Developed by: Wadjet Eye Games
Published by: Wadjet Eye Games
Current Price: £10.99 // $14.99
The Unavowed is the latest offering from the developers behind the critically acclaimed Blackwell series and The Shivah. The opening half an hour of Unavowed was one of the most memorable opening sequences to a video game I’ve ever played, let alone any point and click game. From the start, I didn’t know what to expect from this game. I try to avoid as much information beforehand to avoid any chances of spoilers or forming any sort of judgment prior to playing it myself. I’m a massive fan of point and click adventures but I wasn’t expecting to be engrossed into Unavowed as much as I was. The story intrigued me, I wanted to find out more about the characters, I even had to make a difficult moral choice. I even jumped at one part; granted I’m a wuss and scare easily, but I expect it from horror films not from an unassuming point and click game. Wadjet Eye Games managed to squeeze a lot into the introduction and it was just a small taste of what the rest of the game would have in store.
Welcome to the Unavowed, my friend. Trust me, your life will never be the same…
Your protagonist becomes possessed by a demon and for a year of your life wrecks havoc across New York City. While under this demonic possession you have no memory of the terrible atrocities you carried out while under its command. Fortunately for you, the demon is exorcised from your body by Eli and Mandana, two members of the New York branch of the Unavowed. The Unavowed is an ancient order whose main purpose is to protect the ‘mundane world’ from hostile supernatural entities. I like to think of them as the supernatural police. The bad news is the demon escapes before they have the chance to capture it and send it back through the Void to where it originally came from. You are recruited into the Unavowed as it becomes clear that life, as you knew it prior to the possession, is long gone. You’re wanted for murder and demonic possession is sadly not a defense. It becomes your task to follow the demon’s trail of murder, manipulation and other supernatural shenanigans. It’s a race against time to piece together what the demon’s long-term intentions are and to prevent it from carrying out its plan.
One thing that struck me when I started this game was that this wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill point and click adventure game. For starters you are given the choice as to who you want your character to be. Once you’ve given your character a name you can choose their background. There are three choices to choose from; a bartender, a police officer or an actor. Each option has it’s own origin story and, depending on the background you chose, different skillsets. For example, different lines of dialogue open up depending on your background. Oh and for gender equality, you also have the choice of being male or female. It’s a minor detail but it’s always nice to have the option!
All the characters you encounter through the game have a real depth to them and ooze personality. Even small bit part characters are well written and are brought to life by excellent voice acting. As you progress through the story, you recruit more members into the Unavowed and before setting off for an investigation you have the choice as to who will accompany you. Each character has their own special abilities and, combined with their different personalities, all bring something different to the table when you team up together on a case. It reminds me of the varying companions you can choose from in Dragon Age or the Mass Effect series. Even more so when they have background conversations with each other as you go about your business in the game. Even hovering the cursor over the characters brings up amusing descriptions of what the characters are feeling at that moment e.g. Eli wrinkles his nose at the state of the place; Mandana looks happy to be out of the rain. Although Unavowed is a dark game at times, it has elements of humor throughout the game which it pulls off well.
NYC brought to life
The dark eerie atmosphere of the game is a testament to the audio production. The music draws you in and the sound effects bring the 2D version of New York City to life. When you first arrive at the Unavowed’s headquarters, you can hear the sound of the rain outside hitting the windows which sounded so good when I had my headphones on I actually thought it was raining outside. Cars drive by in the background, the addition of train announcements when you’re at a train station, all make the game immersive and feel real. The games official soundtrack is also available to purchase which contains over 100 hours of original music.
The environments are well designed and look great. The 2D animation used looks great and is layered in a way that makes the scenes pop out giving it a 3D appearance. It’s not overused but is effective when it is utilized. It’s a perfect blend of modern and retro pixel art.
Playing Unavowed feels like being in an episode of Supernatural and accompanying Sam and Dean on their paranormal adventures. Unlike some adventure games, Unavowed has a high replayability factor. Not only do you have three origin stories to play through, but you can experiment with different companions in your investigations. Furthermore, in the options menu, you can also choose to have developer commentary and learn more about the creation of the game. Wadjet Eye tried something different with the tried and tested methodical approach to the point and click genre and succeeded. This is a must-have for adventure gamers or if you enjoyed any of Wadjet Eye’s back catalog (Wadjet Eye fans may also notice a few easter eggs). If your not normally a fan of adventure games but are interested in the paranormal, or anything supernatural related, I would also recommend it as the story is captivating and well written. Bring on a sequel!
This game was provided by Wadjet Eye Games for the purposes of this review.
Images courtesy of Wadjet Eye Games.