The Slaughter: Act 1
The Slaughter Act 1 casts you in
the role of Sydney Emerson, a low rent private detective who starts by
finding dogs but gets drawn inexorably into the seedier crimes of
Ripper-ish London. It's retro blocky point and click third person, a la
Wadjet Eye Games. The surrealistic little dream sequences added a nice
counterpoint to the real world events. No spoken word and everything
read, some sound effects and musical accompaniment, it was trundling
Until I got to the Shove
Which is a real pub game, with
rules and elaborate boards and which no doubt involves skill. As there
is, according to Google, no national governing body, local variants of
the rules abound, and therefore one plays the rules that exist in the
pub you happen to be in.
Which in this case is an
establishment called The Crimson King. In need of an item, Sydney is
compelled to play the game in order to proceed.
Colour me churlish if you will,
but this little interlude of "skill" almost had me abandoning the game.
I didn't like it and it wasn't fun. I am up for a challenge, but the
margins of error are small here, and when the opponent just happens to
get the three results it needs to come from behind and win the game, you
do start wondering how fair the contest is.
Nonetheless I persisted, and I
eventually won in the end. I understand from another review that if you
lose often enough the (main) game will let you progress anyway, but I
can't tell you how many times that might be. I understand from Steam
that the maker has no intention of patching the game to skip this
contest, but has added a button enabling you to back out of the game at
any time, rather than having to play it to a conclusion.
It did leave a sour taste, but
to be fair, the game got going again, picked up its pace, and rollicked
through to the end of the Act.
I liked Sydney, a typical noir
PI, with an eye for the ladies and a drink or two. Not surprisingly, we
first encounter him being soundly beaten at the behest of a local crime
lord, a beating that only relents with the intervention of Alice. What
follows is in the best noir traditions, and we end the Act with Sydney
fleeing a murder scene, wig askew and his dress flapping in the breeze.
The bit in the middle you can find out for yourself.
Puzzling is generally
straightforward, involving finding and using items. Question everyone,
explore everything, and keep your eyes open and it should progress at a
good pace. The arm wrestle is probably the most convoluted solution, and
includes the need to do what you need to in the short moment your
opponent is distracted, but if at first etc, just distract him again.
The Slaughter is well written,
occasionally witty and somewhat dark, or as dark as pixelly graphics
will allow. I confess I enjoyed the image in the last crime scene, one
that would have been far more grim in the "real" world. It clearly has
the point and click traditions at heart, and for an Act 1 it ended well
– I want to examine the bloody page found at the scene, but don't feel
like things just shuddered to a halt for the sake of being episodic.
Here's hoping Sydney returns
before too long, and that he doesn't feel the need to play any more pub
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
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