- Replay Value
Gods Will Be Watching is an 8-bit tale of a war between the Federation and the rebel faction called the Xenolifer The game not only tells an unbelievable story but has the humor to seal its place as one of the top indie games that have come out so far this year.
The story takes place as a flashback, the first scene focusing on characters discussing what has happened to all of them in the past few months. You take the roll of SGT. Burden, who is a man that believes that the conflict can be solved peacefully in the end if he is given the option. His original mission took him undercover with Xenolifer. Where he grew to learn about and respect their leader, Liam. It is hard to talk about aspects of the story with spoiling anything, but this tale does a great job and bringing these 8 bit pixilated characters to life and helping you understand their motives for being in the fight. They nail it home in the interlude sections of the game, where the game truly wants to delve deep into the characters, getting into their backstory, their likes and dislikes, their thoughts on the war and their thoughts on each other.
All of this is done with a great bit of humor involved. In the grisly second mission, through the character dialogue, it takes what would normally be a controversial scene and turn it into something witty and somehow charming, even though the actions occurring would be appalling if it were not for their delightful 8-bit style. Every scene places you in a life and death scenario, although with the interspersed humor, you do not even realize it. Gods Will Be Watching is a game that amazingly blends the story in with game play, and kept me enraptured for its entirety.
Gods Will Be Watching’s one and only mechanic is point and click. Much akin to the point and clicks in the past, there is nothing more than to simply point and click on a person or object. This game, however, only allows you to click on the other characters with you, forcing you to delegate what actions they take or what you would like to talk to them about. The game centers on the fact that you only have a certain amount of time, with each red action taking away some of that time. Dialogue usually costs you no time and can help you assess your position in the mission and how well you are doing as well as explain the mechanics of the mission you are on. Because of the limited time constraints, the game forces you to make harder choices and perform a lot of micromanaging of your characters, which for some can be tough to wrap your mind around. For example, the first level takes place in a hostage situation, where you not only have to make sure the guards do not storm your area, but you must also make sure the network security of the hacking software is strong, the hostages are alive and calm and try to get a hack speed boost all at the same time.
Once you figure out how everything works though, the game runs like clockwork, never missing a beat of the action and always making sure you take consideration of the actions you are about to take and plan ahead on what the possible outcomes are. You will fail in Gods Will Be Watching, and that’s the point. The game is designed to be unforgiving and make you work, allowing you to feel that sweet feeling of amazing success, barley scraping through the mission. It is very easy to lose focus on a certain aspect of the mission and fail because of it. The devs were nice enough to put in an easy mode, but even that is challenging. To make it even more interesting, once the mission is complete, the game will give you statistics that show you what other people playing the game did and compare them to your own scores. There were many times where my choices was the approach that a majority of players chose, and sometimes I was in the smallest minority. This was fun to look at just to compare, as well as give you other options on how you can play the mission out for you to go back and try. This game takes the simple point and click and turns it into something much more intense and engaging, making your give your brain a much deserved work out rather than your fingers.
8 bit has the ability to look either amazing or terrible, and Gods Will Be Watching falls in the prior category. Even though the game is in an 8-bit style, there is a lot of vivid detail on both the character models as well as the backgrounds. Being a futuristic game allowed the developers to have freedom on designing alien planets and environments varied from mission to mission. For example, you will go from a nasty garage to a desolate, dark ice world to the brightest of desert planets, all with their own level of detail on screen. For being so pixelated as well, the lighting in this game seems entirely realistic, casting shadows and lighting up important aspects of the level. Also, the character models, for being entirely pixelated, have an amazing amount of color detail in both their outfits as well as their faces. Gods Will Be Watching also encapsulated a realistic blood styling, instead of just taking the easy road and having none at all. This game takes a lot of risks on what they try to pull off in their art and it pays off wonderfully. Pixels have always been such a primitive art style and Gods Will Be Watching does a great job bringing it to life.
Gods Will Be Watching is a game experience that cannot be missed. With a soundtrack the captures the mood of the time, an art style that pops, gameplay that is far more in depth than other point and clicks and a story to tie all of these together, this is a gaming experience that cannot be missed. I had such a great time with this game and I personally will be playing it multiple times to get the entire experience.