Wot I Think: Gods Will Be Watching

By John Walker on July 24th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

Deconstructeam’s Ludum Dare entry Gods Will Be Watching is now a fully-realised game, released by oh-so-impish publishers Devolver Digital. Described as a “point and click thriller”, it’s, well, not that. It’s something else. Something… well, here’s wot I think:

You know that feeling when you can’t tell if it’s just you? Whether you’re the one staring in confusion, while everyone else is cheering? Gods Will Be Watching puts me in that place. I have not enjoyed playing this game at all. I thought I was going to. I’m wondering if others will.

GWBW is not a point and click adventure, as is stated by their promotional material. It’s a sort of narrative-led resource-management sim, where you must worriedly choose from menus of conversation options to attempt to push events forward in a direction that doesn’t end in failure. It begins with a collection of people you know nothing about sitting around a campfire after an event you haven’t experienced, talking about people you haven’t heard of. It then flashes back to a year earlier, where you’re apparently a group of terrorists, with some hostages, attempting to hack a computer while holding off rescuing forces. Why? It doesn’t say.

Tell someone to charge up some hacking thing, while ordering another man to “negotiate” with the rescuers (say the same line over and over), and kick the hostages if they’re relaxed but calm them if they’re freaking out (none of which is usefully communicated by their twitchy animations), and don’t not do um something I guess because otherwise it ends. And you start over. And over. And over. You have to rapidly issue orders in turn, hoping you’re magically knowing which to do when, trying to plug leaks as fast as they spring up. Then you lower the difficulty, and get through it, not really knowing why.

Next comes a sequence in which you’re being tortured for days and days. Days and days and days. The same gimmick, over and over – delay time to get enough time to think of a good lie and sustain torture, or confess the truth to escape it, then choose between medical help or information between sessions. Over and over and over. The questions insanely repeating after you’ve given accepted lies for them. Hold out long enough and finally it comes to an end. The insanity is, the monotonous repetition of the sequence had began to work on me. I wanted to confess just to make the damned thing end. I was successfully tortured.

There’s a phrase in story writing, “Show, don’t tell.” I’m beginning to suspect it’s been rather widely subverted to, “Talk about something else, instead of tell.” And I’m not a big fan of it. As a consumer of stories, we are very often left deliberately in the dark, asked to piece together a story from fragments, picking up details as things go along, almost inevitably not in chronological order. And as a concept, it’s one that always intrigues me. In delivery, however, it all too often feels more like smugness on the part of the author. “I know what’s going on, but you don’t!” This is a game that began life as a Ludum Dare entry on the theme of minimalism, but this is not an explanation for the failings in neither the delivery, nor the mechanics.

While it’s determined to not tell you anything about what’s actually happening, early on there’s endless reams of guff about some violent version of baseball, or two people bickering about a private thing between them and not you. All of it is speckled with typos (“reasses” being a personal favourite). In later chapters this becomes more sparse, and instead you’re in situations where you have to talk to the same person over and over, and it just delivers the same few lines of dialogue. I don’t understand how a game designed to force such interminable repetition upon you couldn’t think to write enough extra bits of dialogue to prevent reading the same three lines of dialogue twenty times.

And here’s where it becomes that, “Is this my failing, or the game’s?” thing comes in. I find the monotony of the tasks is just far too much hard work when I’ve been given no reason to care about anyone in the first place. Everything is so achingly slow and repetitive that it becomes only a chore. Why should I give a flying toss who Liam really is, where he really comes from, or why Burden trusts him? Because Liam’s just some pixel guy standing next to some other pixel guy, and they’re all making me dance through their oh-don’t-put-a-click-wrong-but-we-won’t-say-what-wrong-is game.

In some chapters a major character can die. In one in particular, in its desperation to bark its script at you, it sort of feigns a ghost version of the dead guy so it can play out the conversations that would have happened anyway. But the conversations themselves only make sense if both are alive, clearly unchanged. Then, come the next chapter, he’s magically back to life. They always are. Sigh. It takes away any sense of importance.

