I might be able to live with this were the gameplay a bit more exciting. Sadly, while the context-sensitive point-and-click interface and gadgets like the PDS work well, the simple fact is that the puzzles are mostly quite pedestrian. In many cases, it’s just a question of working out how to circumvent a fairly simple barrier – we’re definitely not talking Monkey Island here – while in other cases you’ll be scratching your head as to what slightly obscure solution will trigger the next batch of memories. Rarely is there any tension, any chance to improvise or any opportunity to think outside the box. In fact, you come away feeling that Overclocked is all about the story, and that if you want to know how it all fits together, you’re just going to have to follow the game’s set path.
On the positive side, the story is just about interesting enough to keep you engaged. Even though I was put off by the plodding gameplay and the poor presentation, I came back to Overclocked because I wanted to know what happened to our mental cases, and how it will all work out. It’s a strange case of the narrative itch that you just have to scratch, and a few old-school adventure game addicts might find this enough to make the purchase worthwhile.
All the same, it’s hard to recommend that anyone else rush out and buy this game. Overclocked seems to have taken elements from Fahrenheit and applied them to a classic point-and-click adventure style, but Fahrenheit worked because it gave you choices and immersed you intellectually and emotionally in its world. Overclocked tries with its conversations between you and your soon-to-be estranged wife, but these scenes are too close to primitive machinima to make that work. Do I feel slightly mean for criticising a game because its budget and technology can’t match its ambitions? Sure, but Overclocked just doesn’t work as it should. Nothing bar the story is strong enough to compete in today’s games market, and the result is another adventure game that has one toe in the future, but the rest firmly stuck in the past.
A disappointing attempt at a point-and-click psychological thriller, let down by below-par presentation and uninspired puzzles. One for adventure addicts only.
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