Unavowed is Wadjet Eye adventure game meets oldschool Bioware party companion interactions.
The bonus about reading a bunch of bloggers is that I caught wind of this game’s launch really quickly, courtesy of xyzzysqrl’s glowing review.
After having played through all five episodes of the Blackwell series, Technobabylon and The Shivah (and made some game attempts at Gemini Rue, Shardlight, Resonance and Primordia), suffice to say that anything Wadjet Eye makes and releases is, for me, an auto-instant buy.
Even if you’re less convinced by adventure games, for fear of puzzles or pixel-hunting or just not enjoying the genre… if you do like a side of supernatural urban fantasy, a good story with choices (ethical dilemmas almost) that -matter-, character tales from Bioware-style chatting with party members, you might want to take a second look at Unavowed.
Developed by a tiny company of 3 employees (so says Wikipedia) and a bunch of outside talent contracting, Unavowed has 3 character origins * 2 genders, and 4 (+1, one comes as a pair) NPC party members, of which you can pick two to help you solve a number of mysterious supernatural cases.
There are multiple solutions to various puzzles, some of which are reliant on the party members you bring with you. There seem to be 4 main endings that I’ve seen.
Can anyone say, branching storylines, ahoy?
Even the title screen changes as your party increases or decreases.
I’m glossing over the story because even the opening is impressive in how it situates you into the story with the choices you make right off the bat. You can be male or female, a bartender, an actor or a police officer.
Unavowed is set in the same world as the Blackwell series, but where Blackwell deals with a family saga of a spirit medium (called Bestowers in this world, you’ll find out why if you play those games), Unavowed zooms back the camera lens to show off other supernaturals in the setting.
You get in the thick of things fast, with a supernatural team (the Unavowed) hot on the heels of a case of demonic possession. Where there are demons, there is usually quite a bit of chaos to go along, and your companions and you get to pick up the pieces and puzzle out satisfactory (or not) resolutions to all the various affairs.
Your companions, like oldschool Bioware NPCs, provide some verisimilitude by seguing into little animated conversations with you and each other. The voice acting is great. Learning more about your companions and their histories is definitely a good 50% or more of the main gameplay highlights of Unavowed.
Another quiet innovation is turning the ubiquitous “Look At / Examine” adventure game command into a simple text mouse over. It saves time, adds additional detail and character voice into the beautifully hand drawn scenes.
In any case, you should stop reading and go play it.
If you’re not convinced, check out a stream or two to see if it tickles your fancy.
Then buy it and play it.
If you get it directly from Wadjet Eye’s website, you get a Steam key, the game’s soundtrack, and it’s 10% off for the next 2 days.
Failing which, if you read this later, you can wait for a discount and then get it. Or get it full price. Whatever. But you should get it and play it.
(Or at least watch someone else play it. It’s that nifty. You might wind up wanting to play it too.)