Memento Mori is a third-person perspective adventure dealing with art theft and international intrigue. In it, you control an Interpol detective named Lara Svetlova and an ex-forger named Max Durand. After some paintings get stolen from the Hermitage Museum in Russia, you’re put on the case, and your inquiries take you all around Europe, including France and Finland. Unfortunately, while the game has some similarities to the Broken Sword series of adventures, it is not nearly as thoughtful or as fun to play, and it gives international intrigue a bad name.
Memento Mori has two main problems. The first is the pace. Early on in the game you discover that some monks are behind the art thefts -- but then nothing happens in the investigation for a long stretch after that, and all you do in the meantime is fiddle around with your cell phone, fetch coffee, and do odd jobs for your co-workers. At the end, all is revealed, and the solution is pretty interesting (and I think could have supported a better constructed game), but it’s not enough to make up for the hours of boredom that lead up to it.
The other problem is the puzzles. Aside from two halfway decent puzzles where you have to figure out a combination lock so you can open a door, the puzzles are all easy, and they only require the most basic of inventory management skills. For example, when you start out in the game you have to find your cell phone (in your coat pocket), then find a charger (on a counter), and then find a wall socket (behind a trash can) so you can charge up your phone. That’s about how complicated the puzzles get, and it’s also how related to the investigation they usually are.
On the brighter side, the engine works well enough. You left click to move your character, you left click or right click to interact with people and objects, and you press the tab key to see all of the hot spots on the screen. The graphics are also nice but not great, and the voice actors do a reasonable job with their lines, so everything is in place for a good adventure, once Centauri Productions comes up with an involving story and some halfway decent puzzles.
But overall, Memento Mori is sort of a snoozer. I had trouble playing it for more than an hour without it causing me to nod off, and while I found the ending to be intriguing, it wasn’t enough to make up for the basic puzzles and the basic dialogue, and the lack of interaction between the lead characters (surprisingly, they’re almost never on screen at the same time). So I’d recommend that you pass on Memento Mori, unless you’ve struggled with every adventure you’ve ever played, and you just want one you can solve.