we believe we’ve brought controls that will please console gamers simply because we’ve studied a lot of console titles so we could be on the same level as the console gamer, “speak the same language”. Now whether or not console gamers will actually sit down and listen to a story rather then blowing stuff up is another story and I’m not being condescending, I like to blow stuff up too.


GCM: What single element of Still Life differentiates this game from any other adventure game that has come before it?
Mathieu Larivičre: The story and the way it’s presented is very different than what we’ve seen so far in any adventure game. This was the driving force behind Still Life all the way down to its puzzles, cinematics, and narrative structure. I don’t think the subject matter has been done before either.

GCM: There aren’t a lot of “Mature” rated adventure games out there. Was there a single moment during the creation of Still Life when you knew you had “crossed the line” to the “M” rating?
Mathieu Larivičre: We were already across it. When I first thought of the story I knew it was “M”. Just the serial killer subject matter is certainly not an “after school special” theme.

GCM: Many adventure games seem to feature the same puzzles with only minor variations. What have the designers done to create some truly unique “brain teasers” for Still Life?
Mathieu Larivičre: Like I said earlier the two time periods helped us design puzzles that were different and somewhat original. Modern day Chicago offers technology and science whereas Prague offers a more “classic” type adventure game puzzle. They were carefully integrated in the storyline.

GCM: From what we’ve seen so far, the visuals are quite stunning with a blend of gothic and modern architecture spanning two diverse cultures. What did the designers use for their inspiration in creating the game world?
Mathieu Larivičre: Anything that John Douglas wrote, but more specifically The Anatomy of Motive. His books are an absolute must if you ever create a murderer as a character. There were a lot of movies that inspired us but the one that was the most referred to was undoubtedly Se7en and for the look and general atmosphere it would be The Ring. There is an Internet site I have to mention; www.crimelibrary.com, which was an important source of information on various homicide cases.

GCM: Please tell us about the audio portion of Still Life in terms of atmospheric sounds, musical scores, and voice acting.
Mathieu Larivičre: We know that Still Life needs great music to keep players on the edge of their seat. Fortunately, we had terrific musicians that gave Still Life just that! The people who scored Syberia 1 and 2 are back for Still Life. They composed the music for all the cinematics and handled all the in-game sounds. We have Tom Salta, who will handle all the ambient in-game music, which will chill the spine of any thriller fan. As for voice acting we are very happy to have Sara Leger back with us (played roles in Post Mortem). She’s responsible for bringing Victoria a great voice and personality.

GCM: Still Life promises a captivating story. About how long do you expect the adventure to last for the average gamer?
Mathieu Larivičre: For the average gamer a focus group gave us about 12 to 15 hours.

GCM: Does Still Life feature any branching plotlines or possible alternate endings that might entice gamers to replay the game once they finish it?
Mathieu Larivičre: No, it’s an “a” to “z” story. Still Life will however keep you at the edge of your seat, that much is certain.

However, the universe of Still Life contains infinite possibilities and one can never truly say whether it will be fully explored. Several other storylines will be available to players with the extended reality experience; you can rest assured of that.


GCM: Thank you again for your time! Do you have any last impressions or thoughts for our readers?
Mathieu Larivičre: I hope you enjoy playing Still Life, I know we enjoyed making it.