The genre of adventures in the style of cyberpunk continues to be popular. Anshar Studios, known as an apprentice of Larian Studios and People Can Fly, has released its first full-fledged game that sets a very high bar, but stumbles over a modest budget and weak optimization.
Gamedec tries to be a detective in the world of the electronic future and at the same time relies on non-linearity and a lot of options for solving plot problems. Working through the branching tree of dialogues and numerous abilities cuts off the game time, leaving the player without screensavers, satisfactory endings and with optional sections that artificially increase the overall timing. As a result, the player experiences regular frustration instead of joy from an interesting narrative.
The events of Gamedec take place in Warsaw of the 22nd century, where the development of technology has plunged humanity even deeper into the world of virtual entertainment. Numerous game universes with realistic simulation began to influence reality, giving rise to the profession of a game detective — or gamedec. In the role of such an investigator, you start your story by choosing the appearance, as well as the starting abilities of the character.
The creation of Anshar Studios relies primarily on communication and plot. Therefore, in addition to the character control screen, three bookmarks are available to you. The first is a deduction window, where you can compare the collected facts and choose one of the lines of investigation. Having taken a step in a certain direction, you immediately cross out all other paths and will not be able to return to past decisions. The second tab is responsible for the special abilities of the character. For communication and building a deduction map, you are entitled to experience points in different categories-from intuition to ingenuity. In exchange for them, you can pump up the knowledge tree, gaining advantages in such areas as programming, medicine or hacking electronics. Open skills give new options in dialogs, allowing you to fish out additional information during the investigation. Actually, the whole game consists of a large number of dialogues with small movements around locations with the search for the right character. The only exception is the virtual maze section, where you need to choose the correct sequence of colors to detect the exit.
The dialogues themselves offer variability, which leads to certain consequences. Characters encountered in one virtual world can help you with advice in another, or an early decision can result in noticeable consequences in the future. The authors came up with a good approach to the construction of worlds, offering virtual spaces of post-apocalypse, medieval fantasy and the Wild West. Each of the worlds has its own hidden or obvious references to real game projects, and the farm simulator plays on the theme of loot boxes. All this is presented in a fun and relaxed way, but the authors do not have enough experience for a deeper implementation of their plans. The references to "Neuromancer” and" Psychopassport” are too noticeable and obvious, but in general, the history of Gamedec cannot boast of the same level of study and immersion. The characters are too faded and do not cause sympathy, and the final plot twist becomes obvious already in the second half of the game.
Well, the main problem of Gamedec, like almost any Polish product, remains optimization. The version that we got acquainted with too evokes associations with products from early access. Some of the descriptions of skills remained in Polish, there is no final screen saver – the system simply throws it into the menu. Dialogues hang without the possibility of an exit, and the character periodically gets stuck in textures. Of course, the authors promise to fix all this quickly, but I have big doubts. But you can be sure that there is no Russian language in the game and in the near future there will be no Russian language. And playing Gamedec even with an average English is not so easy. Here the whole game consists of a huge amount of text and dialogues, as well as the favorite Disco Elysium by many.
Gamedec is a good idea, which in a sense resembles Beautiful Desolation from South African developers, but suffers from the unbearable burden of the burden taken on. An interesting setting is leveled by flat characters, errors in the code and boring sections, and the story never reaches its peak with a strong enough reserve, just repeating other people's decisions that we have seen many times already. Of course, if you are a fan of the genre and speak English well, you can give the project a chance, especially since patches should close some of the problems. Everyone else should wait a couple of years for Russian localization, if it appears, of course.