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Mozart Requiem Review


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died way back in 1791, but his legacy as a composer continues to live on and now, would you believe it, he’s even the protagonist of a point and click adventure. Indeed, Mozart Requiem has emerged, which is actually a revamp of the scarcely released title Mozart: The Conspirators of Prague from 2009. Is it a classic deserving of preservation, or does Mozart Requiem deliver a performance to forget?

Much like Mozart’s final work before his death, Mozart Requiem feels unfinished in many ways and makes me ponder how bad the original must have been if this is a revamped version. 

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The story begins in 1788, with Mozart residing at a Prague inn ahead of a showing for his opera, Don Giovanni. Things don’t quite go to plan however, soon becoming tangled up in a power struggle and conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor Joseph II. With secret societies involved and murder afoot, Mozart is up against it if he’s to prove his own innocence whilst also saving his benefactor, the Emperor. 

Considering the fact that this is essentially a murder mystery, Mozart Requiem comes with a surprisingly bland narrative that struggles to ever get going and by the time it does, you’re almost halfway through. Even then, the bland conversations and generally terrible voiceovers will have you pleading for it to be over. Without meaning to offend those voicing the roles, there are those that sound laughably bad as if they’re Looney Tunes characters, which isn’t quite in fitting with the overall tone of proceedings.

The adventure unfolds across eighteen chapters, with over thirty hours of gameplay to supposedly get stuck into. I would argue there’s less than half of that after weighing up the few puzzles and mini-games that are included within each chapter. That’s still pretty decent, until you realise most of the time spent is you just not having a clue how to advance or solve the problems at hand.

The bulk of it is down to illogical inventory-based puzzles, but there’s also a real lack of direction or any sort of tutorial for mini-games. Focusing on the inventory bit first, and in the interest of fairness, there are solutions which absolutely make sense like filling a boiling pot with water and placing it on the fireplace. On the other hand, the only way to convince a pigeon to vacate your room is to combine wax with embers, then add the resulting product to a flute, to then use it as a tube to extract water from a fountain. Additionally and rather irritatingly, when you attempt to combine two items, depending on the order you select them, it may not work. Sounds fun, eh?

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As for the mini-games, though frequent enough, they mostly need a little explanation accompanying them. I do like that the majority of the puzzles are very on-brand and have musical elements; for example, using a conductor’s baton to follow a circle around the screen to keep the music going, or arranging musical notes into their correct places on a score. Unfortunately, such moments are ruined by a sluggish baton that cannot keep up the pace, inconsistent hit detection boxes for interactions, or a lack of sense. 

Brace yourself, for it’s time to discuss the visual aspect of Mozart Requiem. All the characters are presented in 3D upon a 2D background, which looks completely ridiculous. Both are outdated, but janky character models appear to be from a different dimension and do the horribly blurry environments no favours at all. As Mozart walks about, it’s as if he’s on the prowl for a fight and when stood still, he’s leaning forward like a fella after too many pints of lager. 

There are a few more issues to get off my chest, starting with a scene where a dead guy is lying on the floor whilst also being sat playing the piano at the side of the corpse –  a weird and accidental homage to Schrodinger’s cat. It’s full of strange glitches though, seeing Mozart merge with iron bars and his esteemed colleagues, even if only temporarily. Furthermore, there are the inconsistent subtitles that often have errors, not quite matching up with what’s actually said. I could go on listing issues, including a game-breaking bug, but you get the idea.

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Let’s end on a good note by moving onto the soundtrack. Despite not being a classical music aficionado, I’m reliably informed that the wonderful pieces of music featured throughout are officially licensed Mozart compositions. They’re great accompaniments and naturally fit well with the setting.

For all the criminal behaviour in Mozart Requiem, the biggest crime here is charging more than thirty pounds for what is a poor attempt at a point and click adventure. The puzzles tend to not make sense, the mini-games are baffling, and the story is both slow and utterly boring. Visually, it’s terrible and full of bizarre glitches, among the many other problems outlined. The music is good though, but maybe listen to it on Spotify or something.

If you’re a fan of Mozart, don’t sully your opinion of him by playing the mess of a game that is Mozart Requiem.

Mozart Requiem is available to buy on the Xbox Store

James Birks
James Birks
Been gaming casually since the SNES as a youngster but found my true passion for games on the Playstation 1 (the forbidden word ooo). My addiction grew to its pinnacle with the purchase of an Xbox 360 & Xbox Live Service. A recovering GS hunter that will still play literally any game.
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