Gemini Rue (PC) Nostalgia Review
Jonathan Anson / Aug 21st, 2012 No Comments
Wadjet Eye Games is an independent game developer and publisher that’s made a name for itself in just six years. Beginning with their groundbreaking debut game The Shivah in 2006, the company’s specialization in creating high quality point and click adventure games has challenged the notion that the adventure genre is far from dead; If anything it’s just being neglected.
Last year saw the release of their first science fiction game: Gemini Rue. Wadjet Eye Games sought in making the game to continue the winning streak they’ve had with the games they’ve made before it. The mission was successful and is one of their most ambitious creations to date.
Gemini Rue is set in a dystopian future in which mankind has colonized space
bringing along with them their destructive human condition. Players take on the mantle of Azrael Odin: an ex-assassin who is searching for his brother on the mining planet of Barracus. Making matters worse is that the planet is practically owned by a criminal organization that he used to work for. ‘
Also occuring with his story is one involving Delta Six: a nameless man who is imprisoned in a facility designed to make “perfect citizens” through aggressive means. Hoping to escape from the facility, Delta finds that’s easier said than done.
Both of these stories, although on the surface different from one another, intertwine in a way that is sure to surprise you.
This summary alone doesn’t nearly explain how good this game’s story is. Superbly written from beginning to end, Gemini Rue has a neo-noir story that encompasses drama, mystery, suspense, action and even some humor. Characters are all developed exceedingly well to boot. The tone and themes of the story is almost in the same vein as Phillip K. Dick in its tone with themes such as identity and free will as well as whether they can be truly controlled or suppressed. The way this is presented really makes Gemini Rue a thought provoking tale that is full of surprises.
While being well told, does have an Achilles Heel: it is short. Granted the game does long enough to leave you with a good impression and ends on a somber closure. Yet it just feels as though it could’ve gone on longer instead lasting only from a few hours to a day depending on how good you are playing it.
Gemini Rue is a traditional third person point and click adventure game.
Anyone who has ever played an adventure game will find it very easy and simple to play as the only control you will need for most of it is a mouse (you will use the keyboard however in using terminals you encounter during the game). With it you’ll have complete control over your character’s movement and actions which compose mainly of right clicking on interactive characters and objects. Doing so will bring up a small menu that houses items you collect during the game as well as your actions that involving examining, talking, picking up, using and kicking (Full Throttle fans are sure to enjoy the last option underused though it is). It’s all very simple and allows you to start playing almost immediately even if you’ve never played an adventure game before.
You’ll not always be in adventure mode and will have to take up arms against enemies in firefights while ducking to and from cover Time Crisis style. If this sounds exciting then to some extent it is; but it’s also where the gameplay of Gemini Rue stumbles. The controls are very clunky and are unable to be changed to something more comfortable. There’s also not much challenge involved to winning these sequences even should you use the options to set the difficulty of fights to the hardest mode.
The easy difficulty isn’t limited to just combat in Gemini Rue. If you were to compare it to games similar to it, you’ll find this game is very easy to beat. The puzzles are not difficult to solve, you’ll never have to worry about dying thanks to the game autosaving and you’ll be given plenty of hints to help you out. As said before the game isn’t that long due in part to the story taking greater precedence. This isn’t a bad thing if you’re a gamer who enjoys a good tale without being required to exert too much energy completing hard tasks just to advance it. If you’re looking for a challenge you’ll not really find it in this game.
Gamers who have ever played older adventure games will quickly recognize the nostalgic sprite based style Gemini Rue uses in its characters and items
all of which are projected onto illustrated backgrounds. It looks very similar in style to Beneath a Steel Sky, another science fiction game which shares some elements with this game. Gemini Rue is far bleaker in visually utilizing darker colors and more depressing settings. Characters reflect their world looking for the most part very weathered and radiating angst. Although the goal of the visuals is to impart the hopelessness of Gemini Rue’s universe how this is accomplished is spectacular. The end result is a game that looks great and the large effort taken to make it is to be commended.
Wadjet Eye Games acquired a habitual trademark of putting a great deal of effort into ensuring their games are of the highest quality sound wise all which has stretched as far back to their very first game, The Shivah. Gemini Rue is no exception. The sounds in this game are all excellent. The sound effects are incredibly atmospheric ranging from the constant pouring of rain to the sounds of machinery working you really do feel like you are right in the action. Adding to these is an amazing soundtrack that is moody, suspenseful and exciting depending on the situations you’re in.
But the biggest high point on this part of the game is, hands down, the voice acting. All of the voice actors do their best to voice their assigned characters and are successful. Characters like Azrael Odin match the look of their characters and their personalities adding life to them that is hard to do with just the text that displays their dialogue. You have to hear for yourself this part of the game as there’s not really much that can be adequately said to describe it besides that it is virtually flawless.
Gemini Rue is one of the freshest adventure games released in recent years.
With elements like its thought provoking story, terrific soundtrack and its moody atmosphere, Gemini Rue it’s highly recommended to both casual adventure fans and gamers in general. Even more impressive is that it’s just $9.99. It’s currently available for download from GOG.com (they give some nifty little bonuses if you buy it from them by the way) and the official Wadjet Eye Games site who also sell physical CD copies. No matter how you decide to get it you’re in for a wonderful game whose story alone is enough to forgive its shortcomings.
tags: nostalgia , review