- cool monochromatic look
- new and interesting
- differs from the mainstream games
- decent amount of lore and action
- gets boring
- feels unfinished
- full of unrealised potential
- rather silly than scary enemies
- feels dull and pointless at moments
This is a survival horror game developed by the guys who created F.E.A.R. If you remember, those series were extremely successful, which raises the bar a lot for this one. They have formed a new studio called Blackpowder Games, from the office of which Betrayer was born. It is a first-person shooter, like F.E.A.R., but the atmosphere and different things that the developer tried bring a decent charm to the game.
The year is 1604 and you crash landed on the Virginia coasts, where you were sent by the British Empire. Your task was to aid a colony there, but unfortunately the ship crashed and you are left alone to do it. There isn’t a big backstory prior the events in the game and you are literally clueless in the beginning. As clueless I mean you don’t know where the colony is based, you don’t know who are you fighting against – basically nothing.
Now the gameplay of this game is pretty basic FPS – controls are the most common in the genre, weapon mechanics also, etc. You will get used to it in no time. There is something that might bother you – the game is in black and white. Not only black and white, but it’s monochromatic. A lot of people were really frustrated and they said that it causes pain in the eyes. Personally – got used to it in about 10 minutes. I really got no problem, while gaming, but of course there are people with problematic eyes, so this could be difficult for them. Don’t get shocked, there is an option, where you can turn the color on, or more precisely said – regulate the color.
Leaving aside this problem, I think that this brings a lot to the game. It is something new and interesting. I respect the courage of the developer. The whole atmosphere changes severely, after you bring color to the game. From dark, mystique and adventurous, it starts to look like a dumb forest with some crazy armored guys running around.
So, the color matters. I forgot to say that besides black and white, there is red too, which really intensifies everything. From the moment you wake up on the shore, you are in this surreal environment. Wreckage surrounds you, the ocean is behind you and you are looking at a lush forest, trying to figure out what mysteries it holds.
As you progress in the game, the enemy is revealed – conquistadors. They don’t look or behave exactly human though. You don’t know what happened to them and why are they acting like this. You eventually find the colony base, where you see a disturbing scene and the first impressions are that the conquistadors slaughtered everyone – there is a lot more to it though. I will only say – there are different dimensions, there is a big evil and there will be a girl along your side, providing assistance.
The game is completely open in terms of gameplay. You don’t know where you are going or why, you just have to gather clues and bring the pieces of the puzzle together. This I find very innovative, because most of games feel linear – like you take this to do that and then this will happen. This is different. You run around, gather clues and eventually reveal the big mystery by sewing everything together.
Another cool aspect of the game is the stealthy approach. The environment is mostly forest, with big bush-like grass, which is perfect for cover and hiding. Here comes an interesting fact about this approach – when in monochromatic mode, you will be able to see enemies from a huge distance, because they glow in red and really contrast with the environment. I will say it again, the developer didn’t do this without a reason – it looks cool and helps you through the game. Of course you are not obligated to play it like this, but I must say you will be missing out a lot, if you don’t.
There are negatives as well – the game gets a bit repetitive and kind of boring. There is a weird checkpoint system, which saves you at a certain point, but when you die, you have to run all the way to your body to recover gear and weapons. It can get frustrating, if you get attacked somewhere between. I guess it was meant to be like that, to make things harder and scarier. Since I brought scary – wasn’t this a survival horror? I said that, because it is presented like a survival horror, but the conquistadors aren’t scary at all. Only the atmosphere contributes with darkness and mysticism, but then again, it feels more like adventurous than horrific.
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