Virtual concert stage
Genre: Indie, RPG, Simulation
NEXT Studios, bilibili
Release Date: 28 Mar, 2019
This game is a masterpiece of narrative - it's a work of art.
It's probably the best game I've bought this year.
It might also be good for echoic memory training, as this is the primary skill a player is expected to employ in game.
Unheard is an experience unlike anything you could possibly find outside of computer games, much like Observer.
There is no way through literature, TV, movies or any other form of art that could convey such intricate and well-designed, narrative and plot-based puzzles.
A simple interface, attractive graphics, clear audio (fairly well voice-acted in English) and basic premise.
It is challenging to get it right first time round, and replaying a scenario will often result in discovering layers to the story that may have been missed.
My only gripe is that the deep and elaborate story is glossed over in search of only a few "Truths", where there might be many more questions to answer in order to proceed.
There is more content inside the content already - it simply isn't there yet.
If this was added, perhaps it would be more challenging than a few basic questions that might be answered after only one or two runs of a scenario (whether they are deduced or verified - the game does not force a deduction to be verified to be accepted).
Plot twists all over, waiting to be found - it will take more than one run through a scenario to gather the "Truth".
The writing team must have every second of ever single character's part in each scene scripted, which is no small accomplishment.
One or two cases have been fairly obvious as to the "Truth", simply because it make's sense.
Because of this - It's a shame the "Truth" questions are so few, as there could be many more asked to add much more to the game in terms of its play-time and challenge.
After each scenario, a short movie will play that highlights key points that - half the time - I didn't use to make my deductions.
If you enjoy deduction, logical or social, and enjoy piecing together what happened, who did what, how this went down - this game is for you.
Sadly, like most under-rated and lesser-noticed, unique, niche, memorable and compelling games, replay value is limited without additional content - but there is (free) DLC incoming, that I would happily pay for (and a season pass).
Where Orwell is text-based and fairly linear, Unheard is sound-based and - despite it's non-divergence from a timeline - does not direct you down a corridor in any way.
Beholder, in a way, is also similar, but more... busy and fiddly, with less emphasis on paying attention than on meddling.
Unheard is a passive experience.
There is no engagement between the player and the world, beyond checking intel.
I'm halfway through, after about an hour idle and playing slow... (it's too good to rush and take the short-cut routes available).
So probably 6-8 hours to complete for most, maybe you could finish it in 3 if you rushed and made use of the rewind and fast forward features - however there appear to be at least 4 endings, and I've found new things out each time I've played a scenario through.
Each scenario lasts around 10 minutes average, in which there might be a dozen or more characters and many interactions to follow in order to gather both names and the "Truth".
In that some regards, it's the Hitman of the Intel \/ Detective genre - you can deduce who's who and answer the key questions through a number of ways, but the way in which you do it is up to you (even if it's brute-force).
Complete the objective and find out that there was another way to do this.
It would be good to see more questions added to answer as to the "Truth" of any situation.
There is much intrigue that might enable this without much else.
Content is coming, and this is the limiting factor for the game - without fresh content, it will be "complete" and will leave such an indelible mark that it will not be forgotten for a long time.
5 stars for the unique concept, execution and gameplay mechanic.
2 stars for replay value and short lifespan.
2 stars for the free DLC.
Giving it a solid 9\/10.
It might be a cult classic. It might go unnoticed.
But it is one of the best deduction \/ intelligence gathering games I have played since Sid Meiers' Covert Action back in the early 90s. Which I still play today, as it is from the time of ageless classics of PC gaming.
I'm sure this game will have more to offer in the future - if there are more scenarios, free or paid (as I said, I would happily pay a season pass for this) - it would still be worth writing a review for a game that I believe to be the best I have picked up this year.
It'd make a good game for a tablet, if you can get a VM on your Android device.. An amazing experience. The only fault I found with the game is that it is far, far too short. One of the best buys on steam someone can make for this amount of money. I finished the entire game in one sitting and then spent another hour or so grinding up the remaining achievements.. A very unique change to the average detective story. Solving a crime using sound and voices only. The events are challenging and interesting enough to keep you hooked.
8\/10. First of all, I have to mention that I'm a Chinese and Mandarin is my mother tongue. I'm writing this to strongly recommend this game to all foreign friends: this is a good detective game you won't miss! Even if you can't understand Chinese and various Chinese dialects that even I can't fully understand, it doesn't matter. The unique genre can be worthy of trying it out. Some say that this game is short and too easy, and the conversations are redundant. I have to admit it's a short game, you can even have it refunded after finishing this game. However, it's really cheap which makes it a bargain. Apart from that, you can skip those "blank" time by skipping freely to save your time. Enjoy yourself and immerse yourself into this miraculous journey of being an invisible detective!. I really enjoyed this game! The only "bad" thing is that it's way too short! I would love more missions.. Game is pretty interesting if you don't afraid to stuck in one level for an hour. Cases are not boring and it is keep to be intriguing. But a thing is there is only 5 levels in which of first level just 10-15 minute case. I hope there will be more cases in DLC or something. Looking forward it and definitely recommend it to anyone who love a little bit of detective thing.. I have only played the first few missions, but damn this is good! It immerses the player in being a witness in a crime case and you have to figure out what is going on. 10\/10. Great game with a nice story and a plot twist in the end of the game. It also fooled me hard in the story line :(. Some important context for this review: I was mislead by the screenshots into buying this game<\/b> - they make it look like there are subtitles, like "hearing" is actually reading<\/i>. It is not. It is hearing<\/b> sound, with your ears<\/b>.
Furthermore, I'm not technically hearing impaired but have significant difficulty discerning words (I have to watch TV with subtitles or I literally can't understand the dialogue). However, I have little trouble with audiobooks because the voices are so clear, the audio quality so high, and there are zero other sounds to muddy the waters.
With all of that in mind, consider that I completed the first three puzzles. It was a struggle, but I did it.
The first was effortless.
For the second puzzle, I got all of the names but had missed two very important details because of the sheer amount of background noise. I eventually had to look it up because I felt like I was going crazy. No, I just literally couldn't hear<\/i> the answer to the puzzle.
The third puzzle, I got all on my own - but was nearly \u2665\u2665\u2665\u2665ing deafened<\/b> by the explosion. That's not hyperbole, I had to turn the audio up so much to hear a conversation, and this game outright tells you to use headphones, that it made my ears ring. I almost quit right then. It's worth noting that there were actually a couple of conversations I couldn't hear, I just made some assumptions based on the other details I did know.
I should have quit at the explosion. I should have, in fact, quit as soon as I was struggling to hear dialogue over background noise that physically hurt my ears<\/i> to listen to.
I'm quitting now because I'm tired of struggling to hear, tired of the pain in my ears, and tired of playing a game that feels like work<\/i>. It's the most exhausting game I've ever played.
TL;DR: Don't buy unless your hearing is 100% absolutely perfect, and your ears aren't hurt by high pitched sounds<\/b>
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