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Get Even

Score: 83%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: The Farm 51
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Survival Horror/ Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Get Even is a peculiar game that failed to grab me, initially, but as I continued to play, I found myself drawn in by its mystery. You begin the game as Cole Black, a man who wakes up in a broken down asylum, of sorts, confused as to why he is there or what has happened. He hears a voice in his head called "Red" who is directing him to explore, to dig deeper, and discover memories of an important event involving a young woman and a bomb.

The areas you'll explore often reminded me of Silent Hill, with peeling and filthy walls and an overall creepy environment. You'll explore the asylum, a dingy warehouse, a mansion, an outdoor marshy area, an eerie cemetery, and several areas that reminded me a lot of Max Payne, when he would have mental flashes in a strange world that would create itself around him. In Get Even, while you are in those areas, as you walk, the floor will construct itself before your eyes, leading you to places you must visit to uncover memories.

The background music is mostly the haunting variety, except one notable time when it abruptly changes from a woman singing a sad song in a cemetery to a pop song about signal bars and selfies. Huh? All of a sudden, you'll be sneaking around this cemetery and then you'll be embroiled in a furious gun battle with this crazy pop song loudly playing. It was weird, to say the least, and I hate to admit it but "Signal Bars" was kind of catchy.

The voicework is really excellent and the main character, Cole Black, reminded me a lot of Jason Statham (The Transporter). Aside from him, the voice of Red, which often changes mid-sentence from a man to a woman's voice, is appropriately menacing, while the voices of the other characters definitely get the job done, and done well indeed. Everyone seems to have a British or an Irish accent and each character is conveyed appropriately from business rivals, to family members, to kidnappers and overall lowlife types, to co-workers.

Sound effects are typically good, from gunfire to ambient background sounds, but I do have to mention how annoying Cole Black's breathing can get when he is stressed out. It's very loud and he must be a mouth-breather, because sometimes it just takes over things. That, and the asylum patients can get rather keyed up at times and you'll hear them muttering their ramblings loudly and incessantly. It can be disturbing.


Get Even has you exploring your own memories in an attempt to unravel the mystery of what really happened to the girl with the bomb strapped to her chest. It's clear Red is in control, but you are the one with the answers, so obey him you must. If you've ever seen the movie Memento, it felt a bit like that. You're not sure where you need to go or what you need to do, but just keep moving and eventually you'll know more.

You are equipped with a cell phone that can scan items and may identify forensic information, such as trace DNA and fingerprints, etc., but the phone also has a heat-detecting mode for locating enemies just out of sight, a map which indicates active enemies, text messages received, a flashlight which can illuminate blood, and a photo/memoir log. You'll also be using either a sometimes silenced revolver or a Cornergun, a proprietary piece of hardware you stole in a bit of corporate espionage. This gun allows your phone to be attached so you don't have to give up your map just to be able to shoot, which is handy. It also allows you to bend around corners and shoot from cover. While I found it rather unwieldy, it is a big piece of the story.

As you explore the area, you'll encounter enemies which you'll have to shoot or else they'll physically attack or shoot you (depending on which enemies they are). As you observe and interact with items in the environment, either to scan or simply to read, these are pieces of the puzzle that will help you to solve the case. There's even a room that contains large boards on each wall, each one dedicated to each portion of the overall case, so you can see which pieces of evidence you missed along the way and know what percentage of completion you accomplished for each area. Of course, you can always revisit those you didn't complete, if you so desire, to complete them further.

I said earlier that Get Even didn't grab me, initially, and part of that was because it made me a little bit nauseous as I played. What's more is that whenever I'd pick up a piece of evidence to further examine it, it loomed so largely on the screen that it gave me a bit of a headache. It was as if everything was just a bit too close. But still, as I progressed, I found myself enjoying the game. After all, a game with exploration, forensics, and shooting should be something I love, based on my interests and favorite game genres. But then there's the stealth aspect...

There are areas littered with enemies and you must use stealth and your map to see which way the enemies are facing and you must quietly avoid them, although Cole Black is the loudest man ever, what with the heavy breathing and stomping through wet areas. Personally, I am not a fan of stealth and I didn't enjoy these areas. That said, there will be an area you encounter where everything seems calm and peaceful until a creepy mannequin whispers something from behind you. Listen to the mannequin and obey - that's all I am going to say.


There are areas of Get Even where you have to replay them over and over, especially if you are like me and don't have a lot of patience or prefer to shoot things rather than go in stealthily. Aside from that, the most frustrating thing about the game is the tendency for your character to get snagged and stuck in the environment. A lot. Like it happened to me so many times in the outdoor areas that at some points, I had to make a commotion so someone would come and kill me so wouldn't have to manually restart from the last checkpoint. I would have enjoyed the game far more if these issues hadn't existed.

There were also a few times when it wasn't quite clear what I needed to do and, for example, it turned out I needed to use my phone flashlight and shine it just right on a keypad to locate fingerprints, even though I had already done that. Another time there was an odd puzzle and it wasn't really clear what was needed, but I stepped away from the game and when I returned, the game had a note at the top of what I needed to do. At least they realized that if you didn't get it immediately, they needed to give you a nudge.

Game Mechanics:

There are some pretty interesting mechanics in Get Even, but oddly enough, they don't show up until the last portion of the game. Since Get Even is shrouded in mystery and you, the player, will more than likely remain rather confused until the VERY end of the game, even into the credits, I will try to be vague here since solving the mystery is part of the appeal. Let's just say that the Pandora headset, the device that allows Red to communicate with Cole mentally and to share his memories, can also be accessed later on in a different way, allowing someone else to go through the memories again, reliving what Cole experienced. So yes, you'll revisit the same locations several times, whether or not you choose to 100% each portion of the case file. Red isn't combat-experienced like Cole Black is, though, so to compensate, the game allows you to warp into the shadowy images of bad guys in the memory by pressing the (A) button. You can also assimilate into the bodies of current enemies patrolling the areas by also pressing (A). The rub is that you have an energy bar and doing these acts uses it up and so you'll need to be cautious, allowing yourself time to recoup your energy. Also, as soon as you jump into a body, the enemies around you will notice you and begin firing. To be honest, this was the most fun I had in the game as it allowed me to body jump all over the place, killing enemies and racking up their ammo as well. There were areas that were rife with enemies and I got killed a lot because of that, but it was still lots of fun. You won't have the phone with the gadgets, but you can use sonar by pressing the D-pad and all enemies in the vicinity will be illuminated in either yellow or red, depending on whether they are current enemies or remnants. They looked very much like the images in Superhot and blast into pixels when you shoot them in this mode. (Since the Superhot Team is credited, I am guessing they helped with this part of the game). Either way, it looks really cool.

Overall, Get Even is a weird, quirky, and interesting game that provides a startling amount of gameplay, as in, I thought I was at the end of the game several times. While I am not a fan of the stealth portions and the phone had more gadgets than I would have liked and it was a little bit clunky scrolling through them as I needed them in rapid succession, overall I enjoyed my time with the game. Again, the glitches in getting stuck in the outdoor environment were unforgivable, but I would love to see another game by The Farm 51 with as much thought and mystery as Get Even, only without the technical glitches.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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