Date: Monday, August 15 @ 19:43:06 EDT
Topic: Adventure Game Reviews
a review about a game that's left quite an impression. Also known as "Tension", this title delivers that special something that we're after when it comes to play adventure games.
Allright so I saw that there was this game called The Void and that it takes place in the land of the dead. Sounds fine, it's always interesting to sink into one's version of the afterlife, at least in the form of a game.
So after I launched it and saw the non-informative introduction, I appeared in the dream of HR Giger, a world of grey, on planes of sorrow and walleys of the unknown. In this place full of stone, dead roots and alien architecture you are informed about the sad fact that you descended from the land of the living into this Void, which is kinda serves as a purgatory. You should only passing by here to your eternal slumber but lucky for you, not all is lost as you manage to acquire a heart, a container of colors. Which is quite useful because as you soon learn, color is the material of life here, the thing that separates you from sinking into "absolute death". So what's the whole point of the game? Well.. I don't want to ruin the story, so let's just say that your main objective is to stay in existence (I aVoid (!) saying "alive" on purpose) and explore the Void in the meantime. Finding out how to get back into life would be nice too, but we're not sure that it's even possible here.
Now we got to the part where I have to define the genre of this game which is not that easy as this one is a little bit of everything. It's an adventure, fps, survival horror and.. something that I can define as material management.
You walk around collecting color in any way you can to feed your soul with it thus mantaining your existence. You need to revive trees, growing gardens, opening mines of color so you can harvest them and support your life. Color is the only tool for you to interact with everything in the Void, mostly by painting runes in the air useing your mouse. You can throw color at you enemies, donate it, it's even the fuel for traveling. Sounds like a nuisance to maintain enough and it is, especially in the first part of the game. And while mines gives you plenty of color, when you're looking for deposits in a mining area, this game makes you stare at stone walls for seemingly no reason, which I didn't like that much.. Sometimes it's hard to spot them and you have to search every part of the chamber as they can often be found in the least expectable places. But that's just one thing, actually this game can let down a lot of people because it's dark, unfriendly, has a difficult start and some crazy hard boss fights. I mean some of them are pussies but you'll be cursing the Pangolin and especially the Worm. Seriously battling the Worm was difficult as hell, but kinda enjoyable too in a strange way. I found myself starting all over for the 4873ö7638ö9327634th time but still without bothering too much about it. You can fight with an array of skills, useing color to harm your foes by launching homing projectiles that travels both in air and ground while shielding yourself from their attacks. You can place magnets that draws away or repulse their missiles or place landmines that explode when touched or triggered. Actually the combat is rather fun you just need to exploit the weakness of your enemy. And don't forget to use the color that is highlighted on their wheel near the up-right corner of your monitor for double damage.
Of course there are other a much peaceful charaters in the game (at least for the time being), and they're usually flooding you with their witty whispering. Those Sisters are only covered with glowing petals of flowers and soon they will be butt naked. And as you obey their demand to quench their thirst, their body's bend and shake as you give them more color.. That's right you'll be seeing sensually self caressed boobs and asses screaming to be licked.
Now as for the Brothers, they do came from down under and are disturbing to look at with their rotten twisted bodies pierced with metal. Half man, half machine with their heads in the most various places. Or just no head at all, instead with a big muching asshole in the chest.
So is there anything common in them? Yes. They're all telling you meaningless stuff in a very serious way, but soon as you listened too much of their self sufficent bullshit, you begin to question it as everybody tells different things and some of it aren't compatible with the other. Best thing to do is to follow your own head. Of course they can share some useful info that could eased the struggle of the beginning, but I won't tell these here as it would ruin your first experience. I'm saying too much with this review anyway but it's hard to talk about this game without revealing anything.
But for the sake of objectivity, I have to mention something I considered as a serious fault: when you're so good in this game like me, and for example manage to fill more Sisters with your silver fluid (and amber, violet, crimson.. etc. too), you have to wait that much more to actually progress in the game, to battle bosses, because some things only happen after a certain time, no matter how fast you managed to accomplish the tasks required to advance. That bothered me more than once.
As for the graphics, the game features some nice and moody joints, but most place you'll be seeing will be simply grey, but it's meant to be this way. It instantly reminded me of the Ashlands of Morrowind, but as I said, they made it like this on purpose. Of course there are some fancy enviroments, but sometimes you feel like you're playing the first Unreal game because of the low polygons they used in some areas. But what the hell, this game was made back in 2008 with a small budget.
Basically it all comes down to your approach. If you take it as it is and turn your attention to the level and art design (not to mention the anatomy of the Sisters), this game looks good.
Now in therms of sound, this game excels. Awesome voice acting can be heard all over (especially the one of color itself is phenomenal) with some nice dialogues too. Well, mostly monologues as your character is mute even when asked. This often gives others some inspiration to mock you. The sound effects are good, and the music fits the game just perfectly. I really can't say anything more about this topic, you should play it with the headphones on, not just for the bass but to properly hear the voices in your head.
I don't want to say anything about the story, you experience moments both sad and rewarding and there are different endings that you can get. The game slowly gives you more and more info about the meaning of the soul, the afterlife, the limits and you get a nice and well thinked version. It gives you some thoughts to ponder about.
While I admit that is not always what I'm looking for in a game, but when you feel like needing some "food for the soul" you can definetly find it in here.
Despite some small fuckups, given it enough time you'll find out that this game is unique, interesting and fun to play. It features some great ideas and they really nailed presentation of it. First you just wander around, but then as you get more involved in it, the enjoyment factor rises up like a floating Sister's nipple on cr... color.
This deserves an 8/10 in my book.
It's also worth to mention that the developers appeared in torrent forums to help and answer questions about the game while saying that it's okay to get it from here, but also encourage people to buy it after trying if the game wins their appreciation. And you can get this game for a just few bucks both from Steam or in the traditional materialized form.