When every decision has a lasting impact and people can literally be anything or do whatever they want, then what is the truth behind âlivingâ as we know it? Would you prefer to live in a dark reality or in a virtual space suited to your preferences? Are these two worlds really separate?
It’s the premise behind Gamedec, a cyberpunk RPG where players take on the role of a game detective (“gamedec”). The real world, called “Realium”, is interconnected with a myriad of virtual worlds, called “Virtualium”. The two are linked to the point where the lines between them are almost constantly blurry, so anything that happens in a video game can have a very big effect on someone’s life. It’s up to you, as a gamedec, to investigate and resolve cases that take place in the virtual world and invariably reconnect with reality in quite illuminating ways. In a world where perceptions are so fluid, nothing is quite what it seems. The mysteries you encounter connect with a much larger one that just might change your whole perspective.
Gamedec has a fascinating play structure that focuses on interactivity and decision making. Almost all of the choices made in the same game will change the story, even if only in small ways, such as a character’s reaction to that choice. These minor branching points combine to form a much larger whole, ultimately influencing the direction of the game. It’s a truly fascinating and evolving storytelling system, giving players a lot of freedom in their approach to most events. There are no real “good” or “bad” answers to a scenario, and the lack of judgment in Gamedec makes a refreshing change from the more austere morality systems in other RPGs. I found myself wanting to play even more each time I turned on the game, if only to understand how much my recent actions had impacted later events in the story.
As a gamedec, players take on cases in Realium that they often have to resolve in a Virtualium virtual world. These environments range from what appears to be a benign farming simulation to an adult-only world where just about anything goes. After logging into a game world, you are bound by its rules unless you do a useful hack or until you solve the mystery and find out how what happens in the game affects reality. There is no fight in Gamedec, because even the virtual spaces that allow violence are shaped by your choices rather than by combat encounters. For example, a shootout simply involves choosing to fire a gun as a dialogue option instead of any type of combat system that comes into play. Gamedec is completely under a player’s control at all times of the plot, with skills / traits that âlevelâ and unlock based on the number of points your actions allow. Scalpel, for example, is a special profession choice skill that uses a player’s medical knowledge and provides a specific dialogue choice if unlocked.
Gamedec uses mouse and keyboard in its control schemes: you move your character on the map and interact with people / objects by clicking the mouse. Once I figured out what I was supposed to do with the controls, it was easy enough to play the game thanks to some handy tutorial screens. While some decisions were obvious as to the impact they might have on the story, several were not so clear. At the start of my first case, I encountered a hostage situation and chose to follow up on the hostage taker’s requests, only to make this decision somehow count as a “runaway” from the case. and, ultimately, not receiving a positive result. I was really confused about what had happened and how my choice had led to this point in the narrative. It wasn’t enough to get me to stop playing this particular game, but a little more clarity on how certain decisions might play out or be perceived would likely have been beneficial for the overall experience.
As a gamedec, you collect clues and information based on what you are doing. A special deduction menu allows you to collect the information and piece together how you interpret what you have collected, with a few deduction choices available depending on the type of data you have achieved. How you decide to deal with your findings has a lasting impact on the story from that point on, adding another layer to the game’s evolving storylines. This gives a truly impressive reach, especially since the system is configured so that there are no incorrect deductions. A finalized deduction will often open up a new mystery that needs to be solved in the same way, turning into a larger overall mystery.
In terms of plot, there is not much to complain about Gamedec for. This is a well-crafted sci-fi tale for those who enjoy the cyberpunk genre, especially once it reaches its progress in the later parts of the game. That being said, it’s kind of a slow burn. narrative. You need a certain level of patience to reach this point. Nonetheless, I found the ways the plot diversified and evolved as a direct result of your choices to be quite intriguing, and the in-game RPG “skills” – despite the lack of combat – to be clever. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a clear idea of ââmany of the supporting characters, as many aspects of them change with the rhythms of the story, although the way you can shape your gamedec character at least makes them fit. stand out.
Visually, the 3D graphics and backgrounds are well implemented. I felt that overall the visuals captured the cyberpunk aesthetic the title was looking for. Each game world was also different from the others, and I liked the way the UI ‘interface menu’ showing your stats changed accordingly when you were in Virtualium. The illustrations of important characters were also colorful and quite eye-catching. The sound direction was pretty well suited to each scene and game world, and limited dubbing at certain times worked well.
Gamedec ultimately comes down to a creative and engaging gaming experience initially hampered by technical and localization issues. A major update was recently applied to the game which fixed most of the freezing issues and English localization issues that felt incomplete, so I changed my review score accordingly. I can now say that the English script is approaching excellence, with only a few minor mistakes here and there to contend with: a far different case from when I first played the game. I would always recommend recording frequently whenever possible due to how quickly the narrative can scale and because the auto-save feature isn’t active enough to accommodate this.
There is a lot in Gamedec it is commendable. I love how the game is constantly evolving based on decisions made throughout it, and the story itself has become something truly memorable as it has progressed. Those who want to play an engaging cyberpunk sci-fi RPG with an emphasis on decision-making may well want to give it a try. Gamedec out, especially now that it’s updated and more polished.