01/08/2017

☆ Review: NO.70: Eye Of Basir - "A Turkish Delight" ☆ #GameDev

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NO.70: Eye of Basir - PC

NO.70: Eye of Basir is a first-person video game horror title from Turkish developer Oldmoustache Gameworks. From what I can see this is the studio’s first game and whilst it is an enjoyable experience and a laudable first release, it’s not without flaws.

The story begins with the character Erhan, just turning thirty-six years old, he has returned to his Grandmother’s house in search of answers, what follows is a story of supernatural intrigue through three separate chapters and locations.
The mood of the game is quite unsettling, as documented in my previous reviews I’m not a fan of the ‘quiet, quiet, BANG!’ style of horror which briefly plagued the indie horror scene (thanks, Slenderman) and for me, Eye of Basir evades that premise by having a calm, almost languid style of gameplay more focused on narrative storytelling and less on jump-scares (although there were a few moments that made me clutch my pearls).




Something that does detract somewhat from the already fractured tale is the wonky Turkish to English translation, it’s a shame because it seems like something that could easily have been corrected but sadly collecting entries for your codex and keeping up with the flow of the story is made clunky by the loosely translated writing. Whilst readable, it nonetheless takes you out of the mindset that the game is trying to achieve, on the flip-side, the voice-over narration is perfectly delivered which only draws attention to the written side of things hopefully, this is something that can be picked up in future patches.
The muted graphics and moody ambience really work here, after a few minutes of getting myself acquainted with the style of the game (and it’s somewhat unusual controls), I had settled in and begun to enjoy the dark atmospherics. Whilst I was never fully convinced by the quality of the storytelling, the general demeanour and in-game world created by Oldmoustache Gameworks did hook me in and until the end. The graphical palette shifts throughout the chapters which adds a welcome variety to the game, there were some very interesting optical effects in some sections which heightened the immersion.

The puzzles in the game are relatively straightforward, there were a few moments of brilliance which shone through for me and kept me interested including one which had me using my girlfriend’s compact mirror as a tool to solve a particular puzzle, which I thought was quite cool. That said, the puzzles in Eye of Basir are integrated in a way that moves the story forwards as opposed to being overly complex physics-based brain-ticklers or ‘unlock the box’ style noggin-scratchers. There were occasional moments in the game that I had to resort to a walkthrough for, only to find that I hadn’t looked at a certain item or triggered a certain scene in order for the narrative to move forwards but these moments were relatively rare.



The middle section of the games does drag somewhat and feels slightly out of place when compared to the first and third chapters which are set in a more confined space, these sections play to the games’ strengths of subtle, brooding, claustrophobic locales interspersed with eerie happenings whereas the second chapter feels less focused and more wandering in a mostly outside area. This chapter of the game does also have some backtracking which isn’t too onerous at first as you are accompanied by a solid, if minimal musical score and some wonderfully evocative graphics but towards the end of the chapter, there are some sections that elicited a sigh from me as I trudged back to a place I had literally just left in order to make a single action somewhere else before walking back to where I previously was to walk through a door, it felt like a touch of artificially extended gameplay in the very chapter of the game that already felt somewhat milked.

Summary
To summarise, if you are a fan of games such as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter or Dear Esther and enjoy the level of horror that a game such as 7th Guest or The Last Crown offers, that is to say, less interested in gore as opposed to creating an atmosphere, you should enjoy Eye of Basir despite its occasional missteps. 

As the first outing for a new studio, Eye of Basir is a solid piece of work, I look forward to seeing what Oldmoustache Gameworks come up with next as it’s great to see an approach to horror and folklore from a part of the world not known for its gaming history, I believe that previously the only games I have played that were developed in Turkey were Zoetrope Interactive’s titles, so in my eyes it’s been pretty solid stuff in the genre of Turkish horror so far.
okuduğunuz için teşekkürler
P.S There’s a part of the game that unexpectedly features an Atari 2600, I think there should be a GF feature on games that have retro consoles within them!
RATING: MELTING

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Old Moustache













Reviewed By Britt
(from @kingdomofcarts)