i gotta tell you, i’ve been having a blast doingthis video series playing all these old games just gives me such a nostalgia trip like i’m unlocking little bits of my past. whether it’s games i played as a kid. games imissed the first time around, whether they’re laughably bad or surprisingly good, just… whatever i cover it’s been great to relive the past and ireally look forward to raiding the vaults for more old gems to talk to you about downthe line. …so let’s jump ahead about seventeenyears! since the title of the video blatantlygives the game away, i’m just gonna take
a minute to talk to you about wadjet eyegames. it’s an adventure games company foundedby a married couple …sounds familiar pretty much specializing in point ‘n’ clickadventures and they’ve since gone on to not only making their own games, but publishing third-party works …sounds familiar. which is where vincent twelvecomes in; developer of some strange and fascinating indie games. i mean, what other indie game do you know of that has an optional 5-minute intro sequence? it might seem like wadjet eye is merely publishing this, but
company founders dave and janet gilbert both show up a bunch of times in the game’s credits along with some of wadjet eye’s regularstable of voice actors. the commentary- yup; this game has a commentary. awesome, no? reveals that mister twelve have beenworking on this for years with minimal progress until he finally teamed up withwadjet eye. janet gilbert programmed half the game herself and was the only person to have been working on resonance full time atany point so it seems like it’s been a realcollaborative effort to get this one out,
and the gilberts still credit the games to their authors. christ, that makes a change from the old days. okay okay okay, enough stalling; resonance is a fantastic game taking the bestof point ‘n’ click adventures and adding in a little emphasis on puzzles you’d see more in myst than monkey island if either of those things appeals to you,go and buy it… …like, right now. but if you need to hear more about it i suppose i could rattle on for another six minutes or so.
we begin with a brief news reportcataloguing a series of catastrophic attacks around the world before rewindingsixty hours to find out how shit went down. and it all starts with a mathematician named ed, sleeping in his dingy apartment. i want to spoil as little of the plot as i can, but i feel like i have to explain how the four characters get together. i mean,they are on the promotional artwork after all. cover your ears if you want, it’s nothing you wouldn’t see in the demo anyway. ed heads into work to talk his boss out of destroying all their research, on the way he bumps into anna; a doctor just happens to be the niece of ed’s boss detective bennet heads straight from an early-morning stakeout to the site of
a reported explosion; the juno laboratory which just happens to be where ed works. and finally, there’s investigative journalist ray, who follows them because he smells a story once they find out what the thrust of the main plot is, they form a merry band and go forth to [indecipherable] okay, that’s enough; i’m not gonna spoilthe plot for you because my rule is that if i think the game is worth playing i won’t spoil the plot – that rule still stands
so instead, i’m going to tell you how the game plays, how it differs from the usual point ‘n’ clickadventure and hopefully explain to you why it’s worth playing. it may look and mostly play like a traditional point ‘n’ click adventure but resonance does do a few things differently, which are as follows; there’s the memory feature, some of the segments are more interactive the usual ‘click on things, make things happen’ deal, being able to control multiple charactersand the fact that it boasts actual puzzles beyond the item combination and dialoguetrees you’re used to.
starting off, you play four separatesections with one character each. then you’re up to controlling two characters atonce until they all finally meet up and thatcharacter selector fills up like your old casio watch got a pokã©dex app. once you’ve caught ’em all, things can get a little bit fiddly especially when one person has an inventory item you need, but you’ve left them in a different location. that’s where the ‘follow me’ feature comes in handy. thankfully the learning of informationdoesn’t have this problem because one person learning stuff means everyone else learns said stuff too
like they’re a borg hive mind or something. personally, i’m happy to dispense with realism if it means less backtracking. resonance isn’t the first game of this type to attempt using multiple characters nor even the first to allow those characters to interact with each other directly. but using multiple characters at once tosolve puzzles feels fresh for some reason. whilst no-one has unique abilities as such, each character has their own unique use; bennett has access to the police station, ray has his password cracker and smartphone,
anna can access all areas of the hospital and ed can… um… …he can unlock a terminal. just one. to change characters, you’ll need to use thislittle widget in the top left-hand corner with which you also access short andlong-term memories as well as your inventory, but it’s done by mouse hovering. this means that to, say, change characters you need to move the mouse over the corner, wait for the widget to appear, then mouse-over an area of the widget until those faces pop out
then select your character. but if youhappen to nudge your mouse the wrong way it slinks off back to it’s corner and you need to start from scratch. this is probably just the keyboard lovin’sumbitch in me, but some shortcut keys would’ve been good just to get the last negative out of the way, there’s a section which takes place in a vent which only works as a good set piece the first time you play it. even then, it’s entirely skippable. going back to the widget, this is where your short and long term memories are lurking.
long-term memories are importantstory events which are added automatically and using them plays ashort animation. the short term memory is different in that you can drag any object from the environment in there but either set of memories can be brought up inconversations. it’s a pretty cool feature, somewhat similar to the discworld noir notebook that tracks conversation topics for you, except now you control what goes inside it. oddly enough blackwell legacy, one of wadjet eye’s own titles, actually uses discworld noir’s notebook feature as is. but those are other games for other times. the main difference short-term memory makes is that brute-forcing your way through the game by
using everything on everything elsebecomes a lot harder and i’m not sure that’s necessarily a badthing for a genre where you’re supposed to use your brain meat. now, just before i forget about traditional point ‘n’ click games entirely, i’d be remiss to omit that i really like the pixellated art style. you know the type; the resolution of a snes game but with an exponentially larger colour palette. and considering how low that resolution is, some of the effects they use here look really nice.
i’m also suddenly struggling to recall agame of this type where the camera moves vertically, or at least as smothly as itdoes here. granted, this would have been a tad more difficult for my old 486 cpu to pull off but it’s surprising for me that more modern titles don’t do it. and it’s odd to think that the kind of point ‘n’ click games i imagined would come out in the future would be all smooth lines and high-definition… …something a little more like this.resonance, with it’s retro graphics, achievement system, great voice acting,commentaries and blooper reels – that’s just part of the course was awadjet eye game is concerned…
…and that’s a hell of a good starting point.what i really appreciate about this game is that it makes you think. point ‘n’ click games have a similar problem to real-time strategy games. you can just build a big fuck-off army and zerg-rush your opponents into a puddle of anguish. in the same vein, most point ‘n’ click games can be beat by taking every item you have and using it on everything you can find. but not only does resonance make you work out the puzzles for yourself, it kind of deserves it too. i usually need to look at uhs or some walkthroughs a couple of times a game but with resonance, i only had to do it once and even then i really didn’t want to.
it felt far more like cheating than usual because the game wasn’t doing anything wrong. but resonance isn’t cruel; getting yourself into a game over scenario results in time rewinding to the point before you made the fatal decision. it’s an interesting way to have death in your game without actually having game over screens. the readme file says you can earn fate points during the game which deplete if you have to rewind time, ending the game if they drop below zero. interesting concept, but even getting bennet killed over and over and over again didn’t seem to make this happen
so what else can i say other than it’s a really well-put-together game? there’s no stand-out bad moments, no bad voice acting, no puzzles that shouldn’t be there, hell, i played through the entire thing and found two things i didn’t like about it – two! this might be the best game wadjet eye’s had a hand in but we’ll find out for sure when i get to the others. well, hopefully that’s all the information you need and i’ve already said it’s absolutely worth buying so i’ll just leave you with this bit of advice: see this puzzle here? this one? this puzzle is optional.
just bear that in mind.