Silence Review!

by on November 27, 2016

                Daedalic
Entertainment is part of the last stand against a gaming trend that has left
adventure games behind. Deponia, Night of the Rabbit, Anna’s Quest, The Dark
Eye and The Whispered World are some of the best point and click adventure
games of this generation. But the tides are shifting and adapting to them is
merely a matter of time. Silence is the latest expansion in Deadalic’s
adventurous portfolio, but what kind of game is it really?
Silence is a world so beautiful that it
can take your breath away, yet stands at the crossroad between life and death. Here,
a boy goes into an adventure to find his little sister after the bunker they
were hiding in was hit by a bomb. Noah is separated from Renie and finds
himself back into this world where reality and dream converge. A world filled
with hallucinogenic mushrooms, talking rocks and magic; where devilish
creatures hunt the last human survivors between the ruins of older and newer
civilizations. This is the setting for a bed time story about brotherly love,
regained bravery, rebellion and sacrifice.
This view…

 
Noah reunites with his lovely caterpillar
friend Spot, a dog in disguise with a knack for solving conundrums, and the two
journey deeper into this shattered world to find and if need be, save Renie.
But Renie doesn’t need to be saved as she is more than capable of taking care
of her own. As the three come together they are entangled into a rebellion that
wants to put an end to the False Queen’s reign of terror enforced through her
seeker monsters. But Noah and Renie are not here to save the world of Silence…
A peculiar group.
 
The story resembles in part the
interactivity of a Telltale game being driven by the action of the main
characters through simplistic
dialogues which prompt choices and consequences that don’t
change much in the course of the action. There is variation in the responses
triggered which cascade in dialogues that have slightly different outcomes. But
while choices, how insignificant, tend to add depth to the narrative and to the
characters’ development, the illusion of consequences based on the player’s
action does not. For a hardcore fan of RPGs like myself, this focus on
misleading players into thinking they set the narrative path is becoming a nuisance.
                The
writing is comical and weird exposing a world that doesn’t really make sense, because
it doesn’t have to. The plot is entangling and the two protagonists have to
break the forth wall as a reminder of the story within the story and the
reasons for their journey subtly tying Silence to its predecessor. But as
captivating as the story is, the narrative is disjointed. Dialogues and actions
feel misplaced or misused sometimes making as little sense as the world itself,
but without serving a metaphorical purpose.  
Grown ups…
 
                The
narrative alternates between the two protagonists with each new setting being a
sequence of puzzles in the fashion of old school adventure games, but with a streamlined
approach in how the puzzles are solved. There is no inventory anymore, which
means that puzzles can be solved usually with items found within two screens’
distance requiring an unnecessary number of loading screens for unnecessarily
easy tasks.
                The
puzzles don’t pose much of a challenge, sometimes being as simplistic as
finding an object and placing it in the right spot. But finding the objects
scattered in an artistic décor of blending colors can be time consuming and
Daedalic has been acknowledging this for some time. While pixel hunting might
not be gone, players are provided with options. In this case there is a
configurable hint button that can hand hold your way through a rather easy game
or just highlight the interactable objects saving precious time from checking
every inch of the screen.
What to do?!
 
                The
huggable caterpillar, Spot, is the only mechanic in the game that adds some
depth to the gameplay. With a volatile form which allows him to turn flat or
spherical on demand, Spot can drink water, lava and what not to deal with the puzzles
at hand in an adorable and intelligent way.
A bridge!
 
                Daedalic’s
desire of making Silence a more cinematic experience has crippled the gameplay
options to a great extent. The game is like a crisis of identity that I hope,
for the sake of this genre, isn’t what Daedalic Entertainment is going through
right now.
It’s all about the achievement.
 
                The graphics
of Silence combine 2D backgrounds with 3D characters and objects to hit the
visual sweet spot of a fairy tale world. Partially animated and vividly
colorful, the world of Silence is cunningly welcoming, never giving the
impression of what it truly is, but never losing the sense of danger either.
The visuals are gorgeous serving the thematic in the best possible way by exploiting
the technological imperfection through an artistic direction meant to let your
imagination turn back the clock to childhood.
Spectacular!
In trouble
                As
immersive as the visuals much of their transcending powers would have been diminished
without the soothing music this game has. This could have been a dangerous mix
capable of causing regret over the passage of time if it wasn’t for some of
this game’s cringy dialogues and Renie’s annoying voice.
Perv!
So cute!!

 

                Silence
is a trip back on the memory lane to the bed time stories of childhood, hiding
behind a charming world, silly characters and a fairy tale plot a much more
delicate subject. But it’s trying so hard to appeal to multiple
generations and this is probably its biggest sin.
                 At the transition point between
two markets, Silence might be capturing the attention of older and younger
adventurers alike, but I’m not sure which group will enjoy it the most.
Pros:
+ Visuals are artistically beautiful
+ Atmospheric music
+ The story
+ Spot
Cons:
– Overly simplified gameplay
– Many and long loading screens
– Some of the dialogues and voice acting

 

 
 
 
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