Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Betrayer

I feel a little bit betrayed by Betrayer.  I bought it during a Steam sale for nearly no money and I thought I was getting some kind of horror game.  I didn't get a horror game but I'll forgive this betrayal because what I got was a really good adventure game.

Betrayer starts out with your nameless protagonist washed up on a beach of colonial America.  After walking down a linear path for a while some chick in red shows up and sends you a message which I can't remember the contents of right now.  Then you are let out into another map which is much wider and more open where you come across an abandoned settlement.  It's at this point in the game where the main part of the adventure becomes clear.  After some exploring you hook up with the woman in red and you agree to help her regain her memory and look for her missing sister.  While doing this you must switch between the normal world and a light world exploring the land and talking to ghosts.  Each ghost has their own story and as figure out the fates of all the souls that died in each area, the mystery with the woman in red becomes clearer.

Gameplay is first person and while you explore you are attacked by things such as Spanish soldiers, weird on fire tribesmen, spiders, ghosts, skeletons and all sorts of other stuff.  At the start of the game you are given a longbow but later you have access to things such as crossbows, muskets and pistols.  Since bows aren't particularly strong and guns take a long time to reload there is a focus on stealth game play where you receive bonuses to damage for catching and enemy unaware.

The thing that really sticks out about this game though is the art style.  The whole game uses the same kind of colour scheme as Madworld on the Wii, which is black, white and red.  It games the game a unique feel since the red is used not for blood or gore but to highlight things of interest in the world.  Of course if you don't like this feel you can mess with a slider and turn the main world into a fully coloured thing but the dark world will always be black and white.

My complaints with this game are that it is a bit repetitive.  Once you get a feel for how the game works then you end up doing every map the same way and things can become a little boring.  I got round this by doing 1 area per day rather than playing for long periods of time all at once but people shouldn't have to do that just to enjoy a game.  Also the enemy variety is a little lacking since almost every enemy in the dark world is JUST a skeleton.  Not even a fucked up weird skeleton, just a bog standard skeleton that shoots a thing at you.  There is some variety later on, but quite frankly it's not enough.  Also the final section of the game is pretty much just busywork which is unforgivable.  However it doesn't last too long so I suppose it doesn't tarnish the overall experience

That said, Betrayer is pretty cheap on Steam and for what it's worth I enjoyed it a lot.  I found the stories of each of the spirits to be pretty interesting and that in turn made searching for all the clues a bit more fun since I'd try to piece it together in my head before reaching the wraith and having it told to me.  Not quite the next big horror gem I was hoping for, but an enjoyable few days nonetheless

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