It's not really a review that I'd like to write, just a warm recommendation for a game which is easily the best I've played this year. It is blunt, for starters. That turns me on. Many of these types of games tend to "polish" the ascetics and the language, maybe to allow a wider audience (like children and people who are generally afraid of swearing in games). Personally, I find that, when done elegantly, use of bluntness both in language form and is graphical form increases the authenticity and the immersion the player has. I mean, if you wanna make a game look and sound realistic, you cannot have policemen not swearing :-) So this game really topped it in this sense.
The story is complex and leaves you wanting more. It reminded me a lot of Still Life, also had some elements that reminded me of Gray Matter (not surprisingly, Jane consulted the guys and you sense it). The soundtrack is really really good (though I'm a little tired of Scarlet Furies popping in every adventure I play, with all due respect!) The length of the game didn't really allow the depth of both characters and plot to go one step further, this felt more like an introduction - which was maybe the goal of the creators, since there are 3 more episodes to come.
It ain't perfect:
- firstly, I found it slightly too short. It is the first episode of four, but I think it is slightly pricey and therefore raises one's expectation of a longer game. (it took me two days to finish, roughly 12 hours I would say, and only used one tiny hint here at the forums ). However, better a short game that leaves you wanting more than the opposite.
- Puzzles are fair in my opinion, not the most brilliant or creative, and slightly too easy if you'd ask me. Also found one or two of them not very well designed:
For example, Erica mentions the recordings of Robert to Sully, even without having gotten them -- this was kidna spoilerish for me, since I didn't know I oughta get those recordings. Another example is that I guessed the subway station Robert and Sarah were at, and afterwards realized you can also look it up in her cellphone -- but Erica was still very excited to find that out, even though Robert was long gone from the interrogation room!
- The graphics are really nice and refreshing, but you need to remember this game was rather low-budget to begin with (Kickstarter goal was 25K which is like 5% compared to others). It does look really good despite that!
- I have no problem with it, but some of you might dislike the fact you can die, or that there are a couple of "action" scenes. Action still means point and click, and dying takes you 5 seconds before you died however, so I wouldn't want to skip on the game even if I did have issues with it.
All in all, I'm expecting the next episode! I hope lots of gamers here share the same thoughts and that the game succeeds in the market!
Thanks Katie and Phoenix Studio for this wonderful game!