Back when I was younger, I played Counter-strike 1.6 religiously. You drop into the map, buy what you need, then play around objectives or murder the enemy team. Simple stuff. I then got into other first-person shooters (FPS) like Half-Life, Portal, Call of Duty, F.E.A.R, and the list goes on. Storytelling, breakable environments, stealth, survival horror, stereotypical racist characters, Gundams and even dogs (PETA-approved of course), were brought into the genre to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Point being, FPS has become a genre that offers more than just offing someone with a gun. To do well, you need to bring something extra to the table, to get an edge over the others. This year, Get Even joins the fray.
In Get Even, you play as Cole Black, an amnesiac who is trying to piece together the events which had led to his memory loss. Cole wakes up in an asylum, not knowing how he got there. All he remembers is a dank tunnel, a girl with a bomb strapped to her, and him failing to defuse the bomb in time. In the asylum, he is forced into therapy to regain his memories by Red, who hides behind a screen and somehow knows about the events leading up to Cole’s memory loss. Will Cole find out who was behind all this, and perhaps settle the score? Or, one might even say, will he get even? *heh*
Now, before moving on, humor me for a second. Could Cole have saved the girl by removing the strap-on and throwing it away? Maybe. Okay, what about surviving an explosion AS HIS HANDS AND FACE ARE LITERALLY LESS THAN A METER AWAY FROM THE DAMN EXPLOSIVE? Heh, I’m no doctor. Also, spoiler rant – THE DAMN GIRL SURVIVES TOO? HOW??
Anyway, let’s dive in.
As part of his therapy, Cole explores the asylum and finds items which remind him of the events prior to his memory loss. He then explores said events by using a device and basically relives these events to help with his therapy.
That said, the game separates itself into two general sections – the exploration of the asylum, and the reliving of past memories. The former focuses more on ambiance and thriller, whereas the latter is action-heavy.
You start off by barely exploring the asylum, and interacting with perhaps one or two of the crazies. No problem, they seem little nuts but, you have a gun and they are behind bars! A-hah! After your first memory dive, Red then casually tells you “oh yeah, the patients are now out of their cells lol”. So, the shitshow begins.
The crazies ramble on about things that don’t make sense. You get excellent ambient music that has intermittent stabs to jolt you. Life-sized human mannequins are dotted around the map (I swear everyone has this phobia) for extra scare points. Oh, let’s also walk through a narrow corridor while the crazies rattle the doors, constantly reminding you that they may or may not come beat theever-lovingg shit out of you.
All in all, the tension is there, supplemented by fantastic sound design that adds to the eccentricity of the other patients and excellent ambient music that really sets the mood. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that Get Even’s key to achieving excellent ambience is in its sound.
Action Man Cole Black
As Cole relives his memories, his skillset as an ex-military comes into play. During these memory explorations, you have the choice of being stealthy or becoming a goddamn action hero.
By default, you are given a silenced pistol and an assault rifle. Well, that seems pretty standard, right? Well, to let players have a little bit of an edge, these two weapons are outfitted with an attachment – the CornerGun. As the name suggests, you are given the ability to aim out of corners without putting yourself in their line of sight. In the right hands, this mechanic is ridiculously overpowered. “Oh, you have goons running down this corridor towards me? Perfect.”, then you gun them down in a line. Easy.
Other than that, the combat itself is nothing of note. It’s very difficult to not kill in this game, and I say that because even takedowns are considered kills. The only way to play a non-lethal game is to sneak around, which is a pain in the ass considering you cannot quicksave.
As an aside, during your time in the game, you are given a phone. This phone is a goddamn miracle. It does whatever a phone is supposed to do… PLUS – it is able to detect objects or items which are of interest (detective scan or some shit), it has a UV light, a functioning THERMAL CAMERA, and for some reason a map of a place you have never explored, which also shows where the enemies are and their vision cone.
And if you think these functions make this the best damn phone that will ever be, guess what? The battery never dies. Yes, there is no penalty involved if you choose to abuse the phone’s functions.
So, the bottom line is, what do I think about the game?
The game is ambitious and purposeful, but it might have benefited from more testing. Imagine this, you’ve made it past 5 guards and you’re hiding, trying to be stealthy. You look round the corner with the CornerGun… Great, you’re clear to go. Wait, your character seems to be twitching. Congratulations! YOU ARE NOW STUCK IN THE GEOMETRY. This happened a few times in my playthrough, sadly.
To add to that – dead characters with static animations that leave their eyes wide open (probably the major reason why dead enemies ‘disintegrate’ later on), enemies with funky visual cones, bushes that don’t hide you (I mean, I lose sight of the enemy so why shouldn’t the reverse be true?), photos that come out in different angles than the one you had taken it in, and etc, etc.
While the game does have different endings, but their variance is not significant. What pisses me off is the condition to get the True Ending. You need to complete the game not only in stealth, but also do it non-lethal. Oh excuse me, you mean this game where you have significantly limited options of being non-lethal (don’t get seen), despite your character being an ex-military badass that enemy mercenaries are afraid of? Makes total sense!
It’s by no means a polished game, however…
Against All Odds
I found myself enjoying the game more than being frustrated by it.
I was genuinely impressed with the sound design. Without spoiling much, at one point in the game, the asylum’s patients begin to chant a phrase. The ways the devs go about presenting that phrase, perhaps by having multiple patients gradually chant in unison, or even just having a single person chant and slowly ramping up the pitch to the point it does not sound humanly possible, the methods helped create an atmosphere for the game. Also, the OST is just absolutely lovely. Bought it on Steam, felt that it was well worth the price.
And the storytelling was, in my opinion, well done. It did not feed you with too much information while giving just enough to make you guess as to what had happened. Games can either give away too much information or none at all (looking at you FromSoft). In Get Even, I felt like I was starved for information in the earlier stages, but as the story slowly fleshed itself out, I noticed that I began to speculate. These speculations are then either affirmed or denied at later stages.
Frankly, if this is what The Farm 51 pushes out, I wouldn’t mind going for more.
Get Even, in my books, is a game worth playing even if it’s just for the experience of it. However, given it is an 8-10 hour game (player-dependant), I think most people would find it worthwhile only during a sale.
If you’re looking to pick up Get Even you can do so either on Steam for PC or the PSN Store for PlayStation 4. Check out this list of other Steam games you can consider snagging during the on-going Steam Summer Sales.
This review was originally written by Xelthius. Please make a new account on our site to claim your post!