Friday, 4 August 2017

Review - Subject 13

Subject 13 is an adventure game that frequently switches between 1st and 3rd person (the result is quite good and not nearly as disorienting as that description might suggest!) - the last thing you remember is that you are drowning, and then you wake up in some kind of research laboratory.  A disembodied voice guides you through things, and soon you're entangled in a mystery involving quantum theory and all that sort of thing.  Everyone seems to have disappeared... or were they disposed of?  

It's all for you to find out in an adventure game that's heavy on puzzle density - LOTS of puzzles in almost every location, although the same basic types of puzzle are often reused - and a few inventory-based puzzles.  In the entire game there are only two characters you can speak to, but you can find recordings along the way of what people describing what had happened to them.  This worked okay some of the time, but at others felt rather redundant - it was a technique handled better, I felt, in Lifeless Planet.  Still the storyline is okay, not exceptional but generally speaking you do want to find out what happened next.

The puzzles were a bit of a mixed bag to me - I prefer my adventure games to have plenty of interactions with other characters and lots of inventory puzzles, so perhaps I'm not entirely the target demographic for this game - certainly I enjoyed solving some of the puzzles, one or two I found difficult, a few I simply found annoying.  If you like games that essentially present you with one logic puzzle after another with a hint of storytelling, you might like this more than I did.

The graphics were nice (sometimes very nice) although they glitched a couple of times - once I had a main character with a black square for a head - but I wouldn't say these glitches were frequent.  The graphical detail of the backgrounds was good, sometimes great, but there was seldom much movement to suggest a living world (this was possibly intentional).  Music and SFX are good, voice acting is generally okay, but like the backgrounds, felt a little lifeless.  I'm not quite certain if alternate endings were possible... at any rate then ending I got left me mainly unsatisfied, and I didn't enjoy he game enough to want to try again for a different ending.

Overall I didn't feel that Subject 13 was exactly a bad game, but it didn't really grab me at any point, and whilst I did enjoy some of it, there were quite long sections that I didn't.   It isn't really my style of game in all fairness, though the AdventureGamers review came to similar conclusions to myself.  If you still want to take a look it's available on Steam.

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