How far is too far?
(Warning, this review contains minor spoilers, but spoilers nonetheless.)
A bead of sweat made its way down my brow as I slowly raised my gun up towards the temple of the child.
I dared not look at his face because I knew if I did, I would not be able to do what needed to be done.
Instead, I turned my gaze to his mother.
“Give me the code, Claire. Give me the code or he dies.”
Horrified, she brought her hands to her mouth and whispered.
“No… no, you wouldn’t. I know you. You… won’t. ”
Feeling nothing but hesitation, I began to count.
Just give me the code, damn it!
I don’t want to do this!
I can’t stop now….
Please, please don’t make me do this.
With tears welling up in her eyes, Claire stood firm, believing in me. Believing in me more than I do myself. Believing in me… more than she should have.
God, please forgive me….
I close my eyes and pull the trigger.
For a moment, I’m lost in between the sounds of terror and pure, unadulterated rage.
When I opened them again, I saw a mother no more fall to her knees and the rest of the hostages rush towards me, determined to take me down, no matter the cost.
Such is a moment from “Gods Will Be Watching”, dramatized a bit for your pleasure- or perhaps, your terror.
This is not a title for the squeamish, and while it doesn’t completely live up to its ambitious goals, it’s still an experience unlike any other.
Multiplayer: People’s choices tally, like the Walking Dead series.
Demo Availability: Yes.
Length: 4-6 hours for a single play through with decent replayability to see other possible outcomes.
Gods Will Be Watching is a rather simple game on the surface, with pixelated graphics that are synonymous with indie titles in this day and age, along with basic point and click mechanics anyone who’s ever played an adventure game would be familiar with.
However, beneath that surface lies a deceptively deep and clever title, both in terms of its story and overall game play.
As is the case with most adventure games, the main focus here is on the choices the player makes and the story which unfolds through a handful of chapters.
The major difference here is that these choices players will have to make aren’t just about the consequences that they present, but much more so about how they interact with achieving a particular goal.
For example, in the scenario I presented in the introduction, the goal is to get several codes from people who you’ve taken hostages by any means necessary.
There are many ways to fail the mission, and each action taken comes with a variety of consequences which can be used to one’s advantage.
Figuring out a path to success is a puzzle unto itself, and often has the player taking some rather “unsavory” actions to get the results desired.
As I mentioned before, this is most certainly not a title for those who are easily offended, as it pushes the envelope in a multitude of ways.
I fully appreciate the fact that this is a mature title for adults and it’s not offensive for the sake of shock value, but simply because necessity.
While I found many of the scenarios presented to be fascinating, I felt the difficulty to be a bit overbearing at times.
Trying to maintain the delicate balance between different fail-states seemed impossible at times, especially on the very first chapter where I wasn’t even familiar with the mechanics of the game.
I believe it took me over ten tries to beat the very first chapter and just as many times once more on another chapter, which wouldn’t have been that bad if there weren’t so many luck-based factors involved.
Also, as I had to replay the same sections over and over again, I had to suffer through the same dialogue over and over again, and I simply couldn’t skip them fast enough to make them not feel annoying.
All in all, they’re mostly complaints borne from the double edged nature of the design of the game itself, and while I can’t delve too far into that without spoiling a major part of the title, I will simply say that it’s explained but it’s not quite entirely justified.
At the end of the day, Gods Will Be Watching is a title I’m sure to remember for some time for its many intense moments, but in the back of my mind, I’ll always ponder what could have been if they’d fully realized their ambitions.
Fun Tidbit – This was a difficult review to write because I knew I had to spoil at least one scenario to some degree to explain how the title functions and I chose that particular moment and possible choice because it felt quite impactful in the heat of the moment.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.