Hot diggity damn, you guys! Have you heard of Deconstructeam’s Gods Will Be Watching? Well, you should because it’s pretty damn good.
So what is GWBW all about? Basically, it’s a minimalist, point-n-click adventure game that originally debuted at Ludum Dare 26 game jam. Decontructeam successfully funded an expansive recreation of their original title. You can play it free right here. Conjuring old-guard pixely ascetics and a fucking awesome soundtrack from Fingersplint, Gods fits squarely in those story-driven titles of yesteryear.
The story weaves a rich, interstellar tale of terrorism, regret, sacrifice and survival. I won’t reveal too much, as the narrative and your choices are, like, 80 percent of what makes Gods Will Be Watching fun. If you’re on the fence, I highly recommend giving the free version a whirl as it provides a solid preview of things to come while adequately preparing you for the keyboard crushing despair you’ll endure in the larger title.
And GWBW is unabashedly hard. For really, real.
When you start a new game, you’re given a choice between easy and normal with a message from the devs pledging that normal ain’t for the faint of heart. Well, hoist my knickers over my head as I finally gave in after getting punched in the dick repeatedly on normal mode. Gods Will Be Watching holds no bars when it comes to stretching your patience as the scenarios present a great deal of challenge.
Story levels last between half an hour to several depending on your luck and wits. I can’t tell you how many times I had to repeat the same mission over and over before it finally clicked in my head what to do and was also graced by the RNG (that’s random number generator) gods that I succeeded. Afterwards, you’re given a breakdown of all your decisions and how they compare with other players, à la TellTale’s Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us games.
Befitting the name, Gods Will Be Watching weighs upon your soul. Each decision means life or death and forces you to discover who you really are when stripped to your core. I am only in the third story-line – I think there’s 6 missions total – but each one had so far had me sweating bullets. And I’m sure the later levels might drive me insane. I can’t wait to play more.
Admittedly, the learning curve is steep enough to turn away some folks. Sometimes I felt as if I were eating applesauce with a fork as the random elements become so overwhelming that I would often hit restart over and over and over. It would be nice if the devs would give you a hint system or something to help guide you after dozens of failures. That It’s all part of the game, I suppose, and each death inches you closer to the end.
What’s funny is that despite all the suffering and restarts and flat-out maddening deaths, there’s a weird sense of hope. Or maybe it’s Stockholm syndrome. Once you start playing Gods Will Be Watching, you’ll want to see through to the end. You survive with the game and become better for it.
If you loved those old Lucas Arts and Sierra titles, are looking for a game that doesn’t hold your hand, and presents a solid, engaging plot whereby your fate is what you make it then check out Gods Will Be Watching right now!