WARNING: Spoilers that spoil things….you know
This game follows the story of multiple people who are involved with a serial killer, known as the Origami Killer. The killer seeks out fathers whom he feels are unfit parents and then and kidnaps the son. He puts the father through a series of severely difficult tests to in order to gain his son back. If the man fails for whatever reason, the boy dies. As the story slowly develops it shows how it slowly breaks people down emotionally and tests even the strongest relationships. The drastically depressing part is that you can absolutely control if they succeed or fail.
This is one hell of a experience in story telling. There has only been two other game that came out recently, Beyond: Two Souls and Telltale’s The Walking Dead, that has hit me this hard and has encouraged me to say this once again:
This is one of my favorite games of all time.
With that being said there’s very very little wrong with this game besides the occasional visual glitch or small cliche. Every piece of the story telling is intricate and well laid out. Every character, even side characters, have enough space to develop fully. It took time to explain nearly every bump and bruise in their life and why whatever character had whatever idiosyncrasy they were struggling with. By the end it’ll make you feel like you almost know each character personally.
The beauty behind the games story is that it has so many endings. It will keep you guessing the whole time, because every piece of detail determines the outcomes of various people in the game. It can get frustrating due to the amount of things that need attention, but it makes the immersive feeling that much more present. It’s like you’re some kind of demented puppet master and you’re pulling all their strings. Also it’s shocking how this one guy can con so many people into helping him do terrible things. I don’t think the killer is a psychopath, but he’s some kind of evil. He’s just a supped up douche who exacts revenge on something no one could have possibly been able to control. You also have the option of beating the shit out of him later in the game which is really satisfying.
The graphics are top notch and damn stunning. You can see individual droplets of water run down peoples face. You can see someone get gradually wet in the rain and then dry and still look damp. The lighting is always beautiful and sets the mood perfectly. There is the occasional motion glitchs, but they’re too hilarious to ignore. I don’t mind them since it brings some light to a really depressing videogame. Also this is a game that runs near perfect on the PS3, which made me wonder what the guys who made Fallout New Vegas was thinking.
The gameplay is pretty much hated by a good half of the people who play this game. I don’t mind it. It’s mostly quick-time events that are meshed with either quick problems solving or a kind of pick and choose motion. One notable event like this was where the main detective, named Norman Jayden, almost has his ass handed to him while looking into a murder cover up. A guy who’s trying to cover up the murder instigates a fight and the real time puzzles follow suit. There are puzzles that require some problem solving, but usually require things within grasp and basic logic.
If you fail you can either continue or start over anywhere in the story. Its kinda fun to start over after seeing how much detail they put into each scene, even the UGLY death scenes. I love this forgiving nature, but at the same time it proves NO challenge half the time. In most adventure game you carry a dozen items. Unfortunately you can either lose a item or never pick it up in the previous scene, thus screwing up future events. However it has a impact on the story so you can often continue without them, but you might not get the results you wan in turn. This is one of the things I was thankful for since you virtually can’t screw it up like that. Sure you can kill main characters but it still influences the outcome rather just giving you a “game over” screen. Then the game usually gives you a achievement for whatever. I honestly don’t understand the system. It seems if you can do anything and you can get a achievement.
On top of that it’s a lot of talking with multiple choices. Each character has a different reaction and give the characters their interacting with a real-ish feel when dealing with them. Sam Douglas did a great voice over for the main antagonist. His sleepy performance pretty much vocalized how that character really just wasn’t there. Pascal Langdale gave a really good performance as a Dad who would probably be clinically depressed after all this drama. He only had two lines that I thought sounded strange. Yes, one was where he was yelling for his son Jason. Judi Beecher was really really good. She’s probably one of the best female voice actors I’ve heard so far. It sounded genuine and I don’t remember listening to any of it and thinking how it sounded horrible or nothing like the character. This usually happens when a voice artist is stuck in a booth for 10 hours a day and yelling, screaming, crying, or whatever and then their voice doesn’t have time to recover. This happens a lot in the industry, unfortunately due to time constraints or untrained people decided to be voice actors. Leon Ockenden and Aurélie Bancilhon are the only two I had a real problem with. Ockenden sounded like he had trouble pulling off a American accent sometimes. It showed in some of the police department scenes. Bancilhon seemed a little canned or inexperienced. It wasn’t too noticeable until it came to the really dramatic scenes, like when her character was crying at someones tombstone. The emotion felt hampered. Other then that everyone did rather well.
This is one of the games that I consider near perfect. You are in complete command of all characters and its up to you to determine the ending of the story. Also since it has 20 or so endings many will be playing this for at least a few years. The graphics are near perfect. The story, although dark, is so well crafted that it breaths life into the old Noir genera and relies off nearly no cliches in order to tell the story. Everything packaged together is a really strong emotional trip into the terror of a child killer.
Quantic Dream please make more games.