Whispers of a Machine (PC) Review
Updated: Mar 23
Game Name: Whispers of a Machine
Developer: Clifftop Games and Faravid Interactive
Publisher: Raw Fury
Release Date: April 17th, 2019
Platforms: Android, iOS, macOS and Microsoft Windows
I just finished playing CliffTop Games' first game in Kathy Rain. You can read my review here.
As I played the game, I realized that they had a more recent game called Whispers of a Machine. From the trailer it looked like another point and click adventure and I was sold. The game was only 12$ Canadian on GOG.com so I decided to make the plunge and purchase it.
Let us see if the game is as good as its predecessor.
You play the character of Vera. She is an augmented agent from the Central Bureau with certain heightened capabilities. The game takes place some time after an event called the Collapse. This was apparently a time where machines went haywire and destroyed a large portion of Earth.
The game opens on a train with Vera talking to what seems like an elderly man. She advises that she is going to Nordsund. We then learn that she is here in order to solve a murder. So this ends up being just an old fashioned detective game similar to Kathy Rain.
Whispers of a Machine Trailer
The gameplay is very similar to any point and click adventure. The idea is that you need to run an investigation and put the cues together in order to resolve the murder.
First off, I want to start with the look and feel of the game. It does look retro but it seems slightly more modern. Also the gameplay is played in a 16:9 ratio window, whereas Kathy Rain was in the old 90's style of 4:3.
When you start you have your notebook where you can write down your notes and names of important people in the investigation. Since you are augmented you have some enhanced abilities out of the box. In fact, you have 3.
Scan: You have the capability of scanning an area to find some DNA or to see if anything jumps at you. Once you find something with the Smart Scan, you can use what you have found and use it in other areas to find DNA matches or Bio Samples.
Biometric Analyzer: You can use this to hear changes of tone, so that you can detect if the person that you are investigating is lying or not.
Super Strength: This augmentation is self explanatory. If you choose this, you temporarily have increased strength to move heavy objects or enter areas that are difficult to get into.
One of the main attractions to this game is that there are no real save states in the traditional sense. You can cannot restart an area from the last save state. The decisions that you make, you are stuck with. This will determine what direction or how a puzzle resolved.
What determines the direction of the game, is the personality traits that you have. You have 3 traits that you have. There is Empathetic, Assertive and Analytical. Depending on your dialogue choices, you will lean towards one trait over another. What this does is unlock new skills depending on your leaning trait and this will determine how puzzles are solves, and consequently how the game unfolds.
Everyone in the small town will talk to you and will have varying degrees of dialogue. However, each voice is unique and have their own personality to them.
Whispers of a Machine - Sample Gameplay
The game overall is awesome. I love these point and adventures and this was right up my alley.
As I mentioned before I love the graphics and visuals of the game. It really put you in the mood for a murder mystery. I also enjoyed the soundtrack as well. It was quite subtle but it did the job.
The story itself is Police Quest meets Deus Ex. There are many elements that overlap. The Police Quest comparisons are easy. However, the story felt like it could take place in the same world. There was an event called the Collapse which basically machines went nuts. Then the fact that as an agent you are augmented, like JC Denton or Adam Jenson. Even the sounds for the augments sound similar. For example the sound for the strength augment.
The storyline is pretty decent. I loved talking to everyone and getting information from them. However, may be I have played too many of these types of games, but at one point in my stream I called it as who I thought would be the culprit. I said it could be one of 2 people and one of them became true. So for me personally, it felt as if it was a little predictable.
The game took me about 8 hours and 30 minutes. It is not a super long game but I think it was the perfect length for this type of game. I think any longer and some players would get annoyed.
I liked the fact that you could not save the game where you wanted to and just restart an area. You are stuck with the decisions that you make. This actually adds replay value to the game. As once you finish a play through, you may want to know what happens if I am analytical now and not empathetic. How different are the options when you have one versus the other. It is really interesting and I was happy that this was added.
I think that, this game is worth the pick up. for 12$ Canadian, you can get an entertaining game and it is not super long. As I said with Kathy Rain, these types of games are not everyone's cup of tea. They can get frustrating especially when you get stuck in an area and cannot figure out the puzzle. However, for people like me that like these kinds of games, it is awesome. In this case, it brings a case of old school point and clicks with someone futuristic. I actually wanted to know more about the world.
Did you ever play this game? What did you think of it? How did you like the review. Let us know at the coordinates below.