There comes a time in everyone’s life where you think to yourself ‘huh, I was wrong’. Reviewing this game I had one of those moments, and that’s a lie as I had several of them. I was thrown off course at least half a dozen times, reading the situation wrong and guessing the character’s motives incorrectly. I commend an experience that does this frequently, keeps me on my toes and isn’t so predictable.
‘Return of the evil, twisted, sick, serial killer named Kamui Uehara’ is a description that fits the experience perfectly. Set some point in the future at 24 wards which is a Japanese city, a killer is back on the loose and you get placed into two scenarios that aren’t entirely different. In Transmitter, you play as a detective who is part of the investigation team assigned to take down the culprit. As for Placebo, become a reporter who deals with the aftermath that lies in the wake of the police investigations.
It’s obvious that a lot of time was spent on the characters, each one you encounter have their own fleshed out backstory, characteristics and traits. You find out the most information through the profiles that will be shown at different points of the game that list, name, age, sex, affiliation, weapon and then some of their backstory. I would find myself reading through these with detail to learn why a certain character acts or behaves a certain way, what was in their past etc.
The dialogue is where you get to learn more about each person you meet along the way, how they talk, slang words used, it helps you think up of a voice for each character building up a better connection with the game. Incredible attention to detail ensured the dialogue was enjoyable to read through, it really is hard to accomplish this with visual novels, you need the right story, characters and dialogue to keep the player entertained and invested.
Overall gameplay is disjointed and clunky, movement is limited in the sense that you can only move a set amount at a time which is determined by where you are. The lack of free movement and free look breaks the immersion and makes you feel as if your controlling a robot. Not only that, the controls aren’t intuitive, of course I can only speak for myself, but constantly I would be moving around inspecting objects then movement would stop due to an incorrect button press. You can select an option either by rotating a wheel around on screen and clicking X or holding L1 and then holding the corresponding button in the menu that pops up, it just doesn’t flow.
Your given the option to change the ‘Remaster Settings’ meaning you can switch between playing the original experience or the new one but isn’t just so black and white, there are five different settings in the category, movement speed, text speed, CG Movies, Original Movie and UI. It’s great fan-service for anybody who loves nostalgia moments, being able to go back to classic versions of a newly remastered game they had fond memories of.
The visuals stick out like a sore thumb and in a bad way at that, you can definitely see the age of the game, fortunately this looks better than the original but it certainly doesn’t meet today’s standard with its flat textures, jagged lines and dull detail. A visual novel in 2017 is supposed to at least look good, Steins Gate 0 and Root Letter are incredible examples of how stunning a visual novel can be.
The underlying tone of the soundtrack gives off a strong detective-like vibe, it feels gritty and inquisitive, yet mixed with mystery. The tempo and pitch changes with each situation allowing you to get lost in the moment, feel the urgency, suspense and drama.
Story – 8/10
Visuals – 5/10
Sound – 6.5/10
Gameplay – 6/10
Game Design / Innovation – 6/10
Certainly, not the best visual novel game I’ve played and definitely not the worst. Sure if I had played this game years earlier I may have enjoyed it a lot more but I have to judge it based on the current standards. Whilst it’s visuals and gameplay let it down I found myself enamoured with its story and cast of colourful character’s.
Overall – 6.3/10 – Average
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin (Jester).
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of The Silver Case on PS4 however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)