It is both pleasing and exciting to see gaming evolve as an art-form. To take a game and make it not only deliver a story, but also highlight key aspects of life and tackle some of humanity’s flaws without compromising in gameplay, takes a great deal of skill. In the words of the developer “See No Evil is a dark, isometric puzzle game about sound manipulation. A harsh fantasy where the willingly blind are hostile to the nonconformist. Sometimes, the world seems darker with your eyes open.” There are several aspects of this game that make it so enticing an captivating, beyond the puzzle that is quite unique due to the sound manipulation mechanic.
But before diving into all of that let’s look at what options we have available to configure this title to best suit our play style.
THE OPTIONS MENU
The graphical options are not what one would call comprehensive, seeing as this is a 2D game, however it’s worthy to note that it does give the option to switch between Full Screen and Window mode. There is also a parameter to select the window size (Small Medium or Large) although not really sure why this couldn’t be handled with a normal window reside. The title is capped at 30FPS and although the smoothness of 60FPS would have added to the experience, having this cap is by no means a deal breaker.
The audio options are good, especially when compared to some AAA titles. I love having the option to turn down the music and the SFX in favor of the Voice in order to clearly hear what the NPCs and the narrator are saying.
Control-wise the game offers both keyboard and full controller support, with fully rebindable keys for both, making it a good couch relaxer.
Without giving too many spoilers: The main character is one of many others that have chosen to no longer see the world around them by keeping their eyes closed, thus becoming blind and ignorant to their surroundings and situation. By opening his eyes, the protagonist is now able to see the beauty and darkness that surrounds him, and guided by just a journal he found on a corpse, he wishes to escape the prison of ignorance and blindness.
There are no weapons, just screams, and the sounds of footsteps. Using these two elements, plus the ability to actually see the environment, every puzzle must be solved and every enemy avoided, slowly unfolding the captivating story of this darkened world.
There are a lot of other elements that interact with noises. Guards will be attracted to them, horns amplify them, flowers propagate them and these elements are the key to solving the puzzle or the bringer of ones demise.
The puzzles themselves are not too difficult, but are no doubt different than what most of us have experienced so far. Although not quite reaching the same level of uniqueness as Valve’s Portal where the mind was really challenged to think in new ways, one is forced to adapt and take into account an element that hasn’t been exploited in other puzzle games as much.
See No Evil makes use of cartoonish graphics that are not overly-detailed, giving the impressions that the whole world is a dream or rather a nightmare. The sounds and soundtrack are beautiful, picked with a very strict attention to detail to further the nightmare sensation. There is also a narrator, a woman, who seems to be the mastermind behind this darkened world and her voice greatly complements the other two elements mentioned earlier. She always gives the constant feeling that of being watched, in a world lacking sight.
If you’re looking for a new experience with a great story, this is definitely a game to try out. It has so many good things going for it that it’s hard to justify not trying it out. You can pick it up on steam as it was released earlier today, for the cost of £10.99 or your regional equivalent.