While the controls are reminiscent of a 2000’s FPS, the story and depth of this game outweigh it’s clunky controls. Get Even has it’s missteps, but ultimately provides a unique experience few games tend to pull off.
You assume the role of Cole Black, a gun for hire searching his own mind for answers. The asylum created around you is credited to the “narrator” known as Red. He has assembled this part of your memories to help find out why you let the bomb strapped to a young girls chest go off and how did you end up there? However, the biggest question is ‘What kind of person IS Cole Black?’.
The answer to this question is up to you and the decisions you make for Cole throughout the game. Should you let an inmate escape or just off him right there and save yourself the trouble later?
Ultimately, this is a simulator with elements of Outlast, Call of Duty, and Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture all in one. Get Even does a solid job of transitioning these gameplay elements almost seamlessly, which is quite the feat. One minute you’re walking through this digitized asylum searching for clues, the next a barred door seemingly shuts on its own and a ghostly spectre passes out of the corner of your eye. You get the door open and are then thrust into cover based combat, using your nifty gun/smartphone weapon.
This is one of the most interesting and frustrating features of the game. The stock on your weapon has a smart phone attachment that pretty much turns your phone into a scope. Whats more is that this stock attachment also lets you bend your weapon at 90 degree angles which makes looking around corners or over cover a breeze. It also leads to some frustrating sequences, however.
Remember those ‘clunky controls’ I mentioned? Well, they come to the forefront here. The ability to control this trick weapon gets away from you at times. The mechanic itself is very interesting. Making the gun go where you want is another story though. Now, I should clarify; sometimes it did this, not all the time, but enough to where it pulled me away from the experience at points.
Overall Get Even is a great looking game as long the photo-realistic areas are the only thing you’re looking at. Unfortunately, that clashes with the robotic controls of your character and the generic enemies you face. The animations for some of these guys came off very half-assed compared to the beautiful environments you traverse. With exploration being a key part of the game, you’re required to use your phone to scan certain objects in the world that help put the story together. Sadly, locking on to some of these items can become a literal back up or inch forward, tedious process that can take a minute to figure out.
Discovery isn’t a straight forward process in this game. The folks over at Farm 51 apparently figured that using the phones camera wasn’t enough when it came to discovery. While the means to finding information that will help you decipher what is reality and what isn’t is clever, at times it also feels tedious. Your phone has a multitude of settings that make it quite the force to be reckoned with, look out Apple.
While using the camera and reading emails (there’s A LOT of emails to read) is pretty run of the mill, your phone can also be converted into a scope for your gun and a thermal imaging machine. You must utilize all of these apps to uncover the truth and sometimes it can become a juggling act.
Puzzles are a staple in this game as well. This is where the smart phone really shines. While most of them felt pretty straight forward, the way it made you utilise your phone was appreciated. This is some of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Exploring the asylum, interacting with inmates and solving puzzles isn’t made to feel like a chore but a natural part of the game, and most of the time it makes sense.
There comes a point in the game where you encounter a clue that jogs your memory and forces you into a stealth shooter sequence. Red stresses that this needs to play out exactly as it actually happened. Meaning, you better avoid all those guards or get ready for a fight. That being said, you CAN shoot your way through the area, just be ready for enemies that hit hard and have an unforgiving nature. Most enemies can kill you in just a few shots.
Through your corner bending weapon and smart phone that can detect anomalies which can provide extra cover, its possible to make it through these areas undetected. While the game feels unforgiving in this aspect, the options and chances are there to make it through unscathed. Shooting your way through is just a choice you have to make if you prefer that, or are just shit at stealth gameplay. How ever you decide to proceed is up to you and regardless the soundtrack and gameplay make for some very tense experiences.
After these sections come to a close, you’re brought to a “central hub” of sorts. This virtual file filled room connects everything you’ve found so far. If you found all the clues in a particular area you’re given a super secret clue that is pretty much required to fully understand how Get Even ends. During my time with the game I was thrust into flashbacks where I had no idea what was going on. These top-secret clues give you the insight you need to understand just what the hell is happening in these extremely surreal moments. Thankfully, like any good game, Get Even allows you to replay the sequences you didn’t find all the clues in, allowing you to earn these secret clues back in the file room.
Just when I thought I had finished my time with this straight forward story and the VR Pandora device, I was overall pleased with my experience. Cole Black was a pretty cool mercenary, the story felt like it had been tied up well enough where I felt closure was gained and THEN, I was hit with one final twist. Get Even switches perspective and it turns out I was only half way through this game!
When this switch up happens, the gameplay drastically changes. The pace becomes much quicker, running through areas I had previously taken my time working through, but this time I had spiffy new powers at my disposal. I no longer had to worry about stealth. Using my new powers I could easily pick off enemies from afar by taking over their bodies. Searching for clues and anomalies is still part of the process as you continue to try and disprove the reality of the situation.
Puzzles are still involved in this later section, and surreal memories continue to shine a light on what is going on. Depending on how much you accomplished with Cole Black in the first half can either drastically affect this part of the game or just reaffirm your suspicions. Regardless, this is when the story part of the game gets immensely interesting! In Get Even’s final moments the surreal memories, structure of the game and soundtrack all culminate into an absolutely incredible payoff.
Ultimately, Get Even is about discovery. Discovery of the truth, discovery of what is real in the world around you, and discovery of one’s self. Overall, the wonderful atmosphere paired with ever changing gameplay result in a most enjoyable experience. Some of the mechanics can be tedious or difficult at times and there’s no doubt the game could have used another month of polish, but these are features easily looked past once you get into the game and begin to unravel it’s many mysteries. Get Even delivers a fun, original, diverse experience that allows the gameplay to always feel refreshing an new, making this FPS one of the first summer games you do not want to miss!