Archives by Day

April 2021

Get Even

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Developer: The Farm 51
Release Date: May 26, 2017 (US), May 23, 2017 (EU)


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

PC Review - 'Get Even'

by Cody Medellin on Aug. 4, 2017 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

Get Even is a psychological thriller that will have players questioning their perception of reality and justice.

Buy Get Even

If you look at the portfolio for developer The Farm 51, you'll notice that it deals almost exclusively with first-person shooters: Deadfall Adventures, Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, and both of the Necrovision titles. Three out of four games currently have a "Mostly Positive" rating from players on Steam. At first glance, Get Even looks like it would be another first-person shooter, but it doesn't take too long to realize that it'smore than that.

You start off as Cole Black, a mercenary whose current assignment is to rescue a kidnapped girl. You go into a seemingly abandoned warehouse and discover that the kidnappers are well armed and the girl you're trying to rescue has a bomb strapped to her chest.  The bomb ends up exploding and you die … or so it seems. You wake up in an institution that looks very run-down and abandoned. Further investigation uncovers that you've willingly come to this place to uncover two specific memories: why you were at the kidnapping site and the identity of the girl you were trying to rescue. To do that, you've donned a special helmet to relive your memories.

While that seems like it would lead to a straightforward story, the plot of the game is anything but. Before long, the game starts presenting lots of different but connected story threads. There's the craziness of the asylum with a subplot involving someone called the Puppet King. There's the theft at a weapons company and the snowball effect that involves industrial espionage and revenge. There's one thread about a duo of corrupt cops and a random person who somehow gets swept up in the madness. All of this is intertwined with other random memories, like one about trying to start a family. The story is intentionally confusing, but that's also why the entire tale ends up being rather intriguing.

Based on the developer's pedigree, it comes as a surprise that the gunplay is a bit underwhelming. The good news is that the weaponry is grounded in reality. At the most, you'll carry a shotgun, an assault rifle, or a silenced pistol that are all rather effective at taking down the enemy without using up too much ammo. The more interesting weapon in your arsenal is the corner gun. While you take cover, you can flip the weapon 90 degrees left or right and use a camera to get a better shot without having to expose yourself. It is a neat weapon that you'll want to use almost immediately.

Unfortunately, as nifty as it is, the corner gun can feel unwieldy since it takes up a good amount of the screen and the camera isn't as smooth as the rest of the game. It isn't appealing to try to shoot with a camera that doesn't provide smooth motion. It also doesn't help that the enemies are rather dumb, so you'll rarely get into a firefight where tagging the enemy is a challenge. Interestingly, even though the game gives you weapons, it constantly scolds you if you actually kill someone with them, making it contradictory in an interesting way.

Since the game admonishes you about shooting and killing, you'll rely on stealth to complete the levels unscathed. You don't have any stealth skills of your own, but you can slowly walk by nudging the analog stick in one direction. You can't knock out anyone when coming at them from behind, but you can use your phone to conjure objects that are supposed to be there but are temporarily missing from your memory. At the same time, enemies do a poor job of detecting you unless you're directly in their vision, and they rarely pursue you. It's broken unless your idea of stealth is to be seen, run until the enemies stop chasing you, and run back to your original spot in the hopes of going further without being spotted again.

Most of the time isn't spent in combat or stealth but in investigation. Your phone becomes the real star of your arsenal, as you can use it for a variety of uses, including a general flashlight, a blacklight, a map, a scanner, and a thermal camera. All of those tools lead you to various clues that can help you piece together everything to make sense of the memory you're currently inhabiting. However, none of the puzzles are that difficult. Most of the clues you need to get are hiding in plain sight, and the few puzzles you encounter are based on numbers that give you a keycode to unlock a door. It feels like a walking simulator in this sense, as they aren't difficult at all but still seem necessary to give you something to do before the next story snippet comes along.

Despite all of this, it is the story and the surrounding atmosphere that keep players engaged. Aside from the general mystery and scattered nature of the narrative, the sound is a reason to keep playing. The game barely has any music, but the sound effects take over for the score, and there are plenty of them set to a cadence that's similar to a horror movie. The beeping of an unseen heart rate machine, heavy breathing, and the ticking of a clock can cause you to get anxious. The banging from inmates and constant guttural screams and endless ramblings make you feel uneasy. Those things get louder and more violent to the ears. The best part of it all is that it accomplishes that constant threat of unease by ensuring no payoff. There's no loud sound to lead to a jump scare. Instead, lots of those noises stop, which is even more frightening since you're constantly waiting for a crescendo that never arrives. It works all too well and is something you wish were applied to games in the horror genre.

One of the advantages to going with old technology like Unreal Engine 3 is that there is an expected mastery of the engine by now. One look at the game, and you can tell that the environments look gorgeous, and the issue of texture pop has been tamed well enough to only show up on rare occasions. The stunning particle effects appear whenever memory fragments form or forget a new object or person. It also helps that all of this can be done at very high resolutions and frame rates, without necessarily needing the highest-end hardware with mid-range cards getting you maxed out at 60 fps at 1080p. Having said all of that, the character models look like they got the short end of the stick. This is especially true of the faces and mouth movements, which don't look like they move at all when someone speaks. Considering how you don't see people too often, it's a shame that their appearances couldn't have looked a little better.

Get Even doesn't have one strong suit from a gameplay perspective. The shooting is serviceable, the stealth is partially broken, and the investigations are almost too easy unless you're not very observant. At the same time, the story is absolutely bonkers enough to keep you glued until the end, and the presentation certainly pumps up your adrenaline even if there isn't a scare to be had. If you're the type of gamer who cares more about narrative than action, Get Even is worth checking out.

Score: 7.5/10

More articles about Get Even
blog comments powered by Disqus