`Overclocked: A History of Violence` Preview21 Apr 2008
‘Overclocked’ takes the idea of story telling in reverse, “that thing they did in Memento”, and gives it its own twist. This point & click game had me hooked until the wee hours of the morning, only stopping to sleep because I was starting to lose the plot, literally.“As well as playing the psychiatrist, you get to control the patients”
The opening video gives a good indication of where this game is going. We start with images of butterflies and work our way towards a girl standing in a street, firing a gun into the air and screaming her head off.
As a forensic psychologist you have five patients with no memories and you have to find a way to get them to tell you their stories. Not an easy thing to work out on its own, and those around you are not necessarily trying to help.
As well as playing the psychiatrist, you get to control the patients as you reconstruct their tales, another twist on games I’ve played in this genre. Combining this with the reverse direction of the storytelling does naturally mean that some of the scenes feel a little like going over something you already know. Fortunately, the game develops from just reconstructing the story into reacting to the information you gather and the game flows forward with increased pace, preventing what I had worried would become a repetitive process of ‘rinse & repeat’ for each character.
As we work backwards, learning more about the kids, we also start to learn more about our lead character and this is no fairytale land with a knight in shining armour to rescue our distressed damsels (and dudes). Here is a story that is more realistic, with character flaws that are a part of the plot and not just window dressing. With that set-up, I was a little disappointed in what felt like a mixed bag of an ending. The final scenes were a little difficult to swallow and started to feel rushed. Much more to my taste is the quiet little story of the car outside the hotel and the very last moment of the game. These details are a delight.