The Devil's Men I didn't know much about The Devil's Men before my meeting and came away from it feeling absolutely enthralled. Designed as a point and click murder mystery, The Devil's Men takes place in an alternate version of 1871 England that mashes together the beauty and elegance of Victorian society with the industrial look and feel of steampunk. The game's narrative is set within a seaside town that once served as location for the World's Fair, whose grounds have been turned into a slum community The COlony. A haven for the poor, The Colony serves as a for Emily, a notorious criminal and murder who becomes an unlikely ally to Adelaide Spektor, the abandoned daughter of a famous detective, after she witnesses the murder of her father's friend. Together, the two women will be drawn into a larger plot involving a group of scientists that have "exceeded the limits of the spiritual and material world."
Although switching between has become a common feature in modern adventure games, The Devil's Men is interesting because Emily and Adelaide are allowed speak and act in a manner that defines their personalities and serves their best interests. While Adelaide is concerned about stepping on toes and doing what's right, Emily has no such qualms. Their conflict of interest results in numerous branching story paths and scenarios that can be completed in a different ways that will have consequences for each character. The Devil's Men utilizes a gorgeous art style that blends 3D environemnts with gorgeous 2D textures in a way that reminded me of Disney's early animated features that used their multiplane camera system.
Silence: The Whispered World 2
I did not play The WhisperedWorld. Thankfully, I was assured that pre-existing knowledge of the game was not needed to enjoy Silence as the events of the adventure are recapped for the benefit of newcomers (and to serve as a refresher course for returning players). The big take away is that Noah, the protagonist from the first game and former child clown, has grown into a teenager who takes care of his younger sister Renie. While trying to seek shelter from the ravages of war, Noah finds that his sister has disappeared deep within Silence and needs to be rescued. Noah's return holds the promise of new mysteries to be uncovered but players will be able to switch perspectives and explore the dream world through the eyes of Renie. Daedalic promises intuitive gameplay and puzzle solving that goes beyond traditional "puzzles for the sake of puzzles" design by offering subtle clues in the game's UI whenever an object can be interacted with.
Silence uses the same visual design idea of The Devil's Men which helps give the world of dreams a more ethereal look. The characters in Silence look fantastic and even though we only saw the first twenty minutes of the game, Noah's little sister Renie made a lasting impression, a character who not only was sweet and adorable but also vulnerable and in need of her big brother's protection.
Both The Devil's Men and Silence will be available on PC and Mac next year.
Rounding out my meeting was a brief look at Fire, a cute, bright and light hearted puzzle game. Ungh is a Stone Age caveman whose clumsiness has caused his tribe's fire to burn out. In order to redeem himself, Ungh must travel the world to seek out a new flame to bring back while interacting with the denizens of an early Earth along the way. The game is broken up into different levels, each containing a trapped lightning bug that must be freed in order to advance. To free these creatures, you will need to interactive with an environment comprised of many interactive elements that operate on the simple process of cause and effect. Fire method of play is based on experimentation and discovery, leaving the player to find out for themselves how each level's puzzle-based ecosystem works.
Given Fire's experimental gameplay design, Daedalic created an easy to use one click control scheme to make the game accessible to any skill level. The game will be on PCs and Macs this fall with a mobile version coming out soon after.
Teen Services Librarian by day, Darkstation review editor by night. I've been playing video games since the days of the Commodore 64 and I have no interest in stopping now that I've made it this far.