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PC Game Review

Gods Will Be Watching


Format: PC
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Deconstructeam
RRP: £6.99
Click here to buy
Age Restrictions: 15+
Release Date: 24 July 2014

There are many games out there which give you the impression of free will, that the choices you make are actually going to matter and determine the outcome of the game, sadly not enough. Most give you the option to die and then go back and do what the programmer wanted you to do in the first place, to continue the narrative.

Gods Will Be Watching is a minimalistic indie game from Spanish developer Deconstructeam, published by Devolver Digital and available for the PC via Steam. In the developers own words the game concentrates on "despair, commitment, and sacrifice".

Review imageVisually, the game is presented very much as an 8Bit, meaning that the graphics are basic, enough to distinguish your environment from your characters. You play a squad of soldiers as they go through their missions. Each mission begins with a series of speech blocks which sets out your current situation and mission. Once these are out of the way you have access to your team and any ancillary characters.

The first mission, after a preface preamble, sees you trying to hack a computer, whilst at the same time fending off a squad of soldiers and controlling your hostages. Each of the major characters has various options for you to engage in, like talking, kicking shooting. The list depends on the situation you find yourself in. So, the object of the game is to balance all these interactions to achieve your mission objectives. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Review imageWell the reality is that each mission has many variables attached to it and no clear path to success. One wrong move and your toast. This then is the challenge of the game, to make the right calls at the right time. The game isn’t random, but it is like The Times crossword, in that practice will slowly place you into the mind-set of the programmers, once there it is often easier to see the solution.

Because of the graphics the system requirements are pretty low for a PC game, the game will run well under Vista 7, with 2 GB of memory and an Intel Core Duo, 460 mb hard drive space and a 512 MB of VRAM DirectX 9.0c compatible graphics card. So it’s only going to stretch quite old computers. Most of the reason for this is that the programmers have eschewed high level graphic for a game which may actually challenge you.

Review imageFor the most part you will play as Sergeant Burden, although as previously mentioned you also control the rest of his squad. You’re placed in a single location of this point and click survival scenario. It’s not really a game for kids, not only is the swearing copious, but the themes cover Torture, hostage situations and cannibalism. You get to decide just who is expendable and why.

I guess I felt that his morality sandbox didn’t quite live up to the developers intentions. The minimalist graphics mean that there is little empathy for the characters under your control, so your left with the puzzling element. This works well, but then if you don’t have any emotional connection, it can sometimes feel that you’re solving a puzzle for the puzzle's sake and little more. There is little in the way of on-going consequences, so it you should pass a particular test, it doesn’t mean that this has an impact on the next scenario.

Overall, this was a good game, but one that lacked a certain level of polish and sophistication to make it a necessary purchase.


Charles Packer

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