Taking a page from the likes of BioShock Infinite, which isn’t a bad idea if you’re introducing a new IP, Get Even begins with the main character, Cole, waking up in a strange situation where a mysterious voice named Red is trying to pry information from Cole’s wicked thieving past. Half illusion, half real, Cole goes through scenario after scenario trying to uncover the reason for his capture and why Red is so interested in a past he can’t completely recall.
Definitely a cool premise for a movie.
Get Even is a strange, strange game. It is a mixture of several genres, though not one really sticks to help identify the construct of the narrative. It’s the jack of all trades of a game, but the master of none, but that is the driving interest of this title, as you get a little bit of everything with the experience. It’s like a buffet at a decent hotel in Vegas. Everything might be good, but it’s not all great.
Get Even is a combination of three separate genres. The first, and most prominent of the trio, is that it’s a horror survival game with a hint of Silent Hill’s dementia to keep your eyes alert. Cole’s adventure starts him off in the sewers of a strange complex where he has to confront armed soldiers. The game progresses through eery tunnels that seem to switch and change with each decision that Cole makes (specific consequences happen for decisions made). Towards the end of the intro, you’ll find repeating rooms that lead to hallucinations, which ultimately lead to clues and pieces of the story. Along the way there are some jump scares, some masked people shouting and chasing Cole on occasion at the beginning and there are moments where, if you’re wearing headphones, you might become emotionally shaken up. Think of it as a light-light-light version of Konami’s ill-fated P.T.. The eery/creepiness of each survival horror-esque level in Get Even will certainly keep you uncomfortable as you progress Cole through his story, though not too heavy on the scares.
Another genre in the mix is mystery/puzzle, where you must uncover clues to move from point to point in the story. Probably the most unexciting of the bunch, but good for the story, you get to move through certain levels looking for clues on what the hell is going on and who the hell the antagonist are in the game. Along the way, you’ll find easy-to-medium puzzles lying in your path, such as figuring out a code to unlock a door through a series of rooms that need some black light investigation. Nothing enormously difficult, but nothing too easy. Anyway, to help this portion of the game, you also are equipped with a fancy phone, which does multiple things like heat-mapping, black lighting and bevy of other helpful features to put a bit more depth to solving mysteries/puzzles. One of the cooler features of the phone is the ability to piece together or breakdown portions of Cole’s memories in real time through a scanning process. As you progress in the story, the phone will have green lights appear (four in total), which indicate there is a place of interest in the area you might be investigating. The phone will focus on said areas with a green border and allow you to scan it to help read it, break it down or put it together. The phone is a neat feature/item and it does make uncovering the mystery of Cole’s life inside the game a bit more intriguing. It is an extremely important piece in this machine’s cog and one that adds to the creepy factor at certain times (I mean, who likes holding a phone when you’re investigating a creepy hallway? Not I, said me). Although the game is pretty linear in nature for this aspect of the genre mixture, it is nonetheless intriguing because it helps put pieces of the story puzzle together, which, again is why you want to play this game. So, take it for what it is in this aspect of the game. It’s linear, which means you’re dragged through the story, but the story is interesting enough to enjoy the simple journey.
Now, the last genre in the mix, and the most frustrating of the bunch, is the first-person shooter portion of the game that works on some levels, but falls on its face in others. Fans of Call of Duty, Destiny or Battlefield/front will certainly pick up on the shooting aspect of the game quickly, which features a corner gun that bends to shoot unsuspecting enemies. The novelty of the corner gun is neat, if not complicated at times, but the enemies are irritatingly unpredictable and sometimes a pain the arse to bring down when you’re under heavy fire. It’s a true love/hate affair with this particular piece of the genre puzzle of Get Even, though it was more severe dislike than hate. I found myself not being able to hit enemies properly with the corner gun due to jumpiness of the frame rate and tough to see enemies at times. The corner gun, which should be cool, is hindered by the phone attachment to it (the same phone mentioned above). Aiming with the gun is not a precise science, as it is quite irritating being forced to use the phone, which is tiny and graphically jumpy onscreen. I will say it’s neat to be able to use the phone’s features (heat mapping, black lights, etc.) when attached to the gun, but it still isn’t enough to make up for the overall FPS flaws. The corner gun makes the experience frustrating as hell, though the single guns without the corner attachments are typical FPS experiences. Overall, the FPS portion of Get Even was not refined, as it falls short of typical FPS games.
As harsh as that last part sounded I still have to give The Farm 51 some major props for trying to bring something unique to the table. This game reminds me a lot of SEGA’s 360 launch title Condemned. That particular title didn’t feature perfect gameplay, but the atmosphere and general creepiness of the game makes up for some of its flaws. The Farm 51 did a great job with doing that in Get Even, as well as trying something new, and you absolutely can’t fault them for the effort.
On the presentation side of the coin, Get Even is standard for a current generation title. The lighting, textures and shading are absolutely superb in the game. There are some great visuals that magnify the terror included in the story, especially when Cole is going through the sewers and insane asylum levels. The color scheme is dead, which is appropriate for those stages, and you can almost smell the mold forming from the broken down walls everywhere. Farm 51 did a fantastic job of making it visually uncomfortable, which helps push their overall narrative design intended. While you won’t find AAA graphics here, you’ll find graphics good enough to match the mood.
In terms of audio, the music is creepy and the dialogue absolutely amazing. Whomever wrote this game needs a raise. The actors need raises as well, as you can tell they bought into the story lock, stock and barrel. Good for them and bravo to the game’s developers for pushing the actors into accepting and believing their roles. In short, there’s good presentation here.
With all this said, what’s the verdict on it? Well, as I have stated previously, I think you might take a chance on Get Even. It has a lot of genres in its melting gameplay pot that work for the most part, though fall short in flavor in other sections of the game. The fact that a developer took a big enough chance to try something that isn’t too common these days with big titles, that says a lot for their dedication to the game.
Give it a look.