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??!?!?!?!?!?...Not sure, January 24, 2023
This is a tough game to play. And I don't mean the forgiveness rating, which is Merciful, thank you.
This morning I go on IFDB and see that some new games were posted, two of which are made with a development system that I had never heard before, Construct 3. So, I gave this one a try. You play as Tamsyn Snyder, a god-like being (I think) set on a rampage during a pro-choice rally. Right off the bat, this game heaps on the violence. I was not even sure if I should review it, but I also donít want to shy away from controversial (I have a feeling this will be a controversial game, not that I am trying to make it as such) games either. I am stepping out of my comfort zone, here.
This is probably the most violent interactive fiction game I have ever played in both written content AND visuals. Especially visuals. Iím used to violence in the text, you know, parser, but Knight of the Living God embraces visual elements to tell this story. The game uses animated pixelated artwork that provide an engaging gameplay experience. I liked the bright colours. The result is a visually interesting game. In this regard, Iíd say it showcases the technical potential of Construct 3.
It is straightforward to play. You are traveling down a street with a lot of people walking along the sidewalk. You click and select a person to learn more about them and choose to either spare or kill them by swiping the screen. The only way to make progress is to kill. After enough people have died (I did say this game was violent), the game moves to the next stage which only increases the violence. Just when you think it canít get more violent, it does.
Knight of the Living God is offensive, gory, and shocking. Hateful, even. But also compelling, bold, with lots to think about. I think. I really don't know how to process it. There is no deny that it is unique. I always try to leave a star rating for my reviews, but quite frankly, I don't know how to rate it. Honestly, my impulse was to give it one star because it seems to be violent for the sake of being violent without a strong structure. At the same time, I wonder if I overlooked any smaller, more meaningful details. I just donít know. After playing it three times, I have more questions than answers. And I donít feel like playing it anymore.
Is this supposed to be satire? I can't even pinpoint the author's stance on the subject or the intended audience for this piece. If I were to guess, Iíd say that the author is promoting (or at least depicting, which seems clear enough) an anti-abortion perspective. I want to be careful because you donít want to assume that content in a game is an automatic reflection of the authorís perspectives, but this game seems to be heavily skewered towards one side of a debate. The final stretch of gameplay turns into an (Spoiler - click to show) active shooter with violent statements about religion. In fact, religion is probably the dominant topic. Themes about abortion take center stage, but the gameplay is all over the place.
Do I recommend this game? No. But I would not discourage you from playing it either. That is, unless you are sensitive to its subject matter (abortion, gun violence, depictions of blood, etc.) This game could really use a trigger warning at the beginning. It is an intense game where you have to know your own boundaries. That said, it is always good to see authors who are unafraid of making bold choices in their work. Just... proceed with caution, okay?