The strangest of feelings emerge when someone thinks that he’s about to end his mortality and declare himself a god. What could he possibly do? Does the end always justify the means? Even if it is murder? That kind of moral dilemma is the main theme of Raw fury’s latest installment, Whispers Of a Machine and it’s a difficult one to answer.
From the makers of Samarithan Paradox and Kathy Rain, comes a fresh new adventure with a remarkable twist in the gameplay that personally challenged me to think differently and that’s what an adventure game should be doing.
The world after the Collapse is not the same. Humanity tries to rebuild herself from the ashes of a terrible war. In that Post apocalyptic noirish atmosphere Vera, our main protagonist, is a special agent that is sent to solve a murder in a small town. But what may seem like a typical murder has its ties very deep connected to a cult that their sole purpose is to resurrect A.I. . This case wont be an easy one and by the looks of it, everyone is a suspect.
Vera is not your typical black suit agent. She’s a strong woman that’s recovering from the death of her loved one but that doesn’t stop her from being very good at the detective work. The agency granted her a set of augmentations that provide some unique abilities that may become useful during the investigations. During the course of the game and depending on the choices Vera makes, new augmentations will be available.
That is also a very clever way for the game to acquire a high replay value because the same riddles can be solved differently. The augmentations can be used for searching and analyzing evidence or to spot a liar or to see if someone is afraid and he’s got something to hide. That kind of liberty allowed me to think outside of the box like I was an augmented agent myself.
The riddles are mostly inventory based but I came across a very clever riddle at the museum and another one at the EPOS church that revealed the gameplay’s potential to the fullest. It’s not an easy game. Neither a difficult one. It’s a game that requires the player to focus and to think like Vera.
The visual part of “Whispers of the Machine” is excellent. Some may say that is pixelated but this is their magic. Finally the AGS engine supports letterbox resolutions so you can enjoy the game without vertical black bars on your monitor. The dismal post-Collapse world is beautiful with lots of detail given the fact that AGS is not a cutting edge graphics engine. I liked the world animations but I would prefer more of them. Also I would want more locations because the plot could support them. The character models are designed with all the small details that someone could wait and the signature speaking avatar of the character during a conversation is present.
Overall the graphics wont disappoint but someone could expect more locations and a more vivid world.
The sound is very taken care of. The ambient music that serves as a soft silk on our ears while we explore the game world is deliberately a bit sad. The voice overs are top notch and I think that Vera’s performance stands out as one of the best I encountered in an adventure game. Some voices are a little flat but maybe that had to do with the fact that they were actually portraying dull characters. I am very glad that the production values even in indie games are so high.
Whispers of the Machine is an excellent game. The high replay value, the awesome story, the beautiful voices and of course the meticulously drawn world, create a unique adventure experience. The only downside is the small duration and this is because I want to see more of Vera and her adventures and I am sure I am not the only one.