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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (497)

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Control 4/5
Victor Vran 3/5
Katamari Damacy REROLL 4/5
SIMULACRA 3/5
Hitman: Absolution 3.5/5
Alternativa 2.5/5
Stardew Valley 4/5
Undertale 4/5
Cyberpunk 2077 3/5
Fable Anniversary 3/5
Strange Brigade 4/5
Satellite Reign 3/5
Watch Dogs 2 4/5
Divinity: Original Sin 2 4.5/5
Marvel: Ultimate Allian... 3/5
Star Trek: Bridge Crew 3/5
Metro 2033 3.5/5
South Park: The Fractur... 4/5
Sundered 3.5/5
Mass Effect: Andromeda 3.5/5
Life is Strange: Before... 4/5
God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5
Detroit: Become Human 4/5

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Alternativa   PC (Steam) 

An Adventure in Banality and Bad Voice Acting    2.5/5 stars

I'm relatively certain this came from a Humble Bundle package deal or I was really, really pining for an old-school adventure game and this caught my eye. In any case, Alternativa certainly follows the point-and-click illogic of combining random objects to do stuff while also having a banal setup and story with questionable voice acting. The fact this was fully voiced was a surprise but didn't exactly make it any better. Released by Bohemia Interactive (best known for the Operation Flashpoint and ARMA series), this is a game that flew way, WAY under the radar - so much so that there is barely any information out there on it. It's a game that got lot in the shuffle and I don't think that's entirely a bad thing.

Looks and Stuff: The game came out in 2010 (the same year we got Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2 and BioShock 2) but looks no better than an early-era PS1 game. I don't know if this was the idea in order to capture that adventure vibe, but it has little going in the looks department. There is somewhat of a variety to the areas in the game, but I can't say anything really stands out. The music is droning and lackluster. The game is fully voiced (about the best thing it has going for it in this department) but the delivery leaves a lot to be desired. I can't even tell you who voiced anyone as there doesn't seem to be a record of who worked on this - maybe that's for the best as I don't know anyone who would want to claim this one on their resume anyways. At least the game didn't suffer from any game-breaking bugs or even any crashes. The worst thing that happened was that I walked through a locked door in one area.

Story: The game just dumps you into a cyber-punkish, sci-fi dystopian future with little backstory. You've been fired from your job with no notice, you lose your pass into the working part of the city and even your means of transportation to get back to your slum. Don't worry, just combine a few random items and you'll get that back anyways. Your dead-beat roommate has also been fired from the same job, though he thinks yelling at a some robots will help. Yes, this world is full of automated robots - though many are now broken and the ones that remain are more apt to beat, kill or incarcerate you than anything else. The game gives you the bare minimum of a story - it seems there was a WWIII, much got destroyed and now there are three main powers running things - The State (aka the government), Theolex (one of two mega-corporations - this one builds all the robots) and Endora (who apparently employs most of the blue-collar labor - this is the company who fires you in the beginning). All three compete with each other for power, trying to one-up the other and your character wants to join the secretive resistance and undermine them all! While the game starts off well-meaning, it soon becomes apparent that the further you go along, the more rushed and less detailed things get - leading up to a tacked-on ending that begs for a sequel that will never come. There's nothing original or interesting here with either the character or story and the random threads that are just dropped make things even more infuriating.

Gameplay:This is a classic point-and-click adventure. You walk around, examine things, pick up other things, talk to people, combine things (usually in the most obtuse manner) to use on other things, figure out more obtuse puzzles and generally just keep chugging along until something clicks. You'll do an awful lot of backtracking (especially in the first area) and sometimes the logic of who to talk to when makes zero sense. I admit I fully gave up early on and tracked down an obscure walkthrough just so I could finish, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered as neither story nor characters were particularly deep or meaningful.

Replay value: There is only one part of the game where you can take an alternate route (between two characters) but it leads to the exact same outcome and certainly doesn't require a second playthrough.

Final Verdict: An old-school adventure in a slightly more modern package that makes me remember why I stopped playing old-school adventure games in the first place.

Presentation: 2/5
Story: 2/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Replay: N/A
Overall (not an average): 2.5/5

 

 


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Nelson Schneider

Nelson Schneider- wrote on 10/19/21 at 12:43 AM CT

 

Yikes! But while we're on the topic of yelling at robots, you should definitely cuss-out the RNG dice roller that picked this turd for you to play this year.

 
 
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