March 15, 2016
Deponia Doomsday - Review
Deponia is sadly a series that does not get the attention it deserves, sure it has a fan following, but each of the games is wonderfully written and look a treat, so why they never made more noise is beyond me, but now the series is back with a very unexpected fourth entry, where Rufus, the lead character and oddball is back before the adventures even happened, to un do what he will do, all you need to know is that time travel is the key here and when it works it’s great, when it does not things just get boring.
The story kicks off with someone covered in a thick fur coat arriving in a large truck in the midst of a snowstorm at the base of a giant tower, all the while large evil looking creatures are chasing you down. As you get the character to the top, the mask and hood are removed to reveal a much older, scared and gravel voiced Rufus, though a quite clearing of the throat fixes the last one, Rufus then explains what he is doing, by setting off the explosives, which were planted around the planet in the first game, he will save Deponia, by destroying it.
After the events play out there, Rufus wakes up in his house back on Deponia, thinking back on the very strange dream that he had. As he starts to go about getting his preparations underway for his attempt to escape Deponia and head to Elysium, a very odd man backs his car up into the even more oddly placed glasses, causing them to break, which gives Rufus quite the problem, because with broken glasses, Toni is going to break him. So while Rufus starts to wonder how he can repair the glasses and fix his mistake, he learns that the driver of the car is actually Professor McChronicle and the car is actually a time machine, upon learning this Rufus decides he can stop the glasses from being broken, upon returning to the start of the events, a pink elephant distracts him and the glasses break, this opens up pandora’s box, which means that all the events you change through each time, become undone, resulting in some funny moments.
The traveling through time is the game’s biggest new addition, which does offer a variety to the games core components, but the games repetition of use of it does drag on. Spending time working out a puzzle, in the correct order is always enjoyable, but then having to do so again, with a different twist becomes frustrating, more so when you fail to identify a puzzle and keep looping back. While the time elements are frustrating, they still offer a nice way to see the world, with Rufus arriving on Elysium before its destroyed, there are chance encounters with some the cast of the first game, which is a nice through back for fans of the series, but for the most part all the events are brand new.
The problem with the game stems from the fact that the gameplay is almost identical to those that have come before it, the time mechanic does change things up, when it comes into play, but those times are rare enough that the game just feels like more of the same. You interact with the world by clicking on items, either to pick up or look at the same can be said for the people of the world. The gameplay mechanic is a staple of the point and click adventure genre, when the need arises you can combine items to make something new, usually a one trick deal to solve a singular puzzle, but for the most part, you just click around the world until you find something to interact with. Fans of the genre will enjoy another adventure in the style, but if you are not a fan, the lack of change from the normal, will not draw you in.
The biggest drawback though is Rufus himself, in the first game we come to know him, along with all his oddities and as the series progresses they come to grow on you. Sadly, once he learns he is back before his adventures begin, he becomes quite insufferable, in fact his entire attitude becomes that of a spoiled kid who has decided he no longer wants to play by anyone’s rules, a fact that is not lost on anyone else. No matter the consequences explained to him by almost the entire cast, Rufus is hell bent on doing things his own way, it is a funny the first few times, being the person that throws caution to the wind, but as the adventure continues it becomes really, really annoying.
The other characters are fine, they range from excitingly eccentric to mildly amusing, Goal is still hanging around Rufus, even with all he does, the citizens of Deponia still refuse to do anything about Rufus, even with them doing all they can to avoid enticing him to come near them. The voice actors return, bringing their charm to voices of the game, the music also keeps the feel of the game feeling the same, the problem is that the animations now seem incomplete in comparison, Rufus uses many of the same animations for interacting and creating things, no matter the situation. The problem is, there is a clear sense of disconnect between the characters and the environments they inhabit, which does nothing to help sell the setting.
Overall, my time with Deponia Doomsday was one of fun and frustration, while it’s great to be able to enjoy a point and click adventure again, Rufus is most definitely past his welcome. Fans of the series may enjoy another romp through Deponia, but newcomers most likely won’t.
Thanks to Daedalic Entertainment for supplying the game for review.