Conspiratorial Majestic Nights Out, Demo Available

I have fallen and cannot get up.

Alice gave the low-down on conspiracy-focused adventure-RPG Majestic Nights back in July. I liked the look of it for cramming every last UFO-spotting and government crop-dusting rumour into one storyline. Ambitious, yes, but an interesting concept I’d like to see the endgame of. What’s it like navigating a world where these things are obviously true? Now there’s a demo that also serves as a prequel, which you can read my thoughts on below, and a launch trailer for the first episode of the planned six.

I’m disappointed.

It’s not the world I dislike. That’s a neon paradise – a caricatured, ’80s any-city, all flashing dance floors and awkwardly shaped instruments. Sharp suits in vast underground bunkers with circular doors, bouncers in straw hats and drug dealers in colourful pants. The writing, though it seems to forget the introduction and set-up of telling a story, does a fine job of characterising cold agency man John Cardholder. It’s careful to dance around flatly stating things, instead giving you the opportunity to work them out for yourself. The conspiracies come thick and fast, the Kennedy’s assassination being a backdrop to the early plot.

Unfortunately, I found the game behind all that mediocre, and occasionally outright broken. The puzzles consist entirely of talk-to-this-person, bring-them-this-item. There’s a dodgy stealth system using shadows, which is alright when it works. Combat is imprecise, making the large swathes of goons you often have to blast through an absolute chore. Worse than that, there are times when the scripting just straight up doesn’t work or character models glitch into the floor.

There are flashes of good ideas in there. Exploring areas and extending conversations will unlock ‘evidence’ which can be used to find new routes, convince characters you’re on their side or expand the storyline. Again it’s hampered by only half-working due to bad scripting or the frustrating combat it forces you through on the way. I didn’t manage to finish the demo, but your mileage may vary. You can also grab the first episode for a launch-discounted £3.39 or the full season for £12.74.

4 Comments

  1. USER47 says:

    I played through the demo and wasn’t very impressed by it either. Not only the gameplay mechanics are clunky, but it also feels any sense of mystery is obliterated in the very beginning…and i am not even talking about the beginning of the game, but about the store page description.

    I mean, you can’t be very surprised finding secret government complex with fake moonlanding location in the basement of a pub, if the description of the game outright tells you that every single conspiration theory is true.:/

  2. revan says:

    That’s a shame. I really thought this game would be something special. I’ll give the demo a spin. In the meantime, back to bringing order in the Galaxy Far Far Away, one X-wing at a time.

  3. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    I tend to distrust games about conspiracy theories that shows this much stabbing going on. But I’ll probably play the demo on the strenght of the Shepard Dance on the trailer.

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    Harlander says:

    The thick, pseudo-cel lines don’t really work with the low-poly models and backgrounds. It’d look better if turned down a bit. Didn’t suffer many bugs, although there was one point I found hilarious, where I got killed by an agent and went into the slow-motion death fall animation, only to be shot again and flip up into a different slowmo death fall, then shot again… it must have happened 10 times