Rainswept Overview: Extra Novel, Much less Journey
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), Mac
Developer: Frostwood Interactive
Launch Date: February 1, 2019
Rainswept opens with a seemingly clichéd setting: hotshot large metropolis detective Michael Stone is shipped to the small city of Pineview to analyze an obvious murder-suicide. In Indian developer Frostwood Interactive’s newest sport, the victims are a younger couple named Chris and Diane, who had been comparatively new on the town. The native police drive, wanting to shut the case shortly, is resentful at this intrusion and sometimes overtly hostile in direction of Detective Stone, however his large metropolis cop instincts inform him that there’s extra to the story than meets the attention.
By interviews with the inhabitants, it shortly turns into obvious that within the city of Pineview – the place everybody is aware of one another – Chris and Diane had been outsiders, which naturally provides to everybody’s suspicions about them, and the gossip flying round city relating to the unstable nature of their relationship additional fuels the murder-suicide conclusion. We’ve all prepared homicide thriller novels in the identical vein, however I promise you, this sport is deceptively deep regardless of preliminary appearances.
Rainswept is marketed as “an journey sport – A homicide thriller coping with themes of affection, relationships, and unresolved trauma”; nonetheless, in case you go into this expertise anticipating a satisfying homicide thriller, you’re sure to be dissatisfied.
It performs extra like a visible novel, with the homicide thriller parts nearly feeling superfluous. There are a complete of two “puzzles” within the sport, and neither presents a lot of a problem. It appears as if the builders would have finished higher to desert this classification totally and concentrate on the story, as a result of that’s the place the sport actually shines.
Aesthetically talking, this sport may use some polish. The 2D artwork fashion is visually pleasing with regards to the backdrops, however the characters are bizarre-looking and clumsily animated; at instances it nearly appears as if that is finished intentionally for comedic impact, however this feels incongruous towards the seriousness of the remainder of the sport. The menus additionally look very crude and the textual content is riddled with grammatical errors.
As you discover the crime scene and interview the city’s residents, you’ll gather bodily proof in addition to info, which is written in your journal…that is finally pointless, nonetheless, as the sport merely railroads you into doing what it desires and doesn’t actually provide you with an opportunity to look at the proof and resolve the thriller by yourself.
The gameplay additionally feels a bit of clunky, requiring you to place the character good to be able to work together with objects within the setting or navigate across the streets of Pineview. That is made extra irritating by the truth that a number of the duties are tedious, like fetching espresso or turning out the sunshine earlier than going to mattress.
All through your investigation, you’ll unlock a collection of vignettes that present a glimpse into the development of Diane and Chris’s relationship, from their first assembly to, finally, their loss of life. You additionally study that Detective Stone has some unresolved trauma from his previous, and watch his psychological state progressively deteriorate as he works the case.
Every story is poignant in its personal proper, solely intertwining when it turns into obvious that Stone should face his personal grief earlier than he is ready to resolve the case. It was positively value coping with all of the minor annoyances simply to look at the story unfold, and to work together with the quite a few characters populating the city, every of whom has their very own story to inform (nonetheless minor).
The story offers with some heavy points, similar to sexual abuse, home violence, grief, homicide, and suicide. These subjects could also be tough for some gamers, and whereas the sport doesn’t try to sugarcoat any of them, none are introduced in an excessively graphic or sensationalist method. It’s extraordinarily evocative and thought-provoking, with out ever purporting to have all of the solutions. Nothing is wrapped up in a neat little bow, and therein lies its magnificence, as a result of the identical is true of each subject it addresses.
The overarching message, although, is one among hope, and that is the observe the sport ends on. The teachings realized not solely by Detective Stone but in addition the residents of Pineview are highly effective and can undoubtedly resonate deeply with most.
Regardless of being billed as an journey sport, I discovered Rainswept extra evocative of visible novels similar to Gone Dwelling. That is an indie sport with story to inform, and though it will get in its personal manner at instances, the story by no means ceases to be charming or attention-grabbing. Nonetheless, its clunky controls, odd character design, and clumsy animations are too measurable to be ignored. When you’re on the lookout for a difficult, Sherlock-esque sport, that is in all probability not for you, however in case you’re on the lookout for an emotional narrative about love and loss, it’s definitely worth the small time funding (5 or so hours).
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