Betrayer is a bit odd, that much is evident from the outset. You find yourself plonked down on a nondescript shingle beach somewhere in the New World as the ship that presumably brought you ashore sinks into the shimmering sea and another, more sturdy vessel, sails off into the sunset. No context, no explanation, no seeming reason or rhyme.
It's a puzzling opening, made all the more puzzling by the striking monochrome aesthetic that greets you from the very beginning. Everything is drenched in high-contrast black and white, with only the occasional vibrant streaks of bloody red breaking through at striking intervals. You make your way inland and in the space of a few moments discover a bow and arrow, and a strange, red-cowled figure who fires a message-bearing arrow into a nearby totem and vanishes.
This is Betrayer: a game that throws up more questions than it answers -- one that encourages you to puzzle things out for yourself.
The monochrome aesthetic is brilliant, and makes the game look better than it probably has any right to. Betrayer wears its inspirations on its sleeve, and the semi-open feel to it, not to mention that little scrolling navigational compass at the top of the screen is highly reminiscent of Skyrim in many ways, though not nearly as expansive. The narrative that unfolds through scraps of journals and interactions with ghasts and ghouls is heavily based on the mysterious mishaps that befell the Roanoke Colony. It's all too easy to make immediate visual comparisons to films such as The Seventh Seal and Schindler's List, though one gets the feeling here that the substance never quite manages to step out from behind the shadow of the game's style.
Unfortunately, you could go a step further and actually ask the question what substance?Click here to read more...
Betrayer is a bit of an odd game. Arriving from some of the creative team who spearheaded the likes of F.E.A.R. and No One Lives Forever, it plonks you down in a monochrome representation of the New World with no real information about where you are or what it is that you're supposed to be doing, and lets you figure out pretty much everything for yourself.
It looks fantastic -- the black and white aesthetic setting an eerie tone -- and Betrayer's striking visuals are nicely complimented with environmental sound design that really pops, but the progression is a little stilted, and it'll be interested to see how (and if) the game kicks on from text snippets to something a little more grandiose.
It's a game that presents you with an ever-increasing number of questions early on, and you'll have to wait for the review in a day or two to see if they get answered. In the meantime, however, here's a little taster of the game's opening scenes.Click here to read more...