06th Aug2015

‘Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode One’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf

missing-an-interactive-thriller

If there was one game style that you would not expect to come back it would be FMV, it was a definitely a Nineties thing and with technology moving on so much with graphical quality there is no real reason to bring it back. That of course, does not mean that a game is not worth out time if it does use FMV, if that was true we’d miss out on Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode One.

The story for the first episode sets up a Saw-like puzzle adventure where you play David Newcastle a victim who finds himself locked in a room with seemingly no way to escape. Solving puzzles and finding ways to unlock doors you manage to slowly work from room to room, while all the time getting clues about why you were kidnapped in the first place. Meanwhile, the second character you control, Detective Lambert investigates a series of mysterious disappearances around the city.

When I insinuated that FMV is dead, really it isn’t. The recent Her Story is another example of a game using full motion video as part of the user experience. With Missing: An Interactive Thriller, in the first episode at least, the use of FMV adds a level of realism to the game, but at the same time restricts what the user can do. This can be annoying, but thankfully the story is interesting enough to keep the player wanting to move on with the puzzles to see where the story goes.

While obviously influenced by Saw, this is more of a mystery thriller, lacking the gore of the horror film. With the use of puzzles, observation work and quick time like “click here” moments the player is able to move the story on. While an argument can be raised that this gaming style feels basic, if we stripped more sophisticated adventure games like the ones that Telltale Games produce, then they would work in a very similar way. They are telling a story giving the illusion that our choices will affect the outcome for the characters.

The fact is, Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode One features acting that is at a good enough quality to pull the audience into the story being told. By the end of the episode we have an idea of just why David Newcastle was trapped in the room and what he had done wrong to provoke such a move. We are yet to see just why such extreme measures were used on him, but I guess we’ll see that in future episodes. The fact we also have Detective Lambert investigating other disappearances means that there is obviously a wider story at work.

For fans of adventure games, Missing: An Interactive Thriller is an interesting  release. Now that we are able to use high-definition video in games like this, FMV does have a more realistic feel to it. The restrictive nature of the gameplay is obvious when using this style and it is something that this game can’t escape.

Missing: An Interactive Thriller features a story that I want to continue to play, and that means the first episode has done its job, and done it well. I’d like to see some more complicated puzzles in future episodes, and hopefully the story will stay as engrossing. What the game does prove is that FMV done well can still work in a game, though I still doubt it will ever make a big comeback. Well worth a try, especially at £2.79 for the first episode, you just may be surprised and actually enjoy it.

Missing: An Interactive Thriller – Episode One is available on PC, Android, and iOS devices now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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