8 April 2021 // S21E16

Half-Life 2
Humble Monthly / Choice


14.8 hours
27 of 27 achievements

Well…this is a tough one. I really wanted to love this game, since it's essentially a dystopian story which I generally enjoy. However, the game is mis-presented as investigation, although it isn't. All datachunks are interpreted by the most out-of-place person whom you're feeding information to, and also most decisions made by this dumbass are based on, like, two out-of-context chunks provided rather than overall investigation. This is neither how actual investigations into such crimes or organized groups go (and I've seen some of those first hand), nor should they. I understand they tried to prove a point that police state and surveillance of everything is a bad thing, where a word you said 3 years ago can make you a terrorist, but the execution was really not good. The player is essentially given one meaningful choice at the very end, and cannot make their own deductions (except in regards to small pieces of conflicting data). The interface, although nice to look at, after a while becomes annoying (super slow messages and phone calls, bookmarks not disappearing although you investigated them). There's also walls of text which would seem realistic but turn out not to be, since relevant data is already highlighted. So there's really no point reading most of it (as you would if you actually investigated the thing). The characters were all horrid and unlikeable as well, I didn't really care about any of them. I still give it a positive rating because I somewhat enjoyed the first playthrough (the second was for achievements), although overall the game feels disappointing.