The realisation that the game is really just a text-based management sim is where I feel most let down. While I adore rogue-lites, and have played so many point-n-click adventures that I can keep full-length ladders in my inside jacket pocket, despite appearances this game is neither. It’s about clicking on the same words, again and again, at the right moment, to stop the thing overheating, or the process from failing, but having to execute this through the far more laborious process of conversation trees. Is it unfair to judge the game for what it’s not? Yes. Instead what I’m doing is wishing it were something other than the empty, laborious one-note thing is really is.

When you complete a chapter, your choices, results and consequences are shown in graphs, alongside statistics of how other players approached the same. You can see if you saw someone live where most saw them die, or if you were cruel where others were kind. It’s a nice idea, but it ultimately feels a little meaningless, since the whole experience feels so meaningless.

It’s so often like it’s taking the piss. One laborious process of identifying a drug for a disease, while powering up a computer, while digging out a tunnel, while resting everyone, while fixing a robot, while charging a defibrillator, while creating adrenaline and sedatives, lets you believe you’re near an end to its repetition, then surprises you by declaring that you’re only halfway there. What’s this meant to achieve? Who enjoys being given massive setbacks, let alone when the process to the apparent success had been so dreary? Although saying that, compared to the complete lack of a twist in chapter 4’s twenty-five cycles of the exact same sequence, perhaps it was a blessing.

It’s beautiful, no doubt. The pixel art is wonderful, and the soundtrack is splendid. Looking at just the screenshots, I’d be reaching for my wallet. But the core game is just so tedious. By the fifth chapter, you’re literally wandering through near-identical scenes of desert, and at this point I’m honestly wondering if maybe this is the point? Maybe it’s some arch commentary on gaming, on our repeating tasks because we’re told to, for meaningless rewards? There’s certainly enough meta-stuff going on along the way to imply this is where it’s heading, but dear me, if so, then the smugness would burst the walls. I really cannot find the will to keep putting myself through it to find out if the point was how much I’m wasting my time putting myself through it. During my fifth go the game announced it was out of memory, and closed itself, and yeah, that will do.

I’m really gutted about this. I’ve been interested in the project since the first screenshots, and there’s unquestionably a huge amount of potential for someone to try to combine long-term survival with resource management in this form. But this is a tiresomely repetitive affair, and snarky with it. Perhaps the big reveal that lies at the end would astonish me, but there’s been nothing to earn the persistence I already put in, let alone any more. Let the gods judge me for that.

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80 Comments »

  1. Drumclem says:

    Argh. I was reaching for my wallet myself, despite having serious doubts at the potential for repetitiveness of turning a gamejam game in something full length.

    Turns out it is as I feared. Thanks for the heads up, Sir Walker!

  2. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    John – you talk about “smugness” three times in this review. Would you be willing to list some other games that give that impression? Just to give that some context.

    Like, for instance, I know you had serious issues with being confused/disinterested in The Banner Saga’s storytelling, but I never detected a hint of smugness from that game.

    • John Walker says:

      No, I wouldn’t say TBS was smug at all. And it’s an accusation I make cautiously here, too. It’s just a sense that it thinks it’s being clever by being so obscure.

      • Taz says:

        Kind of like how some detective tv shows/films aren’t as clever as they’re made out to be, even though they leave red herrings the conclusion to cases are ultimately unguessable due to the limited level of awareness the audience was on.

        Any other games come to mind? The mob wants a target :P

        • Awesomeclaw says:

          …Which is why Columbo is the best TV detective show, although it still does sometimes fall into the trap of not presenting the viewer with a vital clue which has been invisibly noticed by Columbo.

          On the topic of the game, I watched the first 10 or so minutes of the Giant Bomb quick look, which indeed involved doing basically the exact same cycle of commands with basically identical text each time. I didn’t even get past the first real scene before deciding that I should avoid GWBW (George W. Bush… W?).

