Ok, lets dispense with some
downsides upfront. The game isn’t pretty, no matter how hard it tries,
and some of the voice acting is ordinary to say the least. But it isn’t
(too) ugly, and plenty of games have ordinary voices, and those things
do not mean the final product can’t be positive.
So what of Bohemian Killing?
I have to confess to just about
being a fan.
The game’s biggest strength is
its intriguing premise. You are in the dock in 19th century
Paris, facing a charge of murder and the guillotine if convicted. The
evidence is laid out, what happened when, and you are eventually asked
to testify. This is where things really begin.
Lest you think you are going to
prove your innocence with a withering cross examination and summation of
which Clarence Darrow would be proud, you aren’t. What you are going to
do is lie your face off and manipulate the evidence in order to mislead
the judge into finding you innocent. You are going to do that because
you/we know you are guilty – in the first scenes of the game you arrive
at the relevant apartment, draw your dagger and slay the victim, a
fountaining blood spray accompanying your handiwork. So you did it. What
you need to do is credibly shift the blame somewhere else.
Your testimony will effectively
take you back to the night of the event, and you will “play” through
that night in a way that will hopefully get you off. You have access to
information setting out the key events, the time they occurred and the
evidence against you. You will also find defence evidence in the game
world, should you look carefully enough. You can talk to a limited
number of people, but some are important. A conversation might gain you
access to a room or a piece of information you can use.
As you play you are giving
testimony by narrating to the judge what you did. This includes matters
of significance, which may occasionally lead to the judge popping into
the game world to discuss, to the very mundane (“I walked up the
stairs”, “I opened the door”). You could argue the latter should be done
away with, but seemingly innocuous activity might lead to something
anything but, for instance, “I knocked on the door”. While it is hard to
see how walking up the stairs or looking at the artwork might be
significant, I am not prepared yet to rule anything out.
Lest you be wondering, on
several playthroughs I have yet to be found innocent. I have kept my
head on my shoulders, have also had it lopped off more than once, and
even escaped, but have not yet been exonerated. Some googling indicates
other endings which are intriguing indeed.
In a throwback to some older
games, time is important. So if you need to discredit a witness, it
might help being where he/she was at the critical moment. Check your
event times and check your watch, and advance time if needed by engaging
in certain activities (a book might indicate that reading it will pass
10 minutes). If you choose to utilise attorney assistance, he will also
pop up alerting you to an upcoming event. What to do though, and whether
you have done it, is another matter.
Bohemian Killing does seem to be
a little more forgiving than some older time notorious games, but I say
that without having a successful outcome (ie not guilty).
One thing you can’t do is reload
an earlier game at a certain point and try something different. The game
saves for you, and while you can exit and resume, you only play one game
at a time. So each playthough is discrete, and if you want to change the
last thing you did, you have to play again. That may or may not be a
Based on my attempts, a
reasonable start to finish is an hour. However I did do one in about 10
minutes – I simply said I went home and went to bed, and as a result had
my head chopped off.
Some may well find its construct
frustrating, possibly even infuriating. But it isn’t the same as a lot
of other current games, and despite its down sides, I remain intrigued,
and committed to getting off.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 16GB DDR3
Video card: AMD
Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
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