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Theseis

A great deal of fuss about an old scrap of paper...

Who or what is Theseis? An ancient city? A magical spell? Or have the creators just misspelled 'Theseus' or 'Thesis'? Judging by the long, cinematic introduction to Track7's very first adventure, it's... a roll of parchment. And, considering the effort you'll be going through to get hold of it in this intriguing-sounding Grecian adventure, it had better have something better contained within it than a really good recipe for moussaka.

So, how exactly does the Assassin's Creed-style split between modern day action and ancient world backstory fit together? Well, the bulk of the game casts you as Andronicos, a handyman who discovers 'a fantastical machine' in modern day Athens, left behind by a recently-deceased and utterly crackpot adventurer. This inevitably leads to a long series of third-person dungeon-exploring, trying to find the precious scroll and uncover the dark secret of Theseis -and why it is that everybody, throughout the ages, is so keen to try and tuck it away in their pants.

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Paper Chase
Sounds... different. But here's some truth for you: despite a few epic action sequences and some genuinely gasp-worthy Grecian vistas, the visual detail of Theseis is looking decidedly ropy at the moment, with each character resembling a Jim Henson cast-off; certainly Andronicos himself, with his greasy ponytail, leather suit and body-attached torch, is going to be about as much of a threat to Ms Croft and Dr Jones' supremacy as Rayman.

But what the title does seem to be offering is worth its weight in ancient artefacts: deep, intelligent -even, whisper it, intellectual - gameplay. Like The Da Vinci Code without the draw-back of being connected to a potboiler, Theseis promises a massive, winding, unpredictable tale of scholastic discovery, with superior codes to crack, several different plots woven together and multiple endings, and just a dash of spooky monster-bashing thrown in for extra spice.

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