EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Preston Dozsa
previewed on PC
The Great Wave
Early last year, Fictiorama studios launched and fulfilled the goals of its Kickstarter for its post-apocalyptic adventure game Dead Synchronicity. Setting a game after the apocalypse is always a double-edged sword: while the setting itself provides a wealth of material through which one can explore the various facets of the human condition, it can also just as easily fall into a pit of cliches and uninspiring narrative by failing to come up with a new component or twist to the style. Thankfully, Dead Synchronicity appears to be comfortable focusing on the actions and memories of its main character, creating what will hopefully be an intensely personal experience.
You play as Michael, a man who awakens some time after a catastrophe known as ‘The Great Wave’ has destroyed all of modern civilization, forcing survivors to cower in refugee camps and the dilapidated ruins of cities. The end of the world also brings forth a new plague that literally melts people until nothing remains aside from their blood. Whatever remnants of society are left are unpredictable, violent and controlling, leaving you to figure out how to get out of the mess you’re in. And to top it off, you can’t remember anything about who you are or what you did. Apocalypses are never easy, are they?
The premise is certainly intriguing, and my curiosity into discovering exactly what the great wave was continued to drive me forward through the events of the game. The writing has so far been tight and well written, with characters feeling as though they are giving you both too much and too little at the same time - causing them to feel as though they are actual humans trying to survive a massive catastrophe. Simultaneously, the lack of information is a driving force for the protagonist as well as the player, which makes him feel much more relatable than simply the avatar that we are controlling to explore the world.
Gameplay is largely reminiscent of your average point and click adventure game: click on objects and your surroundings to either examine them or utilize them, combine items in order uncover methods to solve a puzzle or move past an area, talk to characters by selecting options from a simple menu etc. etc. It doesn’t contain any new innovations gameplay wise, and if you’ve ever played a point and click game you should feel perfectly comfortable playing this game.
A unique take on post apocalyptic fiction
Dead Synchronicity has an art style that focuses on one tone combinations of brown and drab colours in order to convey the post apocalyptic look, though this is done with a healthy dose of red and pink for the background of the sky and world itself. The constant jagged edges on characters is a smart touch as well, as nearly every character looks threatening in some manner or another. The art style creates an ugly, depressing setting, one that truly creates the sense that while the world has gone to hell, it might be better if you were to die.The user interface never interferes with the style either, remaining out of sight unless it is time for you to figure out a puzzle on a screen.
The unrelenting hostile world of Dead Synchronicity is very intriguing, as few games go this far in creating a narrative and setting that is this bleak. Point and click adventure games often have difficulty standing out from the pack, with multiple smaller releases every year. If you’re not already a fan of adventure games, this may not be the best title for you to fall in love with. But for those who enjoy the genre and want a unique take on post-apocalyptic fiction, then Dead Synchronicity is right up your alley.
There are no guarantees - but we'd bet our own money on this one. If you're going to take a chance with yours, odds are good this one will deliver.