Episodic games are a popular format of titles recently, having played most of Telltale’s series and recently reviewing Blues and Bullets. I’m very familiar with the idea of having to wait to find out how a game’s plot continues. The Detail almost plays like a detective TV series, think CSI but told with a graphic novel art style.
You’ll have to solve the mystery of crimes and make difficult moral decisions throughout each episode. I played the first three episodes of this, rather than doing individual posts for each episode, it made more sense to put it all into one post.
Solving crimes actually turns into a satisfying affair, with clues being pieced together just like a detective in the real world. You visit the crime scene, examine the evidence and then piece clues together to find out what happened and why, and most importantly who did it. There’s also a wealth of characters to explore perspectives from across all 3 episodes, from Joe Miller (a reformed criminal) to Detective Moore, the head of the crime division called The Detail – you might have guessed that comes from the title.
Characters can often be difficult to read, but that’s what I love about The Detail, working out each character and their personality trait. The Detail is very much on par if not better with its character building to Telltale’s games.
In terms of difficulty, there is a level of having to know what clues to look for and piecing them together. Episode 2 definitely offers the most complex scenario with its apartment crime scene, whereas episode 3 feels a bit more simplistic in comparison. It was nice to have the variation in place though and not constantly have to be scratching my head in confusion.
When you start the game, the first thing that will strike you will be the game’s art direction, which is a typical comic book style, with scenes very much being told like an interactive comic book. The mood is set with the choice of colours and important things of interest are highlights with brighter colours or a spotlight. Rival Games, the developers have really worked some magic into this title and I would definitely recommend it to comic readers, especially if you like a bit of mystery to a plot.
The music also develops the game further with violin and guitar chords mixed in with the odd piano to add tension and introduce different events in the gameplay. Without realising it, but there is actually only three instruments throughout used, yet it feels like there is an entire orchestra to the game. You become that immersed in the game that all the elements feel like one complete package.
If you enjoy comic book style interactive games and like your crime and thriller genre, then The Detail is definitely a must buy. The art style is sensational and the series is dramatic and leaves you wanting to find out the outcome of events. Not only that, but it betters Telltale’s games with its character building and a game told via three character perspectives. Every choice you make has a consequence and you go into that seeing the events unfold knowing these are your actions. If a game manages that like The Detail has, then it’s onto something.