08/08/2018

๐Ÿ™️ Review: Unavowed "An alternate New York so good, it’s hard to leave" ๐Ÿ™️ #GameDev #IndieGame @WadjetEyeGames @BrittRecluseuk

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Developer: Wadjet Eye Games
Platform Reviewed: PC (Steam)
Rating: Ice Cool
Having been a fan of Wadjet Eye Games for years, I must admit that I just assumed that Unavowed would continue their streak of making great games with the foundation solidly placed on an involving narrative set in an immersive world. 

As impressive as their oeuvre has been over the last decade, with pinnacles of the graphic adventure genre such as Technobabylon, Gemini Rue and the Blackwell series, their hit streak continues with what could possibly be my favourite game thus far, Unavowed.

Featuring a twisting, branching structure, Unavowed places you in the character of a person who has recently been possessed (you can choose the gender and background of the character) by a powerful entity who has wrought havoc on New York and, after a rainy rooftop exorcism, you are left as a blank canvas for the player to impart their own characteristics upon as they begin the story.

The Unavowed of the title are a small group of people who dedicate themselves to protecting humanity and keeping the balance between the ‘real’ world, the supernatural realm as well as that of the spirit realm. Think of them as a cross between Hellboy and Ghostbusters and you’ll be on the right track. 

Initially, the group consists only of three members as things have been quiet for a while, but there’s been a rise of activity over the last few months and the story follows their journey to the heart of what or indeed who has been causing all of this.


There really is a lot to love about Unavowed, rich, varied music that never overwhelms the scenes and locations, instead acting as the perfect, understated accompaniment. 

A beautiful and evocative hand-drawn art style that completely sucks you into to the game world and characters with strong back-stories, multi-faceted in their language and actions that slowly reveal themselves through an immersive story with branching chapters. It really is hard to find fault in a game crafted with this much love in a genre that’s admittedly so close to my heart.
As you make your way through this New York, a dark city with a hidden underbelly and secrets to tell, you’ll come across a rich spectrum of characters and locations, all based on real-world places such as The Bronx, Chinatown and even Wall Street (one of my favourite sections of the game). 

The puzzles are mostly inventory based with the occasional password moment, all completely logical and never too trying or obtuse so as to halt the narrative (you can talk to your accompanying characters who give gentle hints as to what you should do next, if you get stuck). 

It clocks in at a solid eight hours as well, so you really get to know the characters and understand their histories and motivations. It’s very much a game about emotional pain, understanding a sense of individuality and personal struggles without ever feeling preachy or overwrought, it also contains Kaykay, possibly one of the cutest videogame characters ever created.


The truth is, I absolutely loved Unavowed, as you can probably tell. It did something that very few games can do, apart from The Witcher 3 and West of Loathing (last year’s Game of the Year for me), it made me wake up thinking about it and had me playing it first thing in the morning, something I rarely tend to do unless I’m completely sold by a story and HAVE to know what happens next. 

In fact, when I finished the game I got a wave of sadness much like when I first completed The Secret of Monkey Island, that sad, bittersweet knowledge that you’ll never get to experience those characters and experiences for the first time ever again. 


Summary
If you like graphic adventure games, you’ll really appreciate Unavowed for it’s artistry and heart. 

If you’ve never played an adventure game before, this is a great place to start. 

Basically…it’s great. And you should play it.


Possibly my game of the year...


Right, I’m off to Sammy’s bar for a few drinks with the gang.


❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)
Review By Britt