          • HothMonster says:

            Columbo usually fell into the other TV detective trap though. 9 times out of 10 the killer was whoever is listed as the guest star.

          • Awesomeclaw says:

            The thing about Columbo is that 10 out of 10 times it shows you the crime being committed at the start of the episode.

          • Taz says:

            True Detective is another, but the focus was never really on whodunnit I guess.

            I actually enjoyed Giant Bomb’s video, although I was multitasking and didn’t pay attention to the text bubbles, I imagine they get rather repetitive and frustrating on the quick side.

          • aerozol says:

            Columbo is the opposite of smug. And also the best.
            HothMonster you really ran into that one :P

        • Jeremy says:

          Man, this is exactly what frustrated me about The Leftovers on HBO. It’s all foreplay and no sex (figuratively speaking of course, it is an HBO show after all). Here are a bunch of mysteries! Look, even the characters on the show know what’s going on better than you! 3 episodes in, and I have no clue what’s going on, not because of good writing, but because they are simply witholding information from the viewer. It’s a narrative pet peeve of mine in all forms of media, and it sounds like this game can be skipped.

          • John Walker says:

            I got fed up halfway through the first episode. I was also terrified, as that show comes damned close to the book thing I’m writing.

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            Kasper says:

            The first episode of The Leftovers was messy and confusing, but the next ones got quite a bit better. There are some mysteries for sure, but I don’t get the feeling that the viewer knows less about what’s going on than most of the characters in the show.

          • malkav11 says:

            I have yet to see The Leftovers, but my impression was that it was meant to be about people dealing with the aftermath of mysterious events, not about resolving the mysteries.

          • PhallicBaldwin says:

            That’s is a pretty good sign that you should abandon writing that book.

          • Ericston says:

            Maybe sometimes a little more of this is needed: “Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.”

          • tetracycloide says:

            I have a rule about television: the first time a character asks a direct question which would explain plot events but the other character(s) refuse to answer even when it would be in character for them to answer I stop watching.

        • JackMultiple says:

          Oooh! Oooh! This! Recently the movie “Now You See Me” about the 4 magicians that thought they were pulling off the ultimate heist. Smug AND full of itself. Watch it again and try to keep from getting dizzy, as every… single… scene… has the camera endlessly rotating around… and around… and around… the actors like they were gog’s gift to cinema. /SLAP

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        SuddenSight says:

        The review is a good read, but I’m not sure the “smugness” description is that helpful here. It puts me in mind of your debate with Kieron on Limbo – in which you were on the other side of that argument, if I recall. To my mind the whole idea of calling a game developer “smug” just makes the article writer sound a little juvenile. It creates the image that the game player is approaching a single player game as some sort of competition between the game player and the developer, rather than a sharing of an experience.

        However, I absolutely understand a dislike for overly obfuscated plots and unnecessary distractions (two narrative mistakes video games seem to be particularly prone to). Sorry you didn’t like this game, thanks for the honest review.

        • BooleanBob says:

          I didn’t like Cowboy Bebop. There, I said it. It was 25 episodes of being told that the story I should care about happened elsewhere to the story I was being served, with a soupy, self-satisfied claim to being somehow ‘musical’ ladelled over the top and a sexy but erring femme straight out of the nineteen forties on the side, and one episode that resolved the story it seemingly wanted to tell all along but had made no effort to build up into a climax worth caring about.

          Sorry, this isn’t remotely on topic, but reading John’s review suddenly provoked an overwhelming desire to get it off of my chest.

          • Frank says:

            Hi Bob. I noticed that your opinion is wrong (or should I say “erring”?) and thought I should let you know, on behalf of everyone, everywhere ever.

          • BooleanBob says:

            :) I don’t begrudge anyone their enjoyment of it.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            It sounds like you were looking for something that wasn’t actually there. Go over to whoever set those expectations for you and slap them.

