Adventure games are all over the place in today’s market it seems but I’m not so sure there is one quite like Knee Deep which is the new adventure title from Wales Interactive and Prologue Games. Knee Deep actually most resembles a play as it uses a stage for its scenes, features an audience and even has the breaks during it you would experience if you went to a real stage play. It’s something just a little bit different from the norm and while that is much appreciated it isn’t without its issues.
The game takes place in Cypress Knee, Florida and features three main characters. Ramona Teague is a blogger, K.C. Gaddis who is a private detective, and Jack Bellet who is the local reporter. The story of the game is that a very popular actor has just committed suicide and it’s up to you to figure out just what is going on. When you begin the game you are told by the game’s narrator that you cannot lose so just keep in mind there is no way to fail in this game while you are investigating. You’ll use all three characters to talk to people and select from multiple dialogue options much like many other modern adventure titles. While you can select different choices none of them felt like they really changed how the game played out in any meaningful way. Yes some characters may act differently toward you depending on some of the choices you make but nothing that made me feel like I needed to play the game again to see how things might be different.
Over the course of the game you’ll play through three different acts which feature plenty of twists, turns, intrigue and more. There is much more going on then just a simple suicide. Each of the three characters jobs in the game plays a part in the gameplay as you’ll have to make articles, blog posts etc based on the job of each character. This again is part of the whole make your own choices system as you can make your reports different depending on which angle you want to take. Again though like I said none of them felt like they really affected anything and I just would have liked to see more from the game to make me feel like I was actually having an influence. I don’t want to talk much about the story for spoilers sake but you will encounter many different things going on including government corruption, cults, affairs, and more. There is plenty here to keep your attention and keep you wanting to finish all three acts of the game.
When it comes to the aesthetics of the game the whole stage play setup is cool but it has problems. First the visuals in general are pretty lackluster looking one or two generations old. Character animations are poor as are the look of the models in general including their lip movements when they are speaking. Thankfully the voice acting for the most part is well done but it just made the faults like the poor lip synching more noticeable and drew me out out of the experience. If you’re someone who likes trophies you’ll be glad to know there are a lot of them in this game including a Platinum for you to chase after. The game is a little bit pricey though as it only lasts a few hours and really doesn’t have much for replayability.
Knee Deep tries something new with its awesome stage play style but just falls short of being great due to poor visuals and simple gameplay style. I enjoyed the story throughout and it did keep me playing until the end. If Prologue Games can improve on the technical faults of this game and make the gameplay more varied and your choices more meaningful then Knee Deep could become something great in the future. As it stands it’s a good adventure title worth checking out at some point.
*Review Copy provided by the Publisher