Gemini Rue is a point and click adventure game by Joshua Nuernburger and published digitally by Wadjet Eye Games and by Merge Games at retail. It is a science fiction story set in a cyberpunk future and lets you play as two characters throughout the story, it is very much inspired by adventure games from the 90’s and keeps the same “retro” graphic style.
The game starts with a medical room with a single person strapped to a chair and three men standing over him. It is soon clear that he is referred to by his code name; Delta Six and is going to have his memory erased because he has tried to escape numerous times from this facility. He becomes conscious as they are talking about removing only memories and leaving his cognitive memory intact to preserve his training. They then proceed to wipe his memory.
Meanwhile on planet Barracus in the city of Pittsburgh a man named Azriel has just landed for a meet up and extraction of an old friend. His friend seems to be a no sow and he calls up his friend and pilot Kane who is in orbit waiting to make the pickup. He then takes to the city to try and find his friend Matthias and what the hold-up is.
The planet Barracus and neighbouring planets are under control from the mafia-like Boryokudan; who are a crime syndicate that runs pretty much everything on the planets they infest. It soon becomes apparent that Azriel was once part of the Boryokudan as an assassin and has them still looking to get revenge on him for defecting.
This part of the story is more or less the main tutorial which introduces you into using the different ways of completing puzzles and making sure that each action available is actually a viable option during the game rather than a one off gimmick. The actions are look, touch (hands), talk and touch (feet); they are very much open to interpretation as hands can mean pick up, punch, open etc and the same goes for the others. Each one is introduced using a tool tip that appears in the opening scenes of the game.
After this tutorial section you go on the meet and play as Delta Six; where you wake up in a testing facility and are more fully introduce to the main antagonist; the voice of the Director. You are directed to the testing chamber in order to proceed with your training. You are trained to use a gun which will be used in the combat sections that are throughout the game. After completing your training you get to explore a little of the facility and meets some fellow inmates.
The story continues from there are it takes you through some interesting plot points and backstory. The characters all seem to have at least a little history to them; making them much more than the two dimensional characters that are sometimes left in games to further the plot. Pieces of plot and backstory are referenced just enough to pique your interest but then get blocked off by a change of subject, making you want to learn more about the mysterious pasts and events that have occurred prior to the games events.
The gunplay in the game is interesting and unfortunately can’t be skipped in situations where it’s unavoidable. At most you will be up against two other combatants and you have to take shots by going between being in cover to stop being and out of cover to shoot. You can also make more precise shots by concentrating. It ramps up in difficulty pretty fast as enemies don’t let up and are pretty good shots.
The game has gone for a very distinct retro feel and as such it can be taken in different ways. On the one hand it suits the adventure game genre well and is homage to the great stories that accompanied them (also it was created with Adventure Game Studio which does have its limitations). The other side is that it could look better and some people may be put off by the style. The game could maybe bring more atmospheres with a more modern and stylized art style but that would solely depend on how it turned out and would have had to be higher etc.
Music is pretty scarce and mostly the atmospheric noise will be what sets the tone; this is more of a problem for the areas with Delta Six which are very hollow and sterile because of it but you could argue that’s why there is a lack of music. Voices on the other hand range from astoundingly good to average. Azriel and the Director have such good voice work and it really helps to carry the story. The female voices also help a lot as they carry emotion and expression much better than many of the male voices. Kane’s voice is pretty average but the distortion from the communicator adds to it while in person it can seem a little less interesting.
While the story is very good and very intriguing on the most part a lot of the game ends up being a little predictable as you watch subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) links to different elements of the story. Playing through a second time will actually open your eyes to some things that you couldn’t notice until completing the game first and it’s quite interesting to see that.
Presentation and Audio
The retro graphic style is very much a hit or miss depending on how you view it. The music sets the mood just right when there is actually any playing, there tends to be atmospheric noise rather than music a lot of the time which fits a lot of the game but can be a little tiresome. Voice-acting is Superb in some cases and average with others, luckily Azriel is easily the best voice in the game as well as all of the female characters and the Director; some of the lesser characters can seem a little emotionless in their speech though.
The story is involving and interesting and once you get on a roll within the game you can lose a lot of time to it; even with just the cutscenes. The voice work really makes the game and brings the characters to life. The inventory and interaction may be a little awkward for some to use and the gunplay is very much a love/hate thing but the ability to change the combat difficulty is definitely welcome. Commentary tracks are very interesting and give a good insight into the games design and the choices that were made.
The game has a very interesting story and it grabs you with the mystery and small references to the backstory of the planets, people and galaxy. For me it is all wrapped up nicely by the two biggest voice presences; that of Azriel and the Director both of which command presence when they begin to talk. They very much carry the story without much help from the rest of the voice cast who are mostly average (aside from the female voices which are also very good).
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.