Chaos on Deponia Review For PC
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Point-and-click adventure games have recently fallen out of vogue in favour of shinier, louder genres like the first person shooter; however, you can’t keep a classic gameplay style like this down for too long, and Chaos on Deponia makes expert use of several tropes, mechanics and staples of the point-and-click adventure genre, showcasing the genre’s strengths excellently. This game is in the vein of the Sam and Max, Phoenix Wright, and Monkey Island franchises; stiff competition for even the hardiest of developers. Daedalic Entertainment has hardly been dissuaded by the challenge, producing a stellar game with unique quirks and classic foundations.
Chaos on Deponia is the second game in a trilogy, but Daedalic has diligently worked to bring new players up to speed with a short but thorough tutorial, a flashback summary of the first game, and a grin-inducing introduction to the main character. Rufus is a comically inept yet resourceful protagonist who constantly defies the expectations of his supporting cast. The character design in this game is perfectly executed: each character fits a consistent style while looking unique and unforgettable. The art straddles the line between cartoony and caricature, and the backgrounds are simply stunning. Any time there’s a landscape shot, the world of Deponia is depicted with shining waters and bright skies; the interior shots provide a contrast by being cluttered and cozy, filled with technology. The gorgeous landscapes with beautifully rendered environmental effects and clever art direction build the world and set a scene just as well as the scenes within an enclosed space. The cutscenes and environments of this game are a real treat and a joy to explore.
The music and sound effects are also fantastic in the literal sense of the word; they invoke a real sense of being in another world and are satisfying to experience. Items crack, boom, flip and pow with appropriate effects, and the music sets the scene well with heroic surges during appropriate moments and low-level, pleasantly patterned tunes to accompany Rufus’ exploits and explorations that is neither distracting to the player nor inappropriate for setting a scene. The voice actors rise to the occasion magnificently, adding a real sense of character and personality to each member of the supporting cast and rounding out the character art to create real, distinctive characters as opposed to cardboard cut-outs.
Following the narrative of the game is a little trickier. The developers have packed this game with fourth-wall-breaking humour. Regrettably, sometimes clarity of story is sacrificed to make a few cracks. Combine this unfortunate tendency for humour over coherency with a few ambitious storytelling devices like an in media res introduction, and the plot can be more than a little confusing. Daedalic has mashed together several genres in the creation of Chaos on Deponia with varying success; players will recognize elements of noir, horror, fantasy, science fiction and cyberpunk as they explore the world of Deponia. Sometimes these aspects of different works are jarring and unexpected, pulling the player out of the game, but other times they add to an interesting and varied setting. For instance, in an early cutscene explaining the plot thus far, the game throws sci-fi, high-tech fantasy and noir tropes out in a thirty second sequence. This doesn’t create the impression of a multi-faceted world, but rather a confused mishmash of ideas. While with more time or consideration, the rapid-fire tropes could have worked and managed to be cohesive, here they are half-baked and often rarely considered again in the narrative. This means that these stylish devices only pop up to make a joke or unveil a character, and then fade away unceremoniously, leaving the player wondering why the developers used that style at all when one of the other genres existing in the game would have served just as well.
The gameplay mechanics are straightforward and simple; anyone who has previously played a point-and-click adventure game will be able to play Chaos on Deponia without a hitch, and newbies to the genre can jump aboard without too much hassle or a steep learning curve. The inventory is easy to manage and can be accessed through the mouse scroll-wheel or the menu, and combining items is a simple process that allows you to focus on solving puzzles and advancing the adventure. Chaos on Deponia is not revolutionizing the genre’s gameplay; instead, it sticks to solid basics that have lasted for decades.
Point-and-click adventure fans can rejoice with Chaos on Deponia, a return to form of the classic adventure games that flourished in the past. New players can also join in on the fun without a hitch. While the story can be confusing and hectic, the gameplay is solid and refreshing, and the graphics, music and environment can be stunning. This game is definitely worth a look for fans of a romping good adventure, no matter their experience level.
Chaos on Deponia earns a 4.5/5.00
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