An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
- Jan 12, 2004
- Black Goat Woods !@#*%&^
I just played the free prologue of this and picked up the full game based on what I saw.
Atmosphere is strong. Pixel art looks like pixel art, but the camera work and lighting give it a sense of cinema.
Example: the camera drops back to a long shot as the protag takes the pedestrian overpass to his apartment building:
Does not do the traditional adventure game inventory / combine items / moon logic stuff. The protag does not carry around a broom handle or steal a roll of masking tape in case he might need them later. Instead, the currency for moving the story forward is information, gained by examining the environment and conversing with the cast. A constant, rolling autosave is used, meaning there are no do-overs in dialogue.
The rubber meets the road in the "Sheets" system, which is a fancy way of saying the game quizzes you periodically to see if you are paying attention. Each "Sheet" is a multiple choice test. Example: based on available evidence, was a rifle shot more likely fired from a nearby hotel or a neighboring casino? You get one chance to answer - and screwing up means consequences down the road. Rolling autosave.
A review I read indicates that consequences are substantial, allowing for strikingly different endings and story pathing. So far I have only seen two "Sheets" and passed them both. The game seems easy for anyone with basic reading comprehension, but still, knowing that any mistake will be permanent and might change the outcome is exciting. Who knows, it might get harder later on.
Lastly, I find the protag relatable, and critically, not annoying. He's a fairly typical burned out guy having problems connecting with his ex-wife and daughter, cliche enough but I warmed to him immediately. Although most dialogue is not voiced, I've enjoyed the classic noir internal monologues so far, which are.