Jekyll & Hyde Review

It is 1890 in London and Dr. Jekyll is now managing an asylum, his days of experimenting with the dark side of the soul behind him.  His new life becomes shattered, though, when one of his patients escapes and takes Jekyll's daughter hostage.  Now Jekyll must race against time to gather the missing pieces of a mysterious medallion that he needs to exchange for his daughter's safe return, and he just might need to call on Hyde again to help him accomplish his goal.

This interesting premise is the setting for the game Jekyll & Hyde, an action/adventure game from DreamCatcher Interactive.  This storyline is combined with a very unique look that makes the game appear that it was sprung from the mind of Tim Burton, except with a lot more color.  Bizarre looking characters, strangely shaped rooms and objects, and odd colors give the game a unique and surreal look.

Unfortunately, despite its unique concept and look, Jekyll and Hyde falls short in just about every way possible.  The first problem is that the game is very difficult to control.  In fact control issues become a problem right off the bat because the game defaults to joystick control by default, and many players will begin the game unable to move or do anything else, without any idea what is wrong.  Should they figure out that they need to configure the game to accept keyboard input, players will find that things have not improved much at all.  Character movements are awkward and difficult to control.  Jekyll can be made to move forward or turn in place, but he turns so quickly that it is often difficult to point him in the right direction.  You can all but forget trying to turn while running, as it becomes impossible to send Jekyll in the right direction.  This problem becomes even more frustrating when trying to maneuver Jekyll through the many ledges and platforms appearing in the game.  When you are playing as Hyde, this problem is only slightly alleviated, as Hyde's greater jumping ability reduces the margin for error somewhat.

All of the control issues are compounded by the game's terrible camera control.  The camera swings wildly about at times, and can give even those with the strongest of constitutions a slight touch of vertigo.  The camera is also strangely slow at swinging around corners, so you'll often round a bend and find yourself being attacked by an assailant that you can not even see until the camera decides to mosey on along and bring the enemy into view.  The camera also has a tendency to get stuck behind walls and other objects, leaving you to guess where your character is currently located.  At other times you'll need to make a leap or move along an edge into the camera, without being able to swing it to bring your destination into view.  This all too often leads to a fatal fall as you attempt to blindly move ahead.  The game does allow you to rotate the camera, but many of the times you really need to do so the game won't let you, fixing the camera in a useless position.