I never stood a chance against Gods Will Be Watching. The atmosphere and art style already had me beaten, but the concept curb stomped the money from my hands. Honestly, I’m happy with my purchase even if the game hates me and everyone that attempts to play it.
Gods Will Be Watching is set up as a brutal choose your own adventure that presents you with a handful of harrowing life or death scenarios. To start the game you have multiple hostages, security guards are approaching, and you have to help keep things calm long enough for your team to complete a complicated hack. Keep those hostages in line or they may try to run or revolt. Give too many warning shots to the security guards and your own gunman may question the entire mission. Get lazy with your computer security and risk losing valuable data/time.
Overwhelming. In the best and worst ways possible.
I absolutely love the core mechanics and setup for Gods Will Be Watching. On the surface it feels like an old point-and-click adventure game, but the actions here are much more sinister in nature. Gods Will Be Watching is all about choice. Every scenario has you managing multiple stress points in the environment and naturally when those stress points turn out to be people, it gets even more volatile.
You are presented with simple dialog options or you can walk around to find an object to interact with and select what you want to do. It’s very methodical and simple. However, it’s important to realize if you take care of one thing, it takes away the time you have to take care of any of the other stress points. Your choices won’t be easy and things will go wrong very quickly. You will commit horrible acts in the name of survival and people will die because of your choices. For fun (evil) the default difficulty also includes chance. That means even if you handle a given scenario perfectly, it just may not be your day. Fail, and you have to start the scenario over and try that scenario over again. No one cares if you it took you 30+ minutes to get this far.
The funniest realization for me was that it took me about half a dozen deaths before I realized that game time only moved forward after I selected my next action. Trying to play Gods Will Be Watching as fast as possible can make an incredibly hard game, next to impossible. Not that it got much easier after I started playing it correctly.
I’ll admit I’m thankful that Deconstructeam later patched in various difficulty modes that let you play it how you want. You can simplify the puzzles, remove chance entirely, or just play it for the story. I decided to stick with the default puzzle difficulty but remove chance. After 4-5 hours, I had made it halfway through the 2nd scenario and I am a beaten man.
“A Point’n’click Moral Puzzler”
The initial prototype for Gods Will Be Watching won fans over during at Ludum Dare 26. Expanding it out to a full game had to have been a daunting task and I have a ton of respect for the game and Deconstructeam’s commitment to its design. This game is not fun to play, and I really don’t think that was ever the point. I want to see all the scenarios. I want to see the fruition of Deconstructeam’s devious schemes for my crew. Despite the game’s insistence on making me completely miserable in my short time with them, I started to care about this particular group of space jerks. Mainly because all of us were going through some real shit together. If I ever do go back, the characters that survive Gods Will Be Watching will become my closest video game bros of all time.
Gods Will Be Watching is available for PC, Mac and Linux and was released on Jul 24, 2014.
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