Monday, January 20, 2014

Broken age

So now what alot of people (read 2) have been waiting for.  My review of Broken Age, the new adventure game released by double fine (Link).  Be forewarned, there may be some spoilers here, and I was also a kickstarter backer, hence why I was able to play it early.  There will be a second part coming eventually, and when it does I'll probably do another quick review update here.  So, let's dive right in shall we?

So the game involves two seperate characters, Shay and Vella.  They are played separately and you can play one through the end without playing the other until you have to.  It's an adventure game like the old school monkey island, or any of the new TellTale games, whereupon by talking to other characters, gathering items and solving puzzles your able to advance the plot.  Right off the bat, the graphics really impressed me.  They seem to be almost cutout pieces, but not quite, it's odd.  The music is also subtle and really helps with the mood, while the voice acting is superb.  Of course, the main two points of any adventure game is of course the story, and the puzzles.  We'll tackle the puzzles first.

One of the problems with alot of adventure games is they really on what has sometimes been called monkey island logic.  This is where you have a key, and of course it should open the door, but instead you need to trade the key for a bottle of spot remover, which removes a spot on the wall and lets you in.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for most adventure games,  but it can be very frustrating where it can turn into try everything on everything and see what sticks.  This game avoids that, with every interaction and decision making almost complete sense.  They even do a good job of letting you know what you can interact with, by changing the mouse cursor around.  Inventory is also handled nicely, by having a small area you can mouse down to, open it up and go with it.  You can't do multiple things with items (as in look, push pull etc) but this game doesn't need that.  It works with what it has, and does it well.

So onto the story.  This is where I may catch some flak, as it has to do with the kickstarter as well.  So the game is currently half done, with the second act coming later in the year.  So I had planned to only play a little bit of the game to review, but ended up beating the entire game in about four hours.  So the story for the four hours was quite enjoyable, and trust me, the ending will make you want the next act as soon as possible.  My concern is that the next act will be just as long as the first, and that would make an 8 hour game.  Of course, I have no doubt it will be a very enjoyable 8 hour game, but with the sheer amount of money they made from the kickstarter, the preorders and everything else, it almost seems like it will be too short of a game for all the hype.  Of course I may be wrong, and the second act will be so amazing I won't care too much about the time spent.  We're just going to have to wait and see.

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