REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

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REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

Whispers of a Machine chase big plans, Artificial intelligence is rigorously forbidden, she warns, and the police will come for anyone who seeks to make something that can conceive for itself. But what about my progenitors, one quick-thinking pupil asks.

It doesn’t quite succeed at the philosophical weight it seeks to. Whispers of a Machine is a great venture game, amusing at points, but the large concepts it ogles with at the outset soon give access to a traditional murder mystery in an unusual setting.

REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

The play sees players take on the part of federal homicide agent Vera Englund, who’s been assigned to the distant outpost of Nordsund after a cruel killing has stumped the local constabulary. Coming just in time to explore a second, more modern murder, Vera understands that she may have been set on the way of a growing serial killer. Her research into the two deaths finally sees her caught amidst fighting factions in a war of philosophies, testing her professional intuition as well as pitting her against her intimate beasts.

Whisper is a third-person point-and-click experience as legendary as they come in most regards, but it also includes elements of choice and several unique technicians that aid in the investigation of crime scenes and investigation of suspects. While a contextual cursor allows you to explore, read, pick up, and interact with objects in the scene it’s the protagonist’s special additions that inject a great deal of diversity into the case.

REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

The RPG-Esque personality growth is the most exciting thing concerning Whispers of a Machine, and the irony is that unless you’re giving attention you’re quite possible to miss it. There’s no sign that you acquired this ability instead of that one—the skills simply unfasten, and you get on with your day. It’s an enigmatic system that misrepresents the game’s complexity, but you will like it because it presents a more clear sense that Vera is you.

In this futuristic universe, a uniquely developed nanofluid matter dubbed “Blue” – highly prohibited to anyone not possessing special legal status but accessible to Vera as an FBI agent introduces living tissue with tech-assisted skills. This allows Vera to scan her surroundings for clues like fingerprints and DNA marks, read biometric disparities in subjects she’s challenging, and even allows her tissues a temporarily increase strength. The addition of these elements drives home the sense that you’re not just banging on objects but truly studying. The mere act of finding a victim’s locker in the game’s first picture, for example, needs scanning his body to log his biometrics, then harmonising your scanner to pick up his fingerprints accurately, and once the right locker is found via the prints, cutting it open with a boost of power.

REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

While the initial loadout of three augments is ready to Vera at the game’s outset, over the sequence of the story new skills continue to disclose within her, responding precisely to your preferences when communicating with others, actually opening up different augments depending on which path Vera is moving down. Treat others with compassion, for example, and Vera will gain the skill to give tools and people around her a slight spark of energy; act more logically or positively rather and different improvements become accessible.

Not only does this provide gamers with differing play methods to resolve problems in different ways, but seldom in-game puzzles themselves lead to tendency shifts depending on how they were defeated, such as bypassing a fingerprint scan it’s solely feasible to build a rubber mould of a finger to fool the scanner, or just amputate the figure itself to get access, each solution extracting the performance index in one direction or another. Players dedicated to role-playing Vera another way will get some further replayability from this system, as diverse augments force unique puzzle solutions.

An automated notebook made tracing the course of the research logically simple, and when you enter a place with problems that require to be solved, you’re not capable to leave until they’re finished.

The game’s visual performance is very well-executed, slightly unusually combining more painterly backdrops with pixel art styles and foreground elements. From a design viewpoint, locations that showcase the low-tech future setting are particularly remarkable: the game’s opening reveals Nordsund as an elevated settlement.

REVIEW : Whispers of a Machine (PC)

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review-whispers-of-a-machine-pcCharacter models benefit from specific dialogue pictures that appear during the discussion to show much more prominent expressiveness. The graphics are fluid as well, with enjoyable flourishes paying off Vera's augments, like a metallic latch floating through the air after brute-forcing a storage locker open, or a visible spark of power travelling up an IV tube to revive a lost patient. After the prosperous first trips from both developers alone, there was every reason to expect good things from a game that saw them join forces. And certainly, even with the higher expectations that came with it, Whispers of a Machine does not torment. It's perhaps a bit too small to do its ambitions full justice, but with powerful presentation values, a largely compelling mystery to solve, and excellent spins on traditional point-and-click gameplay, it's a highly pleasant experience with a level of replayability and an interesting world that I hope will be further explored in future projects.

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