Just like the preview I wrote for Agony, I feel like the best way to do these types of previews, which are just based on a demo of the game, are best written in the form of a casual chat, so shall we bond some more, dear reader “more winks”. And again, I feel obliged to say that whatever I write from this point on is entirely based on the demo, which I experienced and everything is subject to change.
First of all, I have to say, and this might sound a bit ridiculous, but it’s just the way I felt it, I’m getting the vibe that Harry is not exactly the name I’d picture for the protagonist in this particular game. I don’t know, it kind of seems like out of place to me. Reminds me a lot about when I was playing Civilization V and VI with a friend and you know how you get those great people that do awesome stuff. Well my friend was playing with Japan and he got so many great people with American names that it got from funny to ridiculous quite fast. Well I feel the same thing here. And let me tell you why.
When I picked up Apocalipsis, I had no idea what the game was going to be about or even what the gameplay would consist of. I picked it up, because of the art style featured in the game – and I know the developers wrote that it was inspired by Danse Macabre and Dürer, and when I did research a bit, yeah I do see where they were going with it, however in my eyes, when I saw it for the first time and even when I was playing, it all looked like those old Egyptian drawings on a papyrus, except a more modernized version of them. And this is what piqued my interest in Apocalipsis. I thought it would be in some similar setting and the story would be relatable to that. Well … and yes and no, is the answer to those expectations of mine.
Basically, as far as I gathered from the 10 minute demo, which I had the pleasure of playing, was that Harry lost his beloved and he wants to travel to the depths of Hell (or in this case, it might be better off saying – the underworld or the world of the dead – again based on my Egyptian theme expectations) to retrieve her soul. Although, I would assume this was indeed the concept of Hell, because of the part on the ship, where you pay the boatman to get you across a river (Acheron vibe much?), so the way I picture it, we might be entering and exploring a theme of the circles of Hell in the full game.
If it was one thing that I didn’t do – it was to make reason of the storyline. You can’t grasp anything but speculation from this short amount of time, however, my guess is that we will be journeying through some kind of underworld to retrieve the soul of our loved one and let me be the first to say that no matter how much I suck with puzzles, I’m interested to see this development for one. Like I said in the Agony preview as well, I am very driven towards the concept of Hell and even if I am not religious in any way, I quite fancy this concept. And I’m referring to all of its interpretations, no matter what religion it might stem from. So if anything, if I really got this speculation right, I’m going to enjoy experiencing how the developers will build the game’s world.
But if it’s something I do not like – it’s the basis of the story itself. I feel like too many games are relying on the basic drive that is a “man saving his beloved from something or somewhere”. Why is that? I mean there are so many other concepts of stories that might fit this theme. The more I continue thinking about this game, the more I can relate it to my favorite book of all times, which is Dante’s Inferno. However, I feel like this is the most generic motive we can catch upon and develop. I am at least expecting some interesting twists or reasoning behind this, just to, you know, spice things up, just like it was in the book.
And I understand where the story elements are coming from, but I read it has action elements too. Really? I find it hard to believe, how one would incorporate action elements into a game such as this. Apicalipsis is a point and click puzzle game and that’s all there was to it (but again I’m keeping in mind that I just experienced a really short demo and I cannot judge the whole game for that). All I can say however is that I am very interested to see how exactly they would incorporate these action elements, or as they called it “putting my dexterity to the test”, which will probably be a disaster, since I suck at anything requiring me being fast. However, I also begin to question, can you die in this game? If you can and we are truly going through the realm of the dead – then what happens if my character does die? These things I am also very interested in seeing how they will be depicted in Apocalipsis.
If anything, I’d say that the puzzle elements of this game are very … ambiguous at times. Indeed the first few puzzles were very obvious to me, as in what exactly I had to achieve in order to proceed forward, but the last few ones were kinda getting me to the point of thinking “what is my goal here?” or “what the hell is supposed to happen?”. So instead of actually solving a puzzle, it quickly passes that thin line, where you just randomly click on stuff and hope for something to happen and this is how I solved stuff beyond the one with the giant fish, for which I have to say only one thing … why do you need 3 different knives in order to cut a piece of fish … But all in all, from what I saw, there will be some interesting puzzles to be solved and I have a knack that if by any chance I do play the final product, that I will be cheating a lot.
I didn’t quite fancy the sounds in this game. Like the music was interesting in the beginning, but it quickly got repetitive and I don’t think it fit exactly the current setting of the game. Like further in – in a deeper, darker corner of the underworld – yeah sure, alas here, I was not getting the vibe out of it. And also what’s the deal with Harry coughing all the time (and most importantly, why does he sound like a 9-year-old girl). How old is he anyways? Are you allowed to fall in love that young? Anyways, point was that, is this coughing just randomly placed there for filler or does it have some story deep meaning to it (as in Harry getting sicker and sicker throughout his journey)?
Anyways, I don’t think there is much else to say about this. It turned out quite short for the work I usually do, however, there is only so much to write for a 10-minute demo and to be honest, I don’t like speculating much, because most of the times, my expectations are not met. However, I suppose only time shall tell, when the full version of the game comes out on Steam, which, according to their store page, would be somewhere in 2017.