What do you do after STASIS
while crowdfunding your next game? Design a short little return to the
STASIS universe, using a new graphics engine, then let people have it
for free. Really.
You can read my
review of STASIS here. If you weren’t sure whether STASIS would be
for you, well, CAYNE gives you a chance to see, for whatever it costs
you to access a download.
It is the same grisly, gruesome
isometric environment, and the tone is set right up front. Hadley is in
a shiny hospital, about to terminate a pregnancy. Next thing she wakes
up somewhere completely alien, much more pregnant, and with a monstrous
being and a giant machine about to harvest her uterus. The scalpel to
hand seems like a good way to start taking control.
The objective is to get out of
wherever she is. It is a dark, dystopian mad scientist sort of place.
Hadley is great. Pregnant and
barefoot, scared but determined. She is where she is, it has be dealt
with, so she gets on with it. She isn’t a super heroine, far from it,
but she behaves heroically by just pushing on. There is a touch of
Ripley about her.
Very early on she starts
conversing with a voice she can hear, someone who also doesn’t know
where he is or what has happened. He helps draw her on, and the
conversations with him provide the vehicle for finding out a lot more
about what makes Hadley tick. They can be poignant, introspective,
mundane. Just not being alone makes a difference.
Especially in this place.
There is blood, there is gore.
Clearly there were horrific experiments. Something not human might still
be alive. Hadley learns about these things through PDAs she accesses as
she progresses through the facility. Information in the PDAs also sheds
light on Hadley’s place in things. There is quite a lot of reading, but
none of it should be avoided.
The reading also contains a lot
of information you will need to progress. Some is obvious, some not so.
I backtracked and reread some PDAs more than once, especially when
trying to solve the last puzzle. Backtracking between locations is
necessary anyway, but read carefully.
Be warned; it tells of grim
things, less than wholesome predilections, sexual behaviour and can be
profane. Among other things. Ditto the scenes, and some events
As with STASIS, puzzling is a
blend of out and out puzzles and inventory utilisation. As with STASIS,
it isn’t brain bustingly hard, but nor is it all straightforward. Some
inventory combinations eluded me, but they often do. By and large I had
an objective, and generally an idea of what to do. It was working out
how I needed to figure out.
I did die once, but I am not
sure if it could have been avoided. It may have been a necessary trigger
for being able to determine the way forward. I will have to replay to
know. However I didn’t die through the sort of misadventures that beset
me in STASIS. That doesn’t appear to be a characteristic of CAYNE;
indeed, two explosions at least should have killed me, but didn’t.
The game is point and click
driven, and you can save whenever you like. There is no action element,
in the sense that you have to do things quickly or you fail/die. There
is some great action though, delivered through some excellent cutscenes.
You can’t skip dialogue should you want to read along with the
subtitles, but the voice acting is excellent so why would you? It took
about five hours.
Hadley’s story is an involved
one, and for me a compelling one, and the ending is the type of ending
it demanded. If you have played STASIS, it will give food for thought
about how events fit together. If you haven’t, it will give food for
For me, CAYNE was preaching to
the converted. I loved it.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz
RAM: 32GB GDDR5
Video card: AMD Radeon
RX 470 8192MB
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