Get Even comes from The Farm 51, a pretty small developer, who only have a few other games under their belts. For me, the most memorable has to be Necrovision, a shooter which is kind of similar to Wolfenstein with the supernatural element. Prior work also includes the Painkiller reboot from 2012 and more recently, Deadfall Adventures, which is a shooter with an Indiana Jones overtone. It’s quite a fun game albeit with a few invisible walls in places.
The story behind this game puts you in the shoes of mercenary Cole Black, who’s tasked with rescuing a teenage girl before she is killed. This is how the first level plays out and is a tutorial, setting the events in motion which unfold once you have found her. After the intro mission, you’ll realise that you are exploring your memories to piece things together (very much making me think of the Animus on Assassins Creed). Here is where the game takes you through an asylum, where you’ll collect evidence and then onto action or stealth type sequences.
The gameplay, itself, has a fair few styles. The asylum sections of the game see you wandering through the halls, collecting information and evidence, trying to piece together what has gone on. These sections can be quite linear, just pushing you along a path, with an occasional puzzle thrown in for good measure. The atmosphere can be quite foreboding given the asylum is run down and in disrepair. You’ll also come across inmates, who will be of help or a hindrance to your progress. Your main tool in these sections is your smartphone, which has different views like heat or ultraviolet, a scanner for finding hidden bits of evidence, messages and map etc. You’ll also be given narration from Red, who occasionally shows up on TV screens dotted about. His face is always distorted, though, and looks very similar to the screens on Call of Duty: Black Ops title screen.
The action sections see you wielding a corner gun, one of those newer military tech weapons where the barrel goes round 90-degree corners, and you can take shots using the screen to aim. For these sections of the game, you’ll still collect numerous bits of info and evidence, but there are enemies dotted about. The enemies on the phone screen show their viewing arcs, so you can either go in all guns blazing, or take the stealthy approach. If you do take the stealth approach, and are using your phone scanner, certain objects will show in wire form, and you can bring them back into existence (yeah it’s a bit strange, like something in your memory is fuzzy I guess), which in turn may give you some extra cover to hide behind.
As you can see, there are a few different gameplay types all mixed into one package, plus a few horror ones; not so much jump scares, but psychological horror, and I can honestly say it is quite effective through visual distortion and clever use of sound. Whilst moving around the asylum searching for the evidence, it is much like other story-based adventure games, such as Firewatch (commonly known as Walking Simulators). These sections with narration serve to fill in any gaps in the story. The action and stealth sequences have you going from building to building, taking out various guards quickly and quietly as possible. Unfortunately, for these sections, I have found that both stealth and gunplay mechanics feel a bit lacking.
The issues with the stealth is that it is way to easy to be spotted by guards, making it feel like you have to take a certain route and if you don’t, all hell breaks loose and you have to fight your way out. An example comes around a third of the way through the game, just after you have gone through the car park. You go into what looks like an office interior with guard station. I scanned an object to reappear, and hid behind it. when the central guard turned the other way, I moved to middle of room, tucked up against left side wall, then an enemy guard on upper level same side managed to spot me without being alerted… What was he doing, walking looking over the railing just in-case someone was there?!
This happened on all of the sections I tried to play stealthy,much to the disappointment of the person giving you directions. It did become a bit tiresome, hearing that my overall outcome could be affected if I kept killing people (strange 4th wall stuff right there!).
If and when your stealthy approach failed, the firefights you get into are also a bit lacking. Headshots don’t always instant kill an enemy, which tells me that the hit boxes could be a bit off. The enemy AI is also quite lacking. They tend to just hide behind something and pop out in the same direction, as if willing you to shoot them. For what good that is, they may as well just run towards you in the open!
The visuals and sound, I must admit are decent for a small developer. The game runs on the Unreal Engine which tends to scale well across all platforms, but at times you can get a bit of texture pop-in/streaming slowdown but nothing major. The asylum looks a bit on the bland side whilst exploring, but the outdoor areas are really nice with grass, brush and trees dotted about. The voice acting is certainly a high point. Your character is voiced by Edward Dogliani (Game of Thrones – Rattleshirt, and numerous other voice-related credits). When I first heard him, I actually thought it was Sean Bean! Other talent includes Jo Stone-Fewings (Unstoppable, All the Kings Men) and Gemma Lawrence (The Bill, All About George).
All in all, Get Even is a decent story-driven psychological thriller. For my taste, it was a bit slow, but a welcome change of pace compared to what I usually play. There are a few minor issues and bits which can be frustrating, but nothing that ruins the immersion. Get Even is a lower-priced release at £25 on Steam (£30 physical release on console) and you can’t really go wrong for the money if you like such a title. Just don’t expect AAA title when starting out.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Developer: Farm 51
- Publisher: Bandai Namco
- Players: single player
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!