From the very first pieces of marketing for Get Even, I was hooked by whatever they were promising. The premise seemed interesting, and more so the fact that it was going to be a dark psychological thriller. Then when they finally revealed the composer to be non-other than Olivier Deriviere (a person whom I call the Hans Zimmer of videogames) I was certain it was going to be a fantastic experience, and I am so happy that I was indeed correct with my assumption.

The story follows Cole Black, an ex-soldier/mercenary who, after a botched rescue mission where an innocent young woman was involved, finds himself struggling with partial amnesia in a demented and twisted care home for the psychologically damaged. However, the main question on his mind, and that of the person in charge of this facility, Mr Red, is why he was on that mission in the first place, and how did it manage to go wrong. To learn about this, Mr Red introduces a device called Pandora to Black that will allow him to relive his memories and fix them in order to solve the complex mystery.

The game’s core theme breaks down to the relationships, more importantly those between the people involved.

Since I really don’t want to spoil anything, because not a lot of people have played it yet which is disheartening to say the least as this game deserves to be played, I am not going to explain much of the story, but what I will do is talk about the recurring theme I found in the game’s narrative: “Relationships”. Even though the entire game revolves around you searching for an answer to what happened, the game’s core theme breaks down to the relationships, more importantly those between the people involved. The more you uncover the relationships between them, the easier it gets to figure out what is going on, which is done through reliving these memories that Black uses to remember what he saw.

It is due to having a simple recurring theme that the narrative always seems focused and relatable, since we all have relationships tying us to certain events. What else this simplicity does, like all good stories, is it makes everything easier to digest and make the characters motivations more plausible. The main story that relates to the young woman is particularly well told as it has a sense of intimacy throughout, making it not only relatable but emotional as well, because at the end of the day that woman strapped to a ticking bomb could be related to us or anyone we care about, and that relation is what drives the game’s story forward.

The game has some excellent twists by the end, when both Black, and Mr. Red’s personal motivations start seeping through the cracks, leaving you in that satisfying moment of self-deduced expositions.

One question I usually had people asking me interested in this game, was if there were some good twists, especially since it is coming across as a psychological thriller, the answer to which is a resounding yes. The game has some excellent twists by the end, when both Black, and Mr. Red’s personal motivations start seeping through the cracks, leaving you in that satisfying moment of self-deduced expositions, and I say self-deduced because the game makes it feel like its you, the player, who has figured it out. I was on the edge of my seat, especially during the finishing moments and when the curtains truly fell off, it managed to leave me with a heart-breaking but beautiful ending that I will remember for some time to come. One of the mechanics that really makes the twists satisfying is the investigation room mechanic, but before I talk about that it’s better to give you a brief idea of the gameplay.

Since the main pull of the game is the memory reconstruction and exploration aspect of it, the game is split into different memory related levels, connected by two hubs which I will talk a bit about later. Each level is basically an event related to the botched mission that Black has gone through which is triggered usually by either a picture of the event or the location. In these missions, as Mr. Red mentions, the best way to learn everything is to not go in guns blazing, as to preserve the integrity of the memory and not influence it too much. Depending on how you play the game and the choices you make, it can influence the outcome of the story.

The added twist here however, is the gun available to you, fittingly called Cornergun, which twists at the end allowing you to shoot from cover or around corners.

The gameplay mechanics are very simple and nothing too complex as the focus here is the story after all. You can easily liken them to the standard first person shooter movements with crouching to move quietly. The added twist here however, is the gun available to you, fittingly called Cornergun, which twists at the end allowing you to shoot from cover or around corners.

Another tool at your disposal, and used throughout the game to gather clues and reconstruct memory sequences during levels, is your smart phone that has a variety of tools ranging from UV blacklight that illuminates invisible clues, to a camera that allows you to unlock memory sequences and capture clues, and even a map. The camera mechanic plays similar to that of Condemned where photographing certain objects of interest unlocks hints about the mystery. Finding these points/objects of interest is the focal point of these missions and is necessary to complete them.

if like me you take your time to find as many clues as possible and spend time going through them in the investigation room, you will see quite a few twists coming.

The two hubs I have mentioned before are The Asylum, which has its own mystery relating to a mysterious and murderous figure known as the puppet master, and the other which is the investigation room. The investigation room is basically a room with investigation boards that fill up with objects and documents you find in game, helping you get closer to the truth. The reason I mentioned that this makes the twists satisfying is, if like me you take your time to find as many clues as possible and spend time going through them in the room, you will see quite a few twists coming, which truly imparts that feeling of a clever deduction and makes the twist more satisfying.

If there was one aspect, however, that I would say absolutely stole the show, it would be Olivier Deriviere’s music. I call Deriviere the Zimmer of videogames and there is a very good reason why. Olivier always looks to incorporate both sound design and harmony in a game’s music, and works tirelessly to make sure that it fits within the scope of the game and is driven/manipulated by it so much so that depending on how you play, the music will change, whether with slow clock ticks indicating silence and calm or frantic breathing eliciting tension, etc… All of this is intricately mixed with some of the most memorable orchestral melodies performed by the Brussels Philharmonic, that get stuck in your head. If the music wasn’t even half of what it was here, then the entire premise would have flopped in my opinion, and I would not have been glued to the edge of my seat as much as I was in this instance. The music is clever, innovative and an absolute tour de force, adding to Deriviere’s already impressive portfolio.

Haris Orkin is another writer that should catch your eye working on this as he has worked on excellent story-driven games, ranging from stuff like Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Dying Light, and even Mafia III before.

The voice acting and writing is another thing that really prevents the concept from failing, with the duo Iain Sharkey and Stephen Long leading the writing in the game, who have previously worked on British shows and live action theatre, some of which have been with Derren Brown, an illusionist. So here you can see them translate that experience of theirs which has been filled with suspense to a videogame such as this. Haris Orkin is another writer that should catch your eye working on this as he has worked on excellent story-driven games, ranging from stuff like Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Dying Light, and even Mafia III before. Another point relating to the setting of the game I would like to mention in regards to writing, psychological games like these tend to have pretentious dialogue, at times due to a lack of research or re-iteration, but thankfully Get Even doesn’t fall into the same trap and the voice actors are more than adept at their job helping reinforce believable characters and the intelligent writing they run off of.

From just playing the beginning minutes of Get Even I was well aware of the fact that this game was going to be different and mind-bending, and even with those expectations the end result blew me away in ways I was totally not expecting. With a twisting and turning storyline full of emotional twists, and an emphasis on relationships, all held together by excellent music and sound work by Olivier Deriviere, this is a must play game for anyone who is tired of simple cliché stories in videogames and wants something more unique.



Author

Haris Iqbal
Haris Iqbal

I am a guy who loves anything with a powerful storyline, whether it be a game, book or movie, it doesn't matter. Just so long as it hooks me in and keeps my imagination captive till the last word/scene! Also, I am huge Silent Hill fan, so I love all things Silent Hill... and anything horror. Huge horror fanatic!