It is a cold night in San Francisco. The whole city is sleeping soundly. Well, okay, almost the whole city is sleeping. You see, Adam Wolfe (a private detective) is chasing his target through the dark night. The chase takes Adam into the sewers of San Francisco, where the true nature of the man who he chased also comes clear… and all this happened during the first few minutes into the bloody game. Your name is Adam Wolfe, a detective who specializes in investigating supernatural phenomenons – all for the sake of finding your sister who`s been missing for many years now.
My little storytelling aside, the opening chase sequence and the plot basis of the game drew me in. It got me genuinely invested to the story and all that`s included with basically quite a cliché start to a mystery story, but Mad House Games did a good job of putting together an intriguing premise for Adam Wolfe. This premise was followed by backing up the past of Adam and giving us a decent backstory and a firm setting for the story to pick up only 15 minutes into the game. As a player, you want to know more about the main protagonist, Adam, his motives, goals, methods and personality and, of course, solve the biggest mystery of them all that he`s been chasing after for a good time now.
As with any mystery visual novel, interactivity is a required as a part of the game to keep the player invested and attentive towards the unfolding events of the adventure, if you will. Adam Wolfe has that front covered with varying puzzles, combat methods, boss fights and even time warping. Yes. Time. Warping. How awesome is that? The variety of different interactive sections and mechanics positively surprised me, as I didn’t once get the feeling during my several-hour gameplay that I`d done some particular puzzle or segment already. Of course, the game will have the same mechanics repeated the longer you spent playing, but the time and place of when these mechanics come into play are well thought out. This keeps the game fresh and interesting at all times.
The second thing that really keeps the game going is the plot and its development. As mentioned in the previous chapters, the plot truly kicks off at the very moment you begin playing. It’s not the usual case of “let me give you lots of vague information and then return to it at the end of the game” – type plot either, but rather a solid, smoothly advancing story. You can make lots of independent inferences just by closely paying attention to the hints and facts given to you by the game. The way the story is presented really gives you that detective feeling. It makes you use your brain cells, which is something that, bluntly said, is not seen as much in games nowadays.
That said, these moments of deduction only last for fleeting moments, at best, for a whole segment. I always prefer to give praise where It’s due. Adam Wolfe really manages to catch the player`s interest and keep him or her interested at the story constantly. The problem surfaces when you start paying attention to the pacing of…well, pretty much the pacing of everything in the game.
Adam Wolfe loses some of its intensity offered by the good premise and varying gameplay due to a reason that some of the events are either a little too predictable or pass by rather quickly. As a prime example of the hurried pacing, many of the characters you come to meet along the journey exit the stage pretty much as soon as they enter. Some characters were written in such a way that made you go: `Oh, this person is going to die. He / She just monologued their life story to me without any real purpose. Well then.
The problem here isn’t that they monologued their life story to you, it’s the way how forcibly the scenes in question were done. So there is no sense of attachment, caring, intriquement, interest, etc. In other words, your left with only a bland feeling, and I find that to be very unfortunate. Sure, this example doesn’t serve to describe the entire cast of Adam Wolfe, of course. Some of the characters were really well written aside from the protagonist and the rest of the main cast. Even so, Adam’s seemingly generic persona was intriguing regardless of the stereotype that he gives off. Furthermore, it was very well done, and that could be said about several others as well. So props to the developers for that.
However, the partially shallow character design and development killed some of the moments and / or segments during the game for me. Overall, Adam Wolfe works as a story. The comic book-type showcase graphics and the stylized art of the game give it the correct atmosphere in all the scenes and situations. You`re really determined alongside Alan to get to the bottom of your sister’s disappearance. The plot is well-written and definitely draws you in and keeps you invested if you give the game a chance!
+ Involving puzzles
+ Interesting premise
+ An intriguing and well-built story
+ Mood-setting art
– Partial character development
– Shallow options menu
Sound and music: 3/5
Replay value: 3/5
In Overall, Adam Wolfe works as a story. As the comic book-type showcase graphics and the stylized art of the game gives it the correct atmosphere in all the scenes and situations. However, the game is far from flawless. Even so, thanks to the well-written plot it definitely draws you in and keeps you hooked throughout the game. So if you like the sound of that, then you “might” want to give “Adam Wolfe” a chance.
Title: Adam Wolfe
Developer: Mad House Games
Genre: Mystery, Puzzle, Adventure
Resolution: Highest possible for PC
Release date: 2016-08-07
Spent time: +3 hours
Average grade internationally: 58% – Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 16+
Price: 20,00 Euro via Steam
The Gaming Ground
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