Get Even manages to blend many different types of game into one, and does so without any of them feeling arbitrary or wasted. There are elements of Gone Home, Outlast, and Call of Duty, and you’ll encounter many tropes from each, but it’s done so smoothly and smartly that you’re constantly adapting to that particular style. The decision to make choice such a Huge part of Get Even is both a blessing and a curse because of the events that follow your first playthrough (I really can’t say much more than that without ruining it), and when you’re told to think about your actions, I suggest you take heed of that advice because it matters.
You play as Cole Black, a mercenary trying to uncover the secrets of his past, and why you were trying to stop a bomb strapped to a young girl’s chest from going off – a scene shown at the very start of the game. After the opening moments, you wake up in Asylum, guided around by a mysterious character referred to as Red, through a disturbing labyrinth of cells, corridors, and rooms. Lichurst Asylum is a horrible place, filled with creepy mannequins and a bunch of lunatics, each with stories as to why they’re there. There’s a lot of information to read through including paper clippings, emails, and other documents, and it’s your job to piece together what’s going on. Not only are you slowly uncovering the story behind the kidnapping of the girl and why, but you’re learning about your role in it all, and why the hell you’ve wound up in the asylum.
You step in and out of different memories throughout the game (not necessarily your own) made possible by the Pandora: a headset that allows the wearer to revisit moments from their past. This allows Cole to deviate from the story within the asylum, and also the type of game you’re playing. The survival horror aspect of Get Even becomes a FPS, as you visit locations that require you to use a weapon known as the Cornergun. Yep, a gun that can shoot around corners. There’s a deeper narrative than what you originally assume, as a power struggle between two huge arms developers takes centre stage. Not only does it turn into a shooter, but there are puzzles thrown in throughout, making you flex your brain and work out what door combinations are by finding clues, or using your phone to scan parts of the environment for evidence.
Your phone is a huge part of the gameplay, and a huge part of how you play. The infrared will help you look for cables and the heat signatures of enemies, the UV light can help you look for fingerprints and footprints, the map will show parts of the memory that can be manipulated or the location of enemies, and the scanner will unlock information about evidence you come across. You’ll also get text messages from different characters throughout, and they can be threatening or disturbing in equal measure.
Throughout Get Even, you’ll read a lot of information. Whether it’s in a textbook or scrawled on a filthy piece of paper, literature plays a massive part of the game. Every section has a certain amount of information you’ll need to see, and you’re rewarded for finding it all, but it can feel tiresome when you just want to play the game. Like I said, you don’t need to read it all, but much of the story is told through the various documents that it’d be a shame to miss out on it all. Towards the end, there’s a big shift in gameplay and everything changes, but it’d be unfair of me to ruin it, however, when this happens, I was annoyed and amazed. I was annoyed because I’d been led to think one thing, but amazed at the way it had been done.
There’s a lot to love about the art choices in Get Even. The Farm 51 has decided to use real actors for some of the flashbacks and memory segments, and in photos you can come across. The design of the asylum is excellent as well, because you never know where you are; there is a map, but you’ll always feel lost because whether you think you’re in a room you’ve already been in, it’s changed in some way, making you feel uneasy. There’s a surprising amount of music in Get Even too, including the singing of some of the inmates, and pop music. It shouldn’t work, but it does very well, and it’s yet another quirk that adds to the charm of your overall experiences with the game.
Get Even tries to do too much, but rather than getting it wrong, it succeeds on many different levels. It blends styles within the first-person genre seamlessly, tells an ambitious story without tripping over itself, manages to scare you, and connect with you emotionally. The shooting is satisfying and exhilarating thanks to some smart enemy AI, and the Cornergun is a great weapon to use. I enjoyed Get Even a great deal; it takes you to a place you weren’t prepared for, and whether you’re happy about that or not, there’s no denying that this is a unique and fantastic video game you should all play.
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