        • Convolvulus says:

          I can’t speak on the article’s intent, but for me there’s a clear difference between narrative smugness and developer smugness. The former accusation refers to a particular style or tone, whereas the latter is more of a character judgment. If I’m playing a game that arbitrarily withholds information in order to create shallow mysteries, I might find the storytelling smug, but I’d probably view the storyteller as merely a poor storyteller.

        • plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

          If GWBW is Limbo smug I hate it already

  3. Premium User Badge

    Luringen says:

    Yeah, backed this on the cheapest tier. Didn’t really enjoy the prototype all that much, but I guess I thought a game with such beautiful pixel art couldn’t be boring. Or something like that, I just couldn’t resist those screenshots. Oh well, at least it’s pretty.

  4. The_Hunter says:

    Unfortunately, I completely.agree with this review. This is definitely a game I would rather watch than play….

  5. johnkillzyou says:

    I think John here is an outlier. Most other media sources absolutely love the game. I recommend people check out the prototype and check out some gameplay videos before making judgement.

    • Greggh says:

      John’s not and out-liar, he can’t lie: Horace watched him.

      • johnkillzyou says:

        Outlier: In statistics, an outlier is an observation point that is distant from other observations. An outlier may be due to variability in the measurement or it may indicate experimental error; the latter are sometimes excluded from the data set.

    • HadToLogin says:

      Or we have another Gone Home that is only great because of theme, but this time RPS did review whole game, not just one element.

  6. Taz says:

    Hmm on it’s steam store page it has three positive reviews that don’t appear to touch on the negativity. I wonder if that’s a case of KSBS.

  7. outoffeelinsobad says:

    Giant Bomb dot com has a great Quick Look of this if anyone is on the fence or needs a clearer idea of what the game is.

    • Taz says:

      huh, I enjoyed watching that and am more intrigued in the game now then I was after reading John’s review. It’s possible the difficulty could be come frustrating but it seems semi intriguing from what I’ve seen. Perhaps a sale pick up is in order or maybe just watching a playthrough.

  8. Philomelle says:

    Sounds like the narrative in this went full Christpher Nolan.

    I would be interested to try it regardless of monotonous gameplay, but the sheer number of bad English (every single screenshot on this page has some kind of stylistic or grammatical error) means I’ll be waiting until it goes on sale. Hopefully they’ll patch the bad writing out by then.

    • Sleepy Will says:

      Are you sure you don’t want to reasses your decision, after all you’ll miss out on universe knowledge. I’m beginning to suspect that your loyalty is compromised, Philomelle. I want you to go out and buy this game and I want you to do that now otherwise I’ll unleash the Meduser on you.

    • Siimon says:

      Foreign developers; I quote:

      “We’ve read your complains about the lack of updates lately, but the reason is simple: I’m the director, writer, programmer, game designer and community manager of Deconstructeam, and most important, the only one who can barely write in English of the team. So that’s why I couldn’t keep you updated as much as I wanted, because there was a game that needed to be done and released (the last weeks have been crazy, believe me).”

      I still think they could have had it proofread professionally though, couldn’t have cost them that much yeah?

      • Philomelle says:

        Looking at their IndieGoGo campaign, they raised 20,000 Euro and had another 20 grand given to them by the publisher. And instead of using that money to hire a professional editor who’d look through the project, they spent it on adding online scoreboards, adding as many languages as possible and developing free DLC. All that in a narrative game, something that becomes automatically worthless with bad editing.

        Speaking as someone who doesn’t live in an English-speaking country and in fact learned most of her English by playing video games, I have very little sympathy for their plight.

        • The Random One says:

          Well, speaking as someone who also lives in a non-English speaking country, and who also learned most of his English by speaking videogames, I think translating into as many languages as possible is very important, since I have a lot of friends who don’t speak English and have to miss out on some of my favourite narrative games.

          That said… online leaderboards? Yuck.

