My first introduction to PC gaming was from my sister, and the game was Monkey Island. From that moment onwards I was hooked on point and click adventures and playing them gave me the first memory I have of wanting to get into games development. The balance of gameplay between observing your environment and problem solving was more engaging to me than the finely tuned skills required to complete the games I’d been playing before, like Mario on the NES. Point and click was a new experience to me that opened my eyes to how games could ask more of the player than running and jumping. Since then I’ve played any and every point and click adventure game I’ve been able to find, so when Wadjeteye Games sent through their new game Resonance I had to play it.
Now I gotta confess something here, I had originally planned to try and make this a video review (mainly cause I’m a bit crap at this whole writing reviews malarkey and tend to waffle on a bit). Rather than just filming from the start of the game, I thought I’d play the game a little first to get the hang of it to try and make the review a bit more professional. Star wipe to 3 in the morning and I’ve been playing the game for 5 hours straight without recording a thing, so yeah, the game was too damn enjoyable to make a video review…
The game starts with a news report of the world being under attack from unknown sources, and scenes of famous building and monuments with bits missing from them are shown. It then cuts 60 hours in the past to a man asleep in a very messy apartment being woken by a ringing noise. After experimenting about with the UI and controls you eventually find his phone and get a cryptic call from your boss telling you the experiments were too dangerous and had to be destroyed. Colour me intrigued…..
The game then switches to a screen with four clocks showing different times. Without any kind of explanation for this I originally thought I had a choice, and that it would affect the outcome of the entire game. Thankfully it wasn’t an ultimatum (cause I sodding hate that kinda thing in games) and was merely just a way for the game to introduce separate stories to you without disrupting the flow too much. Although initially confusing, this turned out to be a great way to introduce the four characters you play throughout the game: Ed the geeky science guy who’s in his head a lot, Anna the nurse haunted by her past, Ray the investigative blogger/journalist, and Detective Bennet the MacGuyer like cop who just gets the job done, rules be damned! Fun fact: Detective Bennet is voiced by Logan Cunningham whose narrating made Bastion brilliant.
These four characters are seemingly unrelated to begin with, but as you play through each story they quickly become intertwined in a story of deceit and secrecy. Although the games story becomes quite dark and touches and hints at faux pas topics, Wadjeteyes have spread lots of humourous little things throughout the game, such as hacking into someone’s email only to find out about the dangers of online dating. The humour actually reminded me a lot of the original Simon the Sorcerer games and had me chuckling the entire time.
The art style of the game could be considered dated with the hand painted pixelated look, but by no means could anyone call it lazy. The backgrounds are beautifully styled, and enhanced with affective lighting and particle effects which bring them to life. The only thing I was a little disgruntled by in this regard was that the resolution was locked so if you wanted to play it in windowed mode it meant the game was quite small, but that’s purely just me being picky and isn’t a reflection on the game.
The only bad remark I have about the game relates to the UI. It is very unclear in the beginning what most of it is for. In the top left you have three buttons titled LTM, STM and INV. The INV one was slightly obvious, but it wasn’t until I was a bit into the game that LTM and STM were explained. LTM is long term memory where previous important conversations are stored and STM is short term memory where you can drag interactive parts of the environments into so you can use them in conversations. However the game makes use of these before it actually explains what they are. The other curious UI element is a counter in the top right which increases whenever you do something correct. I have yet to have this explained to me so I can only assume it’s a progress measurement, in which case it’s the worst example of progress indication I’ve ever seen, so fingers crossed it’s not that.
I was hoping to complete this game before having to write the review, but unfortunately I got stuck. Now I would usually strive for to be stuck in adventure games, I remember in Sam and Max: Hit the Road I was stuck for two weeks where I had to go around trying everything with everything, but at the part I’m stuck at in Resonance I know exactly what I have to do, and I believe I’ve done everything correct and it’s just not doing it. I would go down the good old trial and error route here, but Wadjeteye have recently said there was a bug in the area I was stuck at, and the game have been updated to fix it so I’ll have to update my game and give it another shot.
Despite the UI confusion and the getting stuck, I absolutely loved Resonance. It’s been a long time since I’ve sunk my teeth into a good adventure game like this and I can’t wait to get further into the story (to the point I’m considering using a walkthrough if I’m still stuck). If you like the Monkey Island or Simon the Sorcerer series you’ll love Resonance, and if you’ve not played any of them you should hold your head in shame! SHAME!
9 totally-unbiased-opinions out of 10