Wowed by Unavowed

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.)

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GW2: That Awkward Moment Where Story Meets the Open World

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Of course I can!

I’m the Commander of the Pact, Slayer of Zhaitan!

*hypes self up for heroic, legendary, awesome solo battle*

This is the strangest definition of "alone" I have ever encountered.

This is the strangest definition of “alone” I have ever encountered. *turns down graphics in order to not lag*

Wut?

Wut? Not that I want to contradict you, Eir, but did you see the slavering horde the megaserver brought in?

Between all the bugs where a horde of players descend on a dynamic event that was never meant to cope with 40 players charging it at once and promptly breaking it for the next batch of players to come along…

Traffic jam in front of the stubbornly not blowing up gate.

Traffic jam in front of the stubbornly not blowing up gate. Anet person was helpfully crowd controlling by letting everyone know the team was aware and working on a fix, and suggesting either to find another map instance or leave the Living Story be for a while. Meta stuff like this cheerfully dropkicks you out of immersed-in-story mode.

…and the possibility of a landscape that’s forever going to look trashed like this so that players can continue their ‘permanent’ Living Story episodes…

I really liked golden Ascalon a lot better.

I really liked the golden Ascalonian plains a lot better than yet more dragon corruption. Can we get around to fixing the Kessex Hills tower yet?

… I think I’m leaning a lot more towards story staying in instances.

I’m sure there are ways to have a satisfactory batch of open world dynamic events – the scarlet twisted clockwork invasion, marionette and lion’s arch stuff comes to mind (possibly because there was tons of loot involved with the increased scaling of the event) but I’m not really feeling it in this third episode.

All it feels like is a bunch of unwanted interrupted breaks in between a story I’m trying to experience – somewhat like how the Personal Story keeps breaking off so that you need to go visit a bunch of hearts or get more levels.

Minecraft (Hexxit) – The Curse of the Albatross – 6. Is This Real Life…Or is This Final Fantasy…

Early efforts in chocobo breeding were hair-pulling exercises in frustration.

Oh, I tempted the three chocobos I had seen earlier along the red mountain ridge home without problems with gysahl greens.

They kept hopping the fenced pen I had nicely set up for them outside the cottage.

Now converted into a cow pen, along with a stray sheep who thinks it's a cow.

(Now converted into a cow pen, along with a stray sheep who thinks it’s a cow.)

I also realized that all of them were females.

Which prompted another surroundings-spanning search for the rare, elusive male chocobo.

I eventually found one in the snowy taiga, and figured out that males had a colorful feathered crest. Bringing it back, I bred it with one of the females using a rare mutant version of the gysahl green I was farming.

The baby chicobo promptly ran out of the pen when I opened the fence gate to leave.

By the time I herded and prodded it back inside, another two chocobos had hopped the fence again.

It was about then that I realized a simple fenced pen wasn’t going to suffice, and that I had drastically underestimated how much space I was going to need to breed the birds.

Efforts in chocobo breeding were abandoned for a week as I patiently sawed, smelted and mined, amassing large quantities of red cobblestone to turn into brick, fir planks and lots of glass panes.

There were nights of balancing precariously on high, sniping back at skeleton archers who thought to knock me off, and taking out creepers before they ruined construction efforts.

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Finally, the chocobo barn was complete.

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I moved the by-now-entirely-escaped birds into their new home even before the final finishing touches of glass were complete, whereupon the baby chicobo again tried to drown itself by getting stuck in the cauldron for drinking water.

Patience with the avian brain eventually paid off with the birth of the first non-wild type mutant, a green-feathered chick.

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This variety, according to the Chocopedia, which had now become my reference for all things to do with the chirping creatures, was supposed to be more adept at climbing than the regular yellow ones.

I guess it was just as well that they now had a new climb-proof housing.

I grew more and more gysahl greens in the search of the lovely and golden variants that would tempt them to breed. Plenty of bonemeal fertilizer got involved.

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I was starting to drown in regular old gysahls. There were only so many gysahl pickles I could cook and eat.

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I was starting to drown in chocobo feathers.

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I was starting to drown in chocobos.

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Then came the day they refused to breed.

I think they ran out of space. The overpopulation made them unreceptive to approaching their mates. Oh, they ate my rare gysahls, but refused to move after, or give birth to more babies.

I debated slaughtering some of the ordinary yellows for food.

But… they were all named already, and I didn’t have the heart to kill them in front of their fellows, or to lead them out unsuspecting only to cut their throats.

There was only one thing left to do.

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They got a second barn.

The birds were living in a bigger space than I was.

It was around this time, during one of the mining trips in between mad chocobo breeding, that I met the shade with purple eyes again.

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It did not look happy.

It was not a pleasant meeting.

We exchanged furious blows, with it teleporting in and out, and me relentlessly chasing it down.

I could have sworn at one point that I struck a killing blow, but then it healed, that strange twin-lived being and again vanished before I could strike it down once more.

On a second trip, I had the fright of my life when I thought I saw TWO pairs of purple eyes in the dark.

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Surely there cannot be two of them…

Tell me I did not create a second shade in that earlier fight…

A night or two after that, there was yet again a resounding crash-thud in the dark.

Unsuspecting, I walked along the northeast path, my usual path, the path I had always walked… to the tower, to Weisferd, the albatross path…

…to find that there was something entirely new.

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