Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
You are a chubby baby, sent down from heaven to Earth in order to… I dunno… possess workmen and force them to jump into big grinding industrial machinery? That’s certainly how I played Messiah. There might have been more to it than sneaking up behind people, diving into their soul and then making them do a fatal pratfall, but I couldn’t tell you what.
When I think of games that I was really excited to play until I actually played them, Messiah is right near the top of the list. There was something appealing about the idea of playing an angel and causing havoc by leaping from one person to another, forcing them do your bidding.
Messiah is not that game. Or rather, that’s a very small part of the game, and the rest is a weird mixture of stealth and awkward 3d platforming. It’s a game that so decisively discards or sidelines its best feature – Hitman with an angel – that I’m getting annoyed just thinking about it. But if I really want to lose my tempter, I just have to think about the main character’s tiny little wings.
Levels have lots of verticality and you have tiny little wings. You can flap those wings to fly, but only for short periods of time before becoming exhausted, and you don’t so much fly as bob up and down in mid-air like a cork in a puddle. I spent more time trying to find a place to rest as I flew through ugly pipes and vents than I did possessing people. It’s a game in which you are forced to play as the kind of annoying, tiny flying enemy that everyone hates.
Messiah isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, not by a long shot, but it’s one of the few that still makes me cross.