          • Philomelle says:

            On the one hand, you’re right. Localizing a game into as many languages as possible is very important.

            On the other hand, I would argue that before you localize the game into five separate languages, maybe you should stop and make sure that the already implemented languages are in good shape. Especially if you’re doing a narrative-driven game.

      • John Walker says:

        I would never judge a person for not speaking perfect English. I am embarrassingly awful when it comes to trying to speak any other languages, and have enormous respect for anyone who can keep two or more of them in their heads at any time, with any proficiency.

        However, were I releasing a game in Spanish or German or Swahili, I’d flipping well get a native speaker to meticulously proof it for me before I started charging money.

        • mpOzelot says:

          You don’t really have two languages in your head, one dominates while the rest fades away.
          It eventually takes over your life, and you start to do stuff like eating pea sup and thinking of foot-to-ball as a mere sport.

      • TheVGamer says:

        Holy fuck, how does that happen when you so clearly put the narrative at the forefront? And how did this get past Devolver Digital? Amateurish behavior all around. The best part is that, if they asked, they could’ve got volunteers help them “localize” the game in English. Just wow…

        • malkav11 says:

          I was going to say – crowdsourced localization seems to be a big thing right now and costs basically nothing.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Sounds like the narrative in this went full Christopher Nolan.

      In most of the Nolan’s films you know what is going to happen and why it is going to happen, but you don’t know how. Meanwhile GWBW sounds more like J.J. Abrams stuff. A mystery for the sake of mystery itself.

  9. Geebs says:

    The kneeeeeeeeeessss….. tell us about the kneeeeeeeees

    • Lucid Spleen says:

      They’re on thier leeeeeeeeeeeeggggs, on their leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegggggggggs..

      • Geebs says:

        According to a let’s play I’ve seen of the first level: Not for loooooooooong. Ooooooooooouch.

  10. altum videtur says:

    ACKNOWLEDGE//SUBMIT

  11. Greggh says:

    On that “gruesome”, no-backsies, adventure/RPG/decision making style of game, I think LISA will fare better.
    Quite honestly, Gods[...] always seemed to be a bit over-hyped (GO DEVOLVER, WOOO!) and John’s words seem to confirm that.

    Oh, and LISA is earthbound-ey-ish flavored. I like that.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/11/26/the-sacrificial-limb-lisa-the-painful-rpg/

  12. kwyjibo says:

    Devolver Digital matched the funding generated in the Indiegogo campaign, but reading this review, it seems like it wasn’t enough.

  13. Dale Winton says:

    Devolver published the awesome shadow warrior so I kind of want to buy this , but it does seem to be a bit shite after reading the review. It’s only £7 mind you

  14. Sfeza says:

    This review reached pcgamer.com levels. And this is not a good thing. I pity those who will not play it based on this review.

    • John Walker says:

      I can never keep up with all the reasons people hate all the different gaming sites.

      PC Gamer gave this game 81% and thoroughly recommend people buy it, so your snarget seems a little misplaced!

      • MichaelGC says:

        Well, you know: ‘reasons’ & ‘hate’ tend to be uncomfortable bedfellows at the best of times.

        (You could almost say that the only time they truly get along is during the actual worst of times…)

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        Rikard Peterson says:

        I read Richard’s review before this one – it might be interesting to read a conversation between the two of you on the subject. (It sounds like a game that’s more interesting to read about than to play, at least for me. I suspect my experience would be close to yours if I tried it.)

  15. sub-program 32 says:

    I kinda disagree with parts of this review. The puzzles are repetitive and rely on a bit of trial and error, but to take that same hostage example: I had no issues understanding what the hostages feel like really. Once you know their most extreme stances (helpfully indicated by brief dialog from that hostage such as “I need to run” etc) you can work to avoid and counteract them. Likewise, while the story is a bit of a mystery at the very start, things start getting explained from chapter 2 onwards, such as why the hostage thing was done. I feel like John was just missing things and cues from the way he described his efforts to play the game.

