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A game plagued by a very strange development choice

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    Get Even

    Rating: 2.5 – Playable

    A game plagued by a very strange development choice

    Labelled as a ¡®psychological thriller’, I was hoping this game would be something along the lines of Soma, or at the very least Layers of Fear. And while there are elements that resemble aspects of those games, they are sandwiched between some very poor sections of more traditional gameplay that really spoil the experience.

    I’m never keen on these games that offer you either a stealth option or a guns blazing option in terms of how to approach the levels, as there’s usually one method that is the preferred choice (nearly always the stealth), and the other is just tacked on to cater to more people. What’s worse is when your chosen route effects the storyline and ending, implying that there is a good and bad option after all, and you will be punished for choosing the wrong one.

    Get Even takes this one step further, and strangely appears to massively contradict itself by encouraging the player to proceed with the game by having as little fun as possible. Within the opening hour of the game, you are handed a fresh, innovative weapon in gaming that allows you to shoot a gun from around a corner. You take cover, aim around the bend, and use a camera to locate your targets and pick them off. Great, I thought. This is going to be fun. Seconds later, I’m told that killing people is wrong and that by doing so I am distorting the memories (in which the game takes place). Effectively implying that by using this gun, I’m on my road to the bad ending.

    So I struggled through the game using the awful stealth mechanics. Even the physical take-down option somehow results in a kill, so my only choice was to sneak by the enemies leaving every one of them alive. Which becomes incredibly frustrating when there’s too many guards in compact areas, inconsistencies with their fields of view, and no jump/crawl option to overcome easily bypassable obstructions. What’s more, is that to fully experience the game you are supposed to thoroughly explore each area to locate clues and memories that help you in your investigation. Quite quickly I decided that the tedious gameplay wasn’t worth tolerating to do this, so I ended up becoming disengaged with the story.

    Which is a real shame, as that is where Get Even thrives and the best parts of the games can be found. There are areas that act more like your typical ¡®walking simulator’ games, but with the puzzles thrown in and the interesting themes and unique elements to the story, I found them to be enjoyable. The plot does become a bit convoluted and maybe isn’t quite as good as it thinks it is, but it’s a story worth absorbing.

    The music is all very well done, and jumps from warm, melodic themes to some seriously creepy tracks that can be heard ¨C particularly at the asylum where much of the early game takes place. This is also where the spookiest characters appear, and the psychological horror elements are at their most prevalent.

    I can’t hide my disappointment with Get Even. For it to be on the cusp of being a good, enjoyable game, only to actively discourage the player from experiencing it that way is utterly ridiculous from the developers. If I could go back to before I started it, I’d tell myself to accept the bad playthrough/ending with the compromise of getting more enjoyment from the game ¨C and then just look up the good ending on Youtube. But I know that my natural gamer instincts prevent me from doing that. And as it is, the horrendous stealth sections spoil what otherwise may have been a decent enough game.

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