I would have gotten around to this one sooner if I’d realized it was by Farm 51, creators of the vastly underrated PC shooter Necrovision! Oh well, better late than never. This is sure a different kind of game than Necrovision though. No seemingly endless waves of hellish monsters to blow away here. While you do have a gun in Get Even, you aren’t going to be using it a whole lot.
No, turns out this is more of an exploration/investigation game of a highly surreal and psychological nature. While there are moments where the game briefly flirts with the horror genre, in a few sections when things get extra weird, it’s really more of a sci-fi thriller in general. You start out as the mysterious Mr. Black, whom after seemingly being blown up in a hostage rescue gone wrong, wakes up in a strange, run-down asylum with no memory and some kind of weird VR helmet attached to your head.
A distorted voice over the loudspeaker tells you that you’re here for treatment for your memory loss and that you’ll need to use this VR tech to dive into your own memories and try to piece together exactly what happened that led up to the bomb incident.
With how oddly mysterious your “doctor” is and how much like the set of a Saw movie this asylum looks like, it’s immediately obvious that this isn’t some kind of altruistic treatment and that there’s something else really going on here, but you’re stuck there with no choice to do what the voice asks and hope for the best.
Once you start jumping into memories, things get even weirder as you begin to encounter the strange effects of memories being distorted by various factors. You’ll have to investigate thoroughly, solve a few puzzles, and decide how you want to approach the occasional combat sections of the game.
You can go for stealth like the voice recommends or ignore them and just blow everyone away. This choice is what determines which of two final ending scenes you’ll get, though there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between the two. Me, I just blew everyone away because what else am I gonna do when a game hands me some fancy sci-fi gun that can see and fire around corners?
In general though, the combat and investigation aspects of the game are decent enough, but nothing we haven’t all seen before. What really sets the game apart from others like it are the atmosphere and presentation of it all.
The environments are nicely detailed and filled with memorably bizarre scenes of strange memory effects inside the memory levels and generally insane goings-on of the other inmates in the asylum section. They’re all accompanied by some really good sound and music as well, which really helps to sell the feelings of unease and confusion.
The pacing of the story is also very well done, stringing you along at just the right speed and amount of information revealed to keep you guessing without leaving you bored. You’ll be able to slowly piece it all together as things progress, to the point where you’ll eventually be able to guess most of what’s really going on, though there will almost certainly still be some surprises in the end that you won’t see coming.
It’s a relatively short game at around 7-12 hours, depending on how thorough you want to be in your evidence collecting, but it’s a high quality experience and it’s not asking full price so it’s not a bad deal at all. I’d definitely recommend it to those who enjoy mind-bending exploration games like Layers of Fear or Soma. It’s very much like those games in many ways, just with less horror and a touch of combat thrown in (also, check out Farm 51’s Necrovision on PC if you like games like Painkiller).