this is the first Daedalic Entertainment game i've finished and... actually regretted playing.
This game has the potential to be a fun, enjoyable game. Puzzles, tricky areas that would not be the automatic response and even an additional level of depth to point and click that allows for pop-up actions (more about that in the negatives.). As always with Daedalic Entertainment, it's beautiful to look at and tha characters are... more or less believable. They make sense and seem easy enough to relate to. Daedalic Entertainment have also coined a 'hold Space to show Items you can interact with', this has made me so much more likley to buy one of their games just for that aspect alone! the character animations, although simple and repetative, always seem mostly in place and with exception of a few moments (if you want to pick) usually look perfectly fine and don't break immersion at all.
However... the entire game paints the image of 'the world is ending, it's climate change but you can fix it'. at no point did I feel hopful for the characters.
We're dealing with an aeged man who has ruined his relationship with his family, estranged his son and apparently made very little effort to fix that. you're also playing as a person who, during the entire game I was expecting to turn out to be lying to me and was unfortunatley not dissapointed. The 'good guys' turn out to be... well... kind of pathetic, sad and myserable people that I didn't want to even think existed, let alone play them for the whole game. The antagonists were rather unbelievably over-evil (MWAHAHAHAA! I WILL PAVE OVER THE WORLD TO MAKE A GLORIOUS SEAL-SKIN CAR-PARK!) and the storyline rather felt overly preachy...
The entire cast were unpleasant in even degrees... in fact, the person I liked the most was a doorman with an anger problem and a complex about his baldness!
The general gameplay is point-and-click with the occasional puzzle. The puzzles were good and mostly self-explanatory, but the point-and-click was point-and-hold-aim-and-click for everytbing... that took extra time that was not needed when right-click-to-examine and left-click to walk to, pick up, adjust etc. would have sufficed.
The right-click for inventory was not actually needed at any point and could easily have been removed entirely and replaced by having the inventory there all the time. the only time it became needed to quickly open your inventory is if a game-event had closed it for you.
I did not feel like I had anyone on my side in the entire game. When i'm playing as him, i'm waiting for her to ♥♥♥♥ him over. When i'm playing as her, i'm waiting for us to do something strange and un-kocher.
The son, he was downright unpleasant. The old-friend from work was needlessly suspicious and came across as kaniving in places. The best-friend seemed... well... i don't know all that well beause i was honestly expecting him to mess us over too! he was too nice compared to the rather unpleasant crowd we were already in!
I can't complain enough about the worst of humanity in this. We have cheaters, liars, mercinaries, needless aggression, paranoia, disbelief, angst and all the other shades of things you don't want to spend an afternoon immersed in.
The storyline of 'time travlers come back to fix the world' is great. I was all for that! the idea of them coming back from a climate-desolate wasteland is a perfectly stable platform... what fails however is that they drop a plot-twist on us that... well, let's face it was rather un-needed!
"we came to this reactor to stop it blowin up!" becomes "we came here to blow it up"... umm... why?
Honestly, it boiled down to 'grab that stuff and run for it!'. the machevilian "let's tell the goodie all my plans" was old before this game was made and really made the ending of this... a total mess!
I've seen twist endings, back-track endings, not-as-you-expeted-it endings, the-goodie-is-the-baddie-is-the-goodie endings... but the sudden change of heart makes your one character seem totally heartless or a derranged sociopath, the baddie is... let's face it, totally insane for his plans and the other baddie is desperatley in need of a lead-lobotomy!
"it's ok, we reconciled this kid with his father and even managed to bring his sexuality into it almost out of the blue without any apparent reason"...
what have we resolved here? One character we were really not that set up to like has got fame, another character we probably should not dislike this much is going back to killing himself with over-work and his son, who needs to get a grip for most the game, is all right now?
you might as well have written "and they all lived happily ever after"!
Oh, but it's ok, that person who let themselves get baked in radioactive steam instead of getting into one of the many easy-to-access doors on that level left you a picture to remember how she and all the other people you met from her time betrayed your trust, nearly got you and your family killed, killed off one of your oldest friends, destroyed most of your life's work and... should I go on?
The ending felt forced, bolted on and almost irrelevant to the rest of the game. The problem was that whole areas of the game had the same feeling.
"this is a great big conspiracy" why? everything points that way. Everyone says it's an accident and refuses to talk more about it... soooooooo? Why was everyone acting needlessly suspicious? No apparent reason. One person takes it to their grave and the other betrays you brutally without any kind of apology.
I actually felt miserable finishing this game. The gaming completionist in me refused to step away, but I was damn close! had the ending not appeared when it did, i would not have finished the game.
"No matter how beautiful the weapon is, it will hurt no less when turning against you"
Technical bugs were rife in the game. Many areas had options that were not translated. clicking on one item to examine blinked the subtitle and played no audio so if there was any useful information there, i missed that
There are parts where the subtitles run off in the FMV but the audio has not even started.
The dialogue overlaps itself, jumps pitch and volume mid-sentance, often lacks the correct inflection for the mood it's used and sometimes comes across as just plain wooden and eerie.
One moment, i'd be listening and the voice sounds warm and involving... while describing an inane object... then to describe something important, it sounds cold and emotionless? the mixed signals in this were easy enough to overlook, but when it changed pitch, volume and feel mid-sentance? split-personalities or bad dubbing...
There were miss-spelt subtitles, incorrect words and sometimes, the wrong used entirely.
Top it all off with the common feel of mid-eighties cartoons where the baddie just wants to make a new motorway or spill oil into the sea and realising that they might as well be brow-beating you for having the light on. Honestly, i would not have been surprised to find that this was endorsed by an extremist wing of a climate change activist group!
Yes, we get that nuclear power isn't the best, let's all feel damn sad for this. now, how dare you have multiple monitors on. We all poison every living thing in the woods for no particularly well-explained reason. Deforestation, fossil fuels, melting ice-caps... Anyone remember this from school?
I DO care about the environment, I'm happy to recycle, I proudly turn off lights and electrical devices not in use and rarely use more than what I need... I don't need a game to make me feel guilty for the environment change.
I would urge point-and-click enthusiasts to buy ANY Deponia title instead of this. If you want somethin a little more serious, buy 'night of the rabbit'. Daedalic Entertainment deserve all the support they can get, but this game is going to a special place in my "games I regretted playing" list.