The issues of the formation of a totalitarian state and survival in it are constantly raised by society. One can recall even the frightening novel “1984” by Orwell. This topic has become interesting for game manufacturers.
Download Beholder 2 for iPhone and iPad (App Store)
Download Beholder 2 for Mac and Windows (Steam)
In 2016, the Beholder game appeared, in which the player was offered to become a house manager and engage in surveillance of citizens. The product turned out to be original, because we constantly had to make a moral choice between honor, duty, conscience, fear and disentangle the consequences of our actions. The game turned out to be so distinctive that even a small film was shot on it.
It is not surprising that the sequel, Beholder 2, soon appeared.
The main character is not related to the manager Karl Stein, but the state seems to be the same. We have to manage a young citizen named Evan Redgrave, whose father committed suicide in the opening video. This was a senior official of the Main Ministry. Evan was suddenly transferred to work there. And if in the first part the hero mainly communicated with the tenants, now he has to plunge into the world of bureaucracy. The game is a detective investigation, in parallel with which you will have to build your own career. This compares favorably with the first part – the hero frankly has where and why to grow.
The work that Evan arranged was to receive citizens’ applications. We have to choose which department and office to send petitioners to and with which form. The nature of the petitions makes it clear in which country the events are taking place. Denunciations, slander and complaints constitute the majority of appeals. I must say that the scriptwriters still softened the negative background with humor. Listening to petitioners is fun, not scary. Moving up the ranks, Evan will begin to parse those very statements, deciding the fate of people. But work is far from the most important part of the game, but simply routine and necessary. For it they give money and credibility points.
Investigation and career advancement is carried out through interaction with colleagues. And here it is already quickly necessary to determine – what will be our hero: honest, open and decent or cunning and vile? You can make friends with your boss and get a promotion with his help, or you can throw forbidden things to a competitor by substituting him. Information is a valuable asset, because with its help it will be possible to get close to a valuable person. From this point of view, spending on acquiring TV shows for home viewing will be justified – their discussion with colleagues will obviously prove to be useful. However, the game allows you not to choose between black and white, but to advance with the help of numerous compromises. But every decision can be fatal for someone, including Evan. Almost any character here has its own “skeletons in the closet.” Who to trust in a society where no one can be trusted is a difficult question. The path to the truth will be long, but the non-linear plot provides for nine ending options.
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An important part of the game was the resource system. Earned money is needed, for example, to pay bills and purchase information. Authority helps in communicating and completing tasks. We have to take into account a new resource – time. It is spent on certain actions and it may be trite enough! We constantly have to resolve issues related to resource consumption. Spend time to earn money and authority or have time to complete the next quest? But then what to pay for the apartment? In a totalitarian society, a citizen cannot feel at all calm. This atmosphere is transmitted to us by the game.
The game space is all the same several rooms in frankly dark colors. You can move between screens, as in the classic platformer: moving left or right. A fixed camera is attached to the hero, looking at him from above and from the side. This gives a three-dimensional feel. But it will not be possible to go deeper into the scene, except perhaps to the nearest active subject. Black characters sparkle with white eye sockets, such a contrast is appropriate in the overall gloomy atmosphere. There are nowhere to wait for bright spots. And the music sounds alarming, and the voices are replaced by inaudible murmurs.
It will take about ten hours to complete the game. But this path can be stretched, preserving moral principles and achieving the result with honest work and truth. Alternative storylines are not intertwined, so Beholder 2 fans will find pleasure in rerunning it.
In the final, the game will reveal to Evan the whole truth about his father and will give an opportunity to change the fate of the totalitarian world. Beholder 2 is clearly a success and has reached a new level compared to its predecessor. The plot added depth and dynamism, secrets, human tragedies and quests became clearly more. But the third part of the Beholder, it seems, will not be – people will tire of endlessly testing their moral principles, as well as of the interesting, but still gray and frightening world.
Download Beholder 2 for iPhone and iPad (App Store)