On October 19, 2023, developer Microids Studio Lyon and publisher Microids released the latest mystery game in the Agatha Christie series, which made its debut in 2006.
Welcome to the now
Murder on the Orient Express is one of Agatha Christie's most famous detective stories, which simplified the writing process of the game, as the narrative design team only had to focus on modernizing the context and setting, which is set in the year 2023. On a cold December day, Hercule Poirot decides to board the train to Paris, unaware that he will be involved in a highly complicated case. The entire adventure takes place in the third person, giving you the opportunity to see the world through the detective's eyes. The story of the Belgian-French detective is also enriched by a new character, Joanna Locke, who is inserted into the story to enhance the narrative. The presence of the new protagonist provides a brief change of pace and breaks up the monotony of the Orient Express.
The same gameplayThe flashbacks bring the investigations to life, precisely because they take place in a context that you wouldn't expect. The gameplay remains the same, of course. Poirot goes in search of clues and investigates details to finally link the various connections through a concept map that allows him to express his opinion and consequently solve the mystery. Each scenario is full of objects that must be analyzed before the solution to the puzzle can be found, in a very guided structure that, among other things, leaves no room for error. If you make a mistake, Poirot himself will tell you to try again. Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express asks you to get involved in the dialogs of the various characters, who never miss an opportunity to tell their stories. Poirot, on the other hand, has to prepare a special information sheet, as if a filing cabinet had found a place in his brain. It will be you who compiles the reports on the passengers, indicating the age, nationality and profession of the person you have spoken to via a drop-down menu with several answers. These are all links that will lead to the final solution of the case.
Modernizations through technology
As far as the narrative structure is concerned, the video game follows the original book and the numerous film adaptations, but deviates from the plot in some places to make use of characters added later. Each of them has their own setting, creating a chain of activities that almost distracts your attention from the main objective. A lot has changed since 1934, and the puzzles have had to be modernized accordingly, from cold storage problems to those involving smartphones, which Poirot is also equipped with. What's more, after the canonical ending of the novel, Microids has added another story that is wholly original; it's not a new case, but an appendix to the Orient Express story, which is sure to be an added treat for connoisseurs of Christie's masterpiece. The experience is very simple: everything that can be useful for the investigation is displayed on the screen and, as already mentioned, the solution phase is quite accessible.