Shadows on the Vatican- Act 2: Wrath – Review
Follow Genre: Point and click indie adventure
Developer: Adventure Productions, 10th Art Studio
Publisher: Adventure Productions, Kis
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Shadows on the Vatican- Act 2: Wrath – Review

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Good: Great story, beautiful background art
Bad: Pixelated characters, lack of true options for dialogue
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After trying out Adventure Productions/ 10th Art Studio’s first installment of Shadows on the Vatican, we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into this next one. Mysteries are still abound in this holy place, so put on your thinking caps and join us again in the exciting, shadowy world of Vatican City. Just make sure you don’t get outsmarted by the bad guys!



James Murphy hasn’t exactly had the best of times in Italy so far. After finding out that his old friend Christoforo is missing, there’s a dead man lying on the floor in the apartment he’s staying in, and a scary woman pointing a gun at him. It’s only moments later that he’s told that she was assigned to murder him, but Silvia (the woman in question) has bigger worries than the doctor. In a terrifying realisation that she is being hunted, she understands that she must face the conspirator- and uncover a game of power where everyone is expendable. This means making an uneasy alliance with her ex-target to avoid death and to uncover the mysteries surrounding the Vatican- before it’s too late.

The story in Shadows on the Vatican- Act II is one of the biggest highlights of the game, for certain. There are lots of twists and turns to keep you completely invested in the tale, and nothing feels at all unbelievable. We can only hope that Act III will continue this high level of thrilling action.

Act 2 5


The graphics, following that of Act I, have varying levels of quality. Where this title shines is in its 2D cartoon-style cutscenes and dialogue between characters, which give the impression of a dark and mysterious comic book tale. Although the environments are static, they also look as if they are hand-drawn and are incredibly attractive- so you will really enjoy spending time looking around the various areas of Vatican City.

The downside of the graphics remains the character models. They are instead in 3D rather than 2D, and are incredibly pixelated, which makes them look terribly dated in comparison to the rest of the game. Perhaps a better idea would have been to use either the same 2D drawn style of the environment, or of the cutscenes themselves to avoid the jarring difference between a well-crafted backdrop and less-detailed character models.

Act 2 1


If you like dramatic music that makes you feel like you’ve just stepped into The Da Vinci Code, you will love the title screen music. It’s epic, tense and introduces the idea of a detective story really well. The sound effects set up the atmosphere in a great way too, and all in all get you excited for the coming game. It’s just a bit of a shame that the music doesn’t carry through into the game itself. For the most part, you’re just faced with the sound of footsteps and empty streets- where an unnerving score would probably be welcome.

The voice acting, although sometimes overly hammy at times, is also mostly well done and really add to the story unfolding before you. Overall, whilst sound doesn’t necessarily play a massive role in Shadows on the Vatican- Act II, what does exist is done well.

Act 2 2


Shadows on the Vatican- Act II: Wrath is a point and click adventure full of a variety of puzzles to keep you entertained, from working out lock combinations to tying knots- all whilst combining objects you find lying around in the environment. To pick these objects up, you must left click them to take them into your inventory, and right clicking on them often allows your character to give you extra information or your character will make a comment about it. Doing this will often give you clues on what to do next, so make sure you look at absolutely everything!

Combining (or even finding) these objects is no mean feat sometimes, either. To combine objects, you simply drag the first one in your inventory to the other, and it rather handily tells you if you can’t make a certain combination with a little red cross. However, it’s easy to miss these objects that are key to the plot, so keep an eye peeled in every environment you visit. With this aspect of the title, it would certainly have been helpful if there had been a hint system implemented so that you didn’t run in circles trying to find one particular thing, which- believe us- gets irritating fast.

Act 2 3

Of course, you need to interact with various people as well. Swapping between James and Silvia can mean that you get new or varied information from your adversaries, and you do this by clicking their picture on the left-hand side of the inventory at the top of the screen. When you do speak to people, you notice that you can get different options for dialogue- which gives the illusion of choice in the way conversations go. The reason why we say illusion is because the game actually forces you to retry dialogue options until you get the ‘correct’ one. It would have been nice to have multiple paths that you can follow, or even different endings depending on the options you have chosen.

Other than these two small issues, the gameplay is fairly pleasant and makes for something to get your brain working a little. In terms of the length of the game, we spent around three hours playing, which isn’t bad for a single episode of a title.

Act 2 4


Shadows on the Vatican- Act II: Wrath has some really great elements that certainly make it a title worth playing. The story will leave you wanting more, and hoping that the next Act will come soon; the artwork is gorgeous, and the voice acting mostly great. Although there are a few snagging points, such as the pixelated character models and the sometimes awkward gameplay, they don’t dampen the charm of the mysteries of the Vatican.

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