Gamedec careless with their interesting ideas and creates an often atmospheric but somewhat thin cyberpunk world.
When I was at Gamescom a number of years ago, VR was just about to break through. There was a lot of talk about how this was the future, and it was hard not to get carried away when I suddenly stood on the seabed and stared at a whale straight in the eye, or climbed mountains and got such dizziness that I the PR representative had to grab me sp that I would not fall backwards. As a rule, you remember the first time you put on a VR headset. It’s a damn experience.
However, it has taken its time before the games themselves have seriously started to catch up so that they even go beyond an initial feeling of wonder. Plus then that the technology as such has become more affordable.
When I play Gamedec however, I begin to doubt whether it is a good idea to continue investing in VR. Partly because the dystopian cyberpunk world that is painted feels uncomfortably realistic in terms of how the games are perverted and distorted into means to squeeze endless money out of players, or invaded by cheaters and trolls, or bizarre sects for that matter. The more the games resemble reality, the more of the piss of reality tends to leak in and pollute such potentially exciting virtual worlds.
Also read: Psychonauts 2 – The Review
What is it?
A cyberpunk adventure about a detective who solves mysteries related to virtual game worlds.
16 GB RAM
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IN Gamedec you dress in the role of a basically quite typical cyberpunk detective. You have a long coat, you do not mind slapping around in neon-soaked rain puddles in dirty alleys, and you are a product of a cynical world. So far, everything is pretty standard. However, what makes this particular gaming world stand out a bit is exactly how much it is actually about ja well, gaming worlds. You are a game detective, who solves cases related to the many virtual worlds that people take refuge in to get away from the previously mentioned darkness and rain.
It all happens so that the players put on a body-covering suit and a helper, and lie down on a special game bed. Ideally, they should also take various drugs (or already drugs) that make it feel as if they are touching the limbs even though the body is still, and enable them to be in the virtual worlds for several days without the body taking too much iron.
Games about games
At first it seems Gamedec has an episodic layout. The first case is about a sickly unsympathetic rich man who does not wake up from a game that involves people picking each other up and then trying to kill each other. The second is about how poor workers are exploited as slaves in a depressing, Farmville-like game full of endless gates, loot boxes and a deeply annoying tutorial character whose main function is to make players addicted. It’s here like Gamedec shows the most potential, if nothing else as a critique of the gaming world’s worst element.
That’s why it’s such a shame that the game gets lost in lengthy and poorly designed sequences later. Criticizing bad, protracted game design by letting me drag myself through bad, protracted game design is not so successful when it occupies a crazy too much of the second half of the game.
Also script-wise Gamedec unevenly. The ideas are there, but the implementation feels optional and neither the characters nor the dialogues are as engaging as they should have been. Not to mention the disappointment of overall history that crystallizes over time, which mostly leads to a shrug in the end.
Lots of cyber, less punk
Probably the game would have felt better by developing more in line with an adventure game with sharper puzzles, in the style of the still criminally overlooked Beautiful Desolation, because as a role-playing game it is very simple. The fact that the game lacks classic role-playing battles does not matter – Disco Elysium showed with all the desired clarity that it is excellent to skip them and still build a solid role-playing system that feels fun to explore. But Gamedecs The equivalent is far too poor, especially in combination with the often harmless puzzles and missions.
It’s a shame for a basically interesting sci-fi world. In the beginning, it’s actually quite fun to look for clues and draw conclusions, but you rarely need to think much in particular. It is usually quite obvious what the correct conclusion is, even long before you have found all the clues.
Anyone who is patient with the other half of the game can still get something out of it Gamedec, due to the fact that the concept as such is so interesting that it still carries the game helpfully despite all the shortcomings. It is not a bad game, but clearly mediocre, something that becomes extra clear for a game that despite daring to venture into a deep meta-water. A game that is about games should preferably have more on its feet than this to row it all ashore with the honor intact. As it is now, we get a rather wet, a bit lost nerd figure who may not be as comfortable in those neon-soaked rain puddles as it might first seem.
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Reviewed byJoakim Kilman on September 19.
An uneven cyberpunk adventure with ideas that deserved better execution.
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