I like a bit of dystopian cyber-punk, and Neofeud has strands of many
of the best examples of the genre. However while it tries hard, it didn’t
really quite do it for me.
The year is 2033 and sentient robots have arrived. They are neither
saviour or oppressor, but “humanity's unwanted bastard children”.
Most suffer from operational defects, making them “legally
conscious but unhirable” doomed to a life of neglect and limited
social welfare, many ending up in prisons, many more in The Pile.
Which is where we find Karl Carbon, once a cop, now a social worker.
For failing to shoot an unarmed humanoid when ordered, he now spends his
days doing what he can to make any sort of difference. Which isn’t
But opportunity knocks in many guises. The one that visits Karl’s
door is far more likely to chew him up and spit him out, his cyber-arm
The look is likely the first thing that will make an impression. Its
shiny and raw, flat and unpolished yet rather effective. Dystopia should
probably look a little like this. Some settings make more of an impact
than others, but all have the same style.
The voice acting was the next thing I noticed, and across the course
of the game and the myriad of characters it ranged from not at all bad
to not very good. Karl is in the first category, which is a good thing
given he is the central character, but Proto-J who comes along later and
plays an extended and pivotal role (and whom you can occasionally play)
verged on high pitched hysteria. His less than salubrious background and
“occupation” may account for that, but coupled with his homey “dissin’
my peeps” vernacular, I found him grating.
The characters can look a little stuck on, especially when moving
about. They move their legs but can glide sideways and even backwards
getting from here to there. When engaging them in conversation, a close
up of the head of the speaking character will pop up to assist in
The plot has an abundance of twists and turns and intrigue and lore,
and a little simplification wouldn’t have hurt. Rich is one
description; overly convoluted would be another. It has a lot to say
about a whole lot of social and political issues prevalent today, but
they tend to get a little overwhelmed by each other. However, and while
it can be a little preachy, it is always good to see a game prepared to
speak up and make a statement. It does so with a sense of irony, and a
good dose of passion. There are numerous references to popular culture
and the entertainment world, and a few pokes at the genre itself.
It can be wordy, but if you read faster than the character speaks you
can click to the next bit of dialogue. There are also some action
elements, one that might frustrate some players. It doesn’t require
twitchy reflexes, but will likely result in a few deaths before you get
the sequencing right. The other action sequences just require you to
work out what to do; again, you might die doing wrong things but there
is no timing or similar involved. Just don’t do the wrong things!
Some of the puzzle solves can also be fiddly, and as a result
frustrating. Landing at The Fulcrum, a giant floating palace for the
overlords, stands out.
The puzzling isn’t all that difficult, being inventory and
conversation based. Look around and talk to people and you will likely
keep things moving along. Which doesn’t mean I wasn’t stymied at
times, just that trying a few more things or looking a little more
closely was what was required.
It is point and click through and through, and right clicking will
cycle through your action icons (look, walk, use, talk). Move the cursor
to the top of screen to view your inventory, where you can examine and
combine items. Late in the game this is also where you switch between
three playable characters. Save at will, and tweak a range of volume
settings in the menu. I haven’t mentioned the musical score because I
turned it to very soft (a personal preference rather than a comment on
the quality). Ambient sound is equally able to be turned up or down, and
does its job well.
I got about 15 hours of play out of what I understand is largely a
one person show in terms of writing, art and animation (plus a few
voices). Regardless of my overall impression, I enjoyed the experience
and my time with Karl.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz