Get Even Review – An Even Mix or a Bland Mess?
Platforms: PC (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
Developer: The Farm51
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Release. 23th June 2017
The Farm51 originally announced Get Even in 2014, along a planned release for 2015. Featuring an advanced 3D scanning technique, Get Even was a very ambitious project, aiming to offer unseen phot-realism mixed with great Shooter gameplay and a thrilling story. However, after some significant delays and compromises its finally out. So, even tho it might lack the promised graphics, is it still a good game?
Put in the shoes of Cole Black, we awake in an asylum, trapped by a mysterious man named Red. Suffering from amnesia, one of the most classical set-ups in the world, we´re forced to re-experience our lost memories. Through a device, strapped on our head, able to simulate past events, we want to find the reason for our amnesia and everything seems to end at one kidnapped girl.
In order to find out who Red is, why he´s so obsessed with getting us our memory back or what role the girl´s playing in all this, we explore said asylum. Not only are we unraveling more and more about the past of the trapped patients, we encounter from time to time, but also discover pictures or documents deeply bound to our past, letting us remember little snipets of it, which will then be simulated to us by the device.
Get Even really has some interesting concepts here, even tho everything revolves around a cliché-y amnesia plot. However, throughout the whole story, it always kept me engaged in one way or another. Especially because The Farm51 knew how to design an interesting way of telling it, since we´re guided by a commentator, similar to an all knowing narrator, read file logs and play the fragments by ourselves. Certainly not new, just the mix of all those known formulas work extremely well together, to tell the desired story.
Althought, the core part of Get Even is definetly the story itself, accompanying Cole Black on his search for his memories and past. During my time, I quickly noticed how complex it got at some points and what it tried to convey. While the first few hours were pretty tense and well done, the more I unraveled of its story the more I noticed, how bland it becomes. Instead of making smart use of a seemingly cliché plot, characters and idea, it simply becomes then. At no point Get Even played with my expectations, at no point did it truly catch me, no matter what it tried. Especially because some major twists can be foreseen, once you think about the game or events.
In its core, I think Get Even could surely tell a great character-driven story, offering a talking player character, accurate presentation of a narrator, well written, mysterious log files and much more, it simply looses itself in already seen clichés. Amnesia isn´t interesting, the major twists could have been interesting, which they were sometimes, but often hinted too much beforehand or were simply yet another cliché.I don´t necessarily think, that its story is bad, unenjoyable or bland, there are some cool moments, mysterious foreshadowing, cool ideas and some interesting characters. Sadly, the execution and use of these elements isn´t on point, dominated by uninspiried attempts at explaining the events. At the end, Get Even features interesting concepts and ideas, clustered in clichés and lacking story-telling.
Unfortunately, its gameplay is by far worse. Being a First Person Cover based Shooter in its heart, Get Even surely sounds like a lot of fun, in particular, if mixed with exploration and puzzles. Yet, it somehow managed to be one of the most generic Shooters I´ve ever seen for this price tag. Dumb AI, only hiding behind their cover doing nothing, weapons without much recoil, feeling of power, cool sound effects, generic weapons, scripted events/door breaches, everything you would think of. The fact, that the game actually discourages you to shoot people, always telling you, you´re influencing your memories, is surprisingly understandable now.
One of the main new gameplay ideas is the corner gun, a desperat attempt at bringing some creativity into the bland gameplay. As the name suggests, a gun able to shoot around corners by bending itself, enabling you to shoot people while you´re behind cover or behind corners. For the first hour or so, definetly a cool gimmick but by far not able to carry all of Get Even´s flaws, quickly becoming as bland as the gameplay itself. On the other hand, exploration is pretty fun, since the levels offer a nice balance between interesting environments full of little details or text files. In combination with our smartphone, being a more immersive way of implementing a map, scanner etc. into the game, we´re also offered some quite easy but functional puzzles, as well as given some variety, like the ability to create/delete certain walls. Exactly as the corner gun, these eventually get repetitive and boring too but at least provide some fun every now and then.
As probably seen, Get Even features some great visuals, opting for a photo realistic look, having some great looking environments and indoor areas. Even tho, it might not look as promised, seemingly abandoning the 3D scanning technique to a certain degree, it still looks absolutely amazing for a smaller game. Of course, some textures are mushy, assets are reused from time to time and it lacks any kind of unique style, a downside of opting for photo-realism. Luckily, it´s surprisingly undemanding for it looks, letting me play it between 40-60fps on highes settings on 4K on a 1070 or on rock hard 60 on 2K. In my opinion, only character models look a bit out of place, due to their general lower quality, at least for me.
All in all, Get Even is an ambitious but disappointing game, trying to tell a captivating story, offer a compelling Shooter experience, set in a photo-realistic graphical framework. Unfortunately, only 1 1/2 of these aspects actually work, the graphics and the story to a certain point, Get Even is simply a very stunning looking major indie title, which actually has some unique ideas in its story. Sadly, all of them get overshadowed over time, due to the cliché-y twists, set-ups and irritating realtions. While I would prefer, not to talk about the gameplay, I have to thematise this horrible Shooter-mechanic, being a bland, generic, uninspired mess, bringing nothing new to the table, except quickly drained out gimmicks, exploring the levels is kinda fun tho.
Overall, it may be possible to enjoy Get Even, if you´re a sucker for interesting story-ideas, exploration-fanatic and a graphic lover (I guess), yet, Shooter fans will definetly not be satisfied with it.
[A Review Code was provided by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment]