The 25th Ward – The Silver Case (PS4)

25covernxgJapanese game developer Suda51 isn’t one for simple, straightforward games. Simple plots are way beneath him. What the man does can only be described as Lynchian. With super stylised gameplay and winks to a thousand popculture phenomena at once.

In The 25th Ward – The Silver Case it’s just like that. Players follow 3 main storylines. One about a detective, one about a reporter with amnesia and one with two morally doubtful secret agents.Trying to explain the plot would be a futile undertaking. I was lost about 5 minutes in. It doesn’t help that the storylines are intertwined and there’s tons of characters to remember. Even characters from the first game pop up now and then, albeit without introduction, so players are just supposed to know them and their backstory on sight.
My head is spinning a little…

Even the gameplay is classic Suda51. The 25th Ward plays as a graphic novel adventure for the most part, but there’s randomly inserted levels with a totally different gamestyle. There’s an entire level of RPG-ing in here!

Graphically I’ve no complaint. Everything is superstylish. The graphics, the neat line and pixel animations,… I’m loving it.

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Controlwise though, there’s a lot to be desired. All of the actions available to the player are shown on a little 3D diamond. With the stick, it can be turned around to choose a new action. Quite often, I couldn’t progress through to the next screen, even though I’ve already did all the actions. Turns out I had to hit “talk” again. And again. And again…
Which wouldn’t have been all that bad, if it wasn’t for that annoying typewriter sound that accompanies all text which appears on screen. And did I mention the text is non skippable? Or fastforwardable? The typewriter sound has to be suffered… The entire game…

The 25th Ward – The Silver Case may be from legendary Suda51, but it just isn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong: I like weird. I like different, but when it gets so weird and so different that I get left behind with a headache, that just means it’s not for me. Sorry 25th ward and all of your 100 (one hundred!) different endings.

Jan

 

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