Sentient (video game)

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Sentient
Sentient.jpg
European box art for the PlayStation release
Developer(s) Psygnosis
Publisher(s) Psygnosis
Platform(s) PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, MS-DOS
Release PlayStation
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

Sentient is a first-person adventure developed by Psygnosis and released on the PlayStation in 1997. It was also released for the PC the same year.

Story[edit]

There has been a breakout of radiation sickness on Space Station Icarus. The player character has been sent to investigate. After arriving at the station, it becomes apparent that radiation is only one of many problems; the captain is dead and a power struggle has ensued. To make matters worse, Icarus is on a collision course with the Sun and nobody is able to correct the station's course.

Sentient takes place in real-time. The player's actions in the early part of the game determine which path they will travel through later on. Which members of the crew are spoken to and what they are told plays a strong part in the plot's development. The player's performance through the game determines which of the nine endings they receive.[2]

Development[edit]

The game was developed by Psygnosis' external Chester Studio and Pompeii Studios[3] over 1995-1997.[4] The characters in the game were based on facial scans of staff at the studio.[citation needed] The Windows version supports 3D acceleration, but only using the Matrox Mystique and the Creative Labs 3D Blaster.

Early in the game's development, Mitch Gitelman of Pompeii Studios stated, "The organic transmission of information was one of our primary design goals, along with logical, nonlinear plot developments. Gossip and information transmission between computer-controlled characters takes the multilayered scenarios down many different avenues. It is our hope that this human interaction system will allow for maximum replayability without compromising the many stories in the game."[3]

Reception[edit]

At the time of release, the PS1 version of the game was praised for its ambitious gameplay and realism but was criticised for its complicated controls and difficulty from the start. It received a 6/10 rating from Official PlayStation Magazine. The character who forces you to be stunned upon arrival at the ship was voted #47th most scary in PlayStation monthly's top 100 scariest villains.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grazer (1997-04-20). "PlayStation Mega-Sale". Newsgrouprec.games.video.marketplace. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  2. ^ Robertson, Ed (1997-04-17). "Sentient Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  3. ^ a b "Letters". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. February 1996. p. 192. 
  4. ^ "Sentient". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 74. Sendai Publishing. September 1995. p. 84.