    • John Walker says:

      Well, no, that’s not the case. The hostages don’t follow their own cues, and will suddenly charge off or start attacking despite displaying the wrong animations, or indeed in direct response to the action that’s supposed to calm them.

      Also, that’s simply not true about the story! It explains some dull stuff about Burden and the organisation, but it doesn’t explain anything about what’s *really* going on. The glitches, Burden’s nature, etc. That’s all meaninglessly hidden.

      • sub-program 32 says:

        I guess with the hostages you got to a borderline point where a hostage was nearly at critical but not quite, and then a drastic enough event happened that it limit broke them. Like calming a hostage down will mildly calm other hostages, but if they are already too calm *and* a hacking failure happens (which significantly relaxes the hostages) I can see a animation state skipping to full rebellion. But that is still unlucky and I have not seen it happen myself. As for the glitches, I guess I am not there yet!

  16. quijote3000 says:

    I loved the prototype, where I ended up using canibalysm. I haven’t played this one yet, but all the others reviews so far seem to be positive

  17. thefriv says:

    Unfortunately, I completely.agree with this review. This is definitely a game I would rather watch than play….

  18. Crainey says:

    My finger was about to connect with the BUY! BUY! BUY! button, then I saw some reviews pop up on my Twitter feed. I wouldn’t worry about receiving flak for not completing it before reviewing because the general consensus is mediocrity.

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    caff says:

    Ah well. I tried the Ludum Dare demo some time ago and found it bleak – but also unplayable. Unlike many games, it felt like nothing I did had any consequence. I do not mind depressing films, but surely there should be a message or impact on me as the viewer/player. This full release just sounds more painful, which is a shame – as a concept, this intrigues me.

  20. Zyrxil says:

    It’s not just you. I was very excited when the game was announced. Then I tried the prototype and was less enthused. Then I watched this Let’s Play of a level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSoiS14Dl2I and completely lost interest. The original pitch seemed to be about choices you make in morality vs survival situation (Gods will be watching…what decisions you make), but instead it’s all about resource (turn) management. In addition, a lot of common sense options aren’t available, e.g. restraining hostages, which makes the whole thing seem very artificial. When you’re trying to make something that players can connect emotionally with, lack of immersion is a killer. I really can’t understand how this got any positive reviews at all.

    • OfficerMeatbeef says:

      Indeed. A key part of the official synopsis for the game is “There’s no good or evil, just decisions, with only you and the gods as a judge to your actions.”

      That’s a fantastic idea, but it doesn’t really work out very satisfyingly if a big part of the gods’ (in this case, the game designer’s) “judgement” so heavily falls on “you probably fail the scenario”.

      To be really involving and interesting, those really horrible, really difficult decisions need to have a HUGE potential benefit for you in the scenario provided. If they don’t, you run into that standard game design problem of “well, I COULD be evil/heartless, but in the end I’ll be rewarded just as well if not better if I do things the ‘good’ way”. If doing the awful thing only gives you like an extra 2% chance to not get a game over, what’s the point besides just to be a dick?

      Good people do bad things all the time, because it works out for them in the end. “Taking the easy way out” is a pejorative because the “easy way” tends to be the most self-serving, not because it doesn’t tend to work out for those who take it!

      For a game whose very heart and soul is supposedly predicated on that very idea to not have more systems in place to adequately reward and punish such decisions besides “you win or lose” seems an unconscionable failing. Especially since apparently, losing a crew member has no impact on whether they’ll be around for a future scenario.

      Make no mistake, these are huge and difficult issues to solve from a development standpoint. More and more, this is simply sounding like a fantastic team that simply bit off more than they could chew. Like Mr. Walker, I feel nothing but sadness in saying that, but it seems to be the case.

