I remember when I started to play World of Warcraft, a long time ago during its alpha phase, and there would be Game Masters physically manifesting in their GM robes to help players. It’s like watching a god walk among the modest player base – or, at least, someone who has powers in the game beyond an ordinary player. Of course, GMs were employees hired to troubleshoot and resolve issues, but what if such work existed beyond a specific MMO, and there was some sort of GM that could come in? any game and help for a small fee? This is essentially what a Gamedec is.
Gamedec is a storytelling isometric investigative role-playing game in which you play as a Gamedec, like a private investigator for video games. They use powers that are not regularly available in the game to resolve issues encountered by players. Except these aren’t video games as you know them, they’re immersive full-body virtual reality experiences. That means all the sci-fi tropes are out there: VR can cause physical damage to your body, and if you take it out too early, you can put it into a coma. I mean, I don’t know if I would ever want to play a video game that can put me in a coma, but it’s just something people are apparently going to have to deal with in the decades to come. As Gamedec, you participate in various games and help your customers solve their problems.
While Gamedec puts you in different genres of video games, you don’t really interact with video games like you play them. Instead of, Gamedec plays more like an adventure game with role-playing elements. Each case you deal with requires a collection of facts, evidence, etc. It takes careful exploration and lots of conversation to put together the clues you need. Then, once everything is compiled into your codex, you can start making deductions.
Deducing what is going on in a given case is not as easy as collecting the right information. Gamedec forces you to make guesses based on the facts presented. It is possible to be wrong. The game doesn’t end if you get it wrong, but the narrative will be affected in the future. The most of Gamedecgameplay is done through hookup dialogs and choices you make as a Gamedec. Think more Disco Elysee than traditional role-playing games with heavy combat mechanics. It is possible to “fight” in Gamedec, but it’s usually a zero-sum deal: you win or lose, and that’s it. That’s not to say that combat isn’t effective sometimes, it’s just not one of the Gamedecmain prints.
This is not to say that there are no statistics or statistics checks. Gamedec. As you make choices, you will be awarded points in four stats that represent the type of choices you make. These four stats are archetypes that contain a wide range of character traits, with the four typically being aggressiveness / assertiveness, charm / intuition, logic / prudence, and empathy / education. , the latter having perhaps the most inexplicable range of personality. types. These stats increase based on the choices you make in the game, and you can spend those accumulated points on various professions in a fairly straightforward skill tree. These professions have no points, rather in speech (and other actions) there is a difficult check to see if you have the profession or not. Having a certain profession under certain circumstances allows you to perform unique actions, or actions that you might not otherwise be able to.
Everyone expects speech and role-play skills checks, so it’s no surprise that they exist. However, I was surprised when I found out (thanks to a bit of backup) that I could bypass these checks by reading carefully and answering correctly most of the time. That’s not to say these skills are worthless, but I find it interesting that carefully following dialogue trees will often yield productive results. Dialogue and your choices therefore have a lot of repercussions in Gamedec. It also means that there is potential for replayability when you try out different choices in your games to achieve different results. The replayability is good, because a playthrough of Gamedec took me just under 10 hours.
Gamedec is a storytelling game, and while its strengths are its storytelling, its overall story is a bit predictable. Gamedec is inundated with sci-fi tropes seen in countless IP addresses, but he manages to use those ideas quite well in building his world. GamedecThe greatest strength of is its characters and their role in each of the cases you take. Despite being surrounded by clichés and following a familiar story, I have always been compelled to continue to interact with his world and his characters.
Gamedec isn’t a bad game, but I don’t think it will make a big splash. If so, it will be because of his dialogue and his choices. If you are looking for a heavy fighting game this is not the one, but it lacks the mind and self awareness of Elsyium nightclub, or a game it most closely resembles.
Gamedec is available today on Steam and the Epic Games Store.
We have been provided with a Steam key for this review.
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