Ratings War

by Eddy Webb

Science Fiction

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Number of Reviews: 2
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Not very original, lacks depth, August 21, 2016

I wanted to like this game: investigative journalism in a futuristic noir cyberpunk world, with a city in shambles and gang violence? I love Deus Ex, Urban Chaos, and all that kind of stuff, so I was excited!

Now, two stars might be a bit harsh, but the game unfortunately disappointed me in a lot of ways. First, the setting was unsufficiently developed to me: there were a couple of neat ideas, like (Spoiler - click to show)privacy laws having been made way stricter than our current day and age (how does that work? Does facebook still exist? Is there a special police for that?), but mostly they were skimmed over quickly ((Spoiler - click to show)global warming is merely name-dropped, no mention why there is such poverty or inequality or what changed in the world). To be perfectly honest, it feels like the game could have been set in 2016 without losing much : replace New Angeles by, like, Detroit, use small bluetooth cameras or Google Glasses, (Spoiler - click to show)talk about the Carmat artificial heart and I'm not sure it would end up very different. This is one of my biggest disappointments from the game, since I was expecting more from the setting.

The game is mostly linear, from what I saw and from the length claimed on the CoG website ; this means the replay value is not great (I got 80% of achievements in 2 playthroughs), but actually, even worse is that a lot of choices end up not being real choices. They might affect the statistics, though I didn't track that too hard, but a lot of times the few options converge to the same text a couple of paragraphs later. This took me out of the game, as I felt the decisions had much less weight this way and ended up not surprising me much. There are a few times where the games has actually very different outcomes; unfortunately I only noticed because the game was contradicting itself ((Spoiler - click to show)Katrina sued me when I actually didn't attack her and stayed on my chair, Tracey downloaded images when I didn't record the conversations with Parker or Sloane), which surprised me from a CoG game. So it kind of feels like a linear plot with no room for different playthroughs or choices, which is not great. Adding onto that, the plot itself isn't too exciting, and you mostly get kidnapped (seriously, 3 or 4 times over 10 chapters is too much) by someone guilty who then reveals their plan "but i'd like to keep that off the record". And last but not least, the writing feels bland and sometimes clumsy, not only because the setting is not very developed, but because the style itself isn't great; there's things spelled out that didn't need to be, and a few rather lazy descriptions: the red wine tastes fruity, the dark beer tastes nutty, the bad guy wears a trench coat, and there's literally a nondescript henchman!

Anyway, this was unfortunately a pretty disappointing experience; I would not really recommand this game.