Thursday, 19 April 2018

Dealing with backlog: Betrayer

This is an indie game that I've been excited about for ages and I'm really happy that I liked it as much as I did :D

You arrive on the shore of a new colony settlement in North America in the early 17th century. But there's nobody to be found, the colony is deserted and completely empty (the game draws from the legend of Roanoke here). You soon meet a girl in a red hood and she seems to be the only other living person there. You've seen what remains of the conquistadores and they aren't human anymore. The girl in red can't remember much about what happened before or why the colony is empty, she doesn't even know her own name.

Looking around the first part of the settlement you find human-shaped ash statues (which totally creeped me out) and on the map you can make sure to mark all important items for the story or collectables. I made sure to collect everything before moving on to the next area.

The trailer for the video uses "wield early 17th century weapons" as a point of charm for the game, but having to reload after every single shot (historically accurate, I'll give you that) soon seemed annoying and frankly time-consuming and in the end I only ever used the bow. The game also lets you choose whether to play the game in full colour or in monochromatic grey with important items marked by splashes of red. I chose to play in colour.

The story that unfolded before my eyes during the six hours I played this game was incredibly sad. The girl's sister was in love with a Native boy and she got pregnant. Her father chased her into a part of the forest that the Natives claimed to be haunted and there he killed her and the boy. Her sister found her corpse strapped onto a cross. She set it on fire to help free her spirit. But the supernatural energy of that forest is only strengthened by her rage and it stretches out over the land corrupting the people and the earth.

The end was a major wtf moment and I actually had to read what other people thought about it before I made up my mind about it myself. The ending was fitting and surprising, and you actually have to pay attention really closely to get the ending. It felt like an abrupt end when I played it, but after letting some time pass and I thought about it I can say that I liked the ending. I just wish that there'd been a Betrayer 2.

The main thing I liked about Betrayer was the atmosphere. It was creepy as hell which I enjoyed even though it made my skin crawl. I also absolutely loved the mystery-solving part, picking up clues and piecing them together... It was a lot of fun and I wish it could've been longer.

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