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Gods Will Be Watching: But They'll Let You Do Your Thing

Company: Devolver Digital

Gods Will Be Watching has been available on the internet as a free, browser-based game for a while now. I enjoyed it as a game that made you pay attention to everything. It made you wonder how much each action actually cost you in terms of your teamís morale, health, and survival. That game was also brutally hard. Itís the kind of game Iím not sure if anyone could beat (although Iím sure someone has), but thatís also what made it great. Every time I played, I got a little further and I found out a little more about the overall strategy. I learned a little bit more about certain characters and what bothered them. I learned about the terrors of the Medusa virus and the danger lurking in the wilds. And I learned keeping people from the brink of insanity was a tall order.

In this full game of Gods Will Be Watching, youíre given more options, which may make the game more or less difficult, depending on your perspective. The first level is a perfect example of the enhanced options youíre going to get. Sergeant Burden, the gameís main character, teams up with Jack to manage a hostage situation. You have to manage the hostages and make sure they donít get too scared or too complacent. Too scared and they get desperate and attack you. Too complacent, and they attack you because they believe youíre weak. (Ok, admittedly, the end results are the same, but it does still feel like a balancing act). All the while, youíre managing a hacking attack and a group of advancing guards. You can attempt to manage the situation without firing a single shot by negotiating with the guards and intimidating the hostages. You could do almost the opposite, and brutally sacrifice hostages as well. Which choice is correct? The game really doesnít attempt to preach that point to you. Just remember the title of the game and it starts to make sense.

The graphics have been enhanced a bit, though the style has remained consistent. You can see the difference clearly in the level based off the original browser game. There are subtle lighting changes as the day passes by. There is a new scene at night where everyone eats (or doesnít, depending on your choices). Itís mainly the addition of these new details that shows the developers had a grand vision for their game that is finally coming to fruition.

There are some grammar issues at this point, but itís pretty close to release, so Iím not sure that weíll see fixes for that. Itís nothing that will stop you from playing the game, and the writing is still understandable. "The doctor donít liking Marvin," is one example. The wrong "bear" vs. "bare" gets used at one point as well. Overall, you understand what theyíre trying to say, but the issues are still there. The game also crashed on me a few times, and I also had to restart because text bubbles disappeared completely on one playthrough, making the game unplayable. However, the developers have been very responsive, patching most issues the next day, so Iíd wager most of the technical problems wonít be an issue come release date.

Gods Will Be Watching is the kind of game that gets people over your shoulder asking questions. The art style, puzzles, and overall direction of the game are cohesive and distinct. Even with as many games as there are out there with the pixel style, Gods Will Be Watching feels like itís going to be different enough to warrant its own look.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

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