  21. OfficerMeatbeef says:

    Having fallen in love with the concept and style of this one in the last few weeks leading up to release, I’m in the difficult spot of feeling like this is a wholly accurate review, but still loving the setup so much that I hope I might still enjoy it?

    I put off trying the original game jam version for quite a while, only finally getting around to it a few weeks back at most, and still thought the concept and presentation were fantastic, with the flaws and limitations being easily ignored considering its jam-nature. Just a superb proof of concept there, with so much potential for tweaking into something amazing.

    The jam version just needed more balancing, more detail, more options for interesting decisions, more opportunities and reasons to make huge, often extreme decisions in a way that would usually still allow survival and “success” in the end, but at a heavy cost. Something that felt less gamey, less “I need to spend an action to +2 the engineer’s mental state here, save an action for hunting, use an action next day to make some cures”.

    Sadly, this review and the GB QL seem to indicate that they decided to put their efforts more towards creating a relatively large bunch of different and very difficult scenarios that played pretty much like the original jam design, rather than focusing on very tightly designed and balanced scenarios with a lot more intricate detail defined for every possible interaction.

    That’s a fair design decision I suppose, but to me the extreme win/loss definition and the repetition of potential narrative detail was the weakest (though wholly understandable) part of the jam version, and what I most looked forward to seeing developed into something less binary and strictly system-driven for the game proper.

    Sigh, I dunno, I’m just pretty bummed out about this whole thing. Few games have seemed as perfectly suited for some sort of staggered, episodic release as this one, or some other option that would have allowed a small, clearly very talented team to focus on making each scenario something truly fantastic instead of having to try and cram it all together into a single, fairly repetitive clump.

  22. dufake says:

    To bo honest, it’s a harsh game. Most players should play easy mode first to learn the rules. Otherwise it will cost you a lot of time. I’m never a lucky man, and this game costs a lot of it.

  23. hilltop says:

    Thank you for the review. Useful, albeit disappointing. Most of the grumbling worries from the sample game out a while ago seem to have been realised.

  24. thebigJ_A says:

    Just watched the Giantbomb quicklook (which is extremely entertaining, surprisingly, especially the end): http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/quick-look-gods-will-be-watching/2300-9253/

    And it doesn’t really match up with what John wrote. example: the animations are very clear on who’s relaxed and who’s freaking.

    • rpsKman says:

      I think the problem is that you can’t always tell. Just watched Jim Sterling and it looked random as fuck. The GOG reviews say the same thing. It’s like GB had a different build.

      • jukebox1412 says:

        I dont know what youre talking about. I think a hostage rapidly rocking back and forth means theyre gonna run if you trigger them and a hostage with his legs spead out is pretty relaxed. Also not to mention how he sent the relaxed ones to the back so they could relax more.

  25. snowgim says:

    I had to come and post here because, having played it now, I completely disagree with this review.
    I played the prototype and loved it, I backed, and now I just finished the first hostage level on original difficulty.

    I feel like anyone who liked the prototype will like this game, it’s just more of the same with a bit of intriguing story thrown in. Maybe people are expecting too much.

    Yes it can be frustrating, but the strength of this game is depicting horrible situations and making you feel like the guy everyone is counting on. When someone dies, it’s all on you. When everyone dies, it’s all on you. I haven’t felt that to this level in any other game.

    It’s not really a fun game exactly. I don’t think it’s something you should sit down and try to play through (or review), it’s a game that will frustrate you but you keep coming back to it because you know it can be done, somehow. And it’s the sense of accomplishment that gets you. This game should never be played on easy.

    As for the complaints about the text, I can’t say I’ve noticed many translation issues, maybe I’m not observant enough. And the repetitive speech doesn’t bother me much either. Sure it would be nice to have some more variation, but once I’ve read it once I skip most of the text anyway. It’s about micromanaging, the text isn’t really an important part of the game. ‘I don’t have time to listen to you, I have to push back guards, refresh security, shoot a hostage in the knee, and in the right order or everyone’s deaths will be on me’.