Some times I wonder if the people behind these games, Daedelic Entertainment, are really just pandering to me with games like this. As in, I almost feel like they’re making a game for me. As in, specifically me. As in, I think their pitch for this game was “Hey! Ya know that guy Sean? He’s a pretty great guy! Why don’t we make a game for him?” So they make a point and click adventure game with a really funny and clever script that manages to make sure that I see this game all they way through to the end. But I guess they can’t just be making it for me, there has been a lot of other people who have been really liking it just about as much as I have.
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: November 6th, 2012
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that Chaos on Deponia is a great game, just like the last one(read the review of that one here), but it’s almost kind of puts me into a position where people might think it’s just me going nuts over a point and click adventure game just because its a point and click adventure game(though, there have been games that I’ve been way less enthusiastic about). Well, that might be part of the case, but I would still recommend this game to people even if they aren’t into these kinds of games. If you haven’t played the first game, definitely do that. This review is going to get a little bit spoilery, because, I feel the only way to really talk about this game is to kind of pick apart the plot. I won’t reveal anything to major, but if you feel like you need to go into this game without really knowing anything, which I do think it’s the best way to go into this game, then go out and play it. Also, I can’t really talk about the plot in this game without talking about the ending in the first game, so, you have been warned.
Seriously, go play these games, they are really good!
“They Call Me ♪Rufus ♫”
As it was established in the first game, Rufus was a pretty big jerk, but after he took a hard swift punch in the gut by reality,( as he had to realize there were more important things than just making sure he got he wanted like saving an entire planet that he grew up on, even if there was a possibility that he would never be able reach his dream home again, Elysium, making for a simple but effective character arc) this game just kinds of shows us that he’s more clumsy and insensitive than he is a jerk. At least, that’s what his character upgraded to from the last game. Now, he at least makes a conscious effort to be a little nicer, though, him actually trying to be nice kind of shows us how ignorant this character really is. He’s not exactly dumb(ok, maybe a little….or a lot), but his big ego is still getting the best of him in this game and his sense of reality is still pretty bad. Once again, this is where most of the game’s humor comes from, Rufus himself; the things that are played for laughs involve a straight up murder, insensitivity to a homeless person, and animal cruelty. And it’s HILARIOUS. In fact, I may have found this game to be funnier than the last one, if only because of how ballsy some of the jokes are in this game. Rufus’s insensitivity is also what kicks off the plot.
The story starts off by making sure that we know that Rufus has changed(but not really) since the last game. Some crazy events happen that manage to get Goal and Rufus back together in the story. It’s actually pretty hard to describe what happens, but he manages to intercept Cletus’s and Goal’s trip back to Elysium through a really convoluted and outrageous plan that only Rufus can seem to think of. So, Rufus “saves” Goal from Cletus, and now they have a chance to fix Goal’s AI chip. But, Rufus manages to screw up once again and get the weaker of the equipment that they need to help fix Goal and now she has three different split personalities. Yeah, it gets pretty crazy.
The game expects you to have played the first game to have a clear understanding on what’s happening now, which is why it’s hard to talk about this game without bringing up the other one. Characters come back but on full display this time, some new characters are introduced, and they bring back another character that seems to be there for more jokes and fan service, but the gags involved are so hilarious, it’s pretty easy to overlook that this doesn’t really add anything to the plot. Speaking of the plot, the Bad Guys’ plans to destroy Deponia are still going, and Goal is still a vital part in making this plan work. There’s a lot that happens in this game, but it all manages to stay cohesive as a whole.
The thing with the first Deponia is that it ended while still feeling like a complete game, but it also gave room for another game….or two. Yes, there’s going to be one more game after this, as this game really just serves to fill in the gap between the first and the upcoming third game. It’s one of those times where this game can easily fall into the trap of being the middle child that just seems to muck around until they finally get to the third game for an actual resolution. Thankfully, it manages to actually be a part of the bigger story while still feeling complete. The game definitely ends where they need another game to end the series , but the reason why this second part still feels like a complete story is because it involves a character arc with Goal….or a part of her. There’s a huge conflict that happens with her that does manage to resolve in the end. Instead of just ending on a cliff hanger, they make sure that all of the resolutions that happen in this game are what set up the next part. It’s a big reason why the story in this game works so well.
Few Areas but Lots’O Items
One of the main criticisms that I saw people point out in the first game was that they spent way too much time in the first area. Maybe the main problem was that it was a pretty big area with lots of puzzles, meaning that there was a lot of combinations of items to put together. The rest of the game involved smaller areas with fewer items, giving more of a flow with the rest of the game. Well, for those who had a problem with that, it’s pretty much the same thing in Chaos on Deponia. I don’t think I really had all that much of a problem with it, though, like in the first game, the main objective is split into different parts that can be solved in any order. This could lead to solving puzzles that have nothing to do with the separate goals this game makes you go through. I can see how this can be frustrating to some people; I definitely was lost for a lot of the time and I carried little shame in the few times I looked up on what to do.
Any criticisms about the gameplay can be about the usual bizarre logic that most adventure games seem to carry. Like I said in the last game, it’s nowhere near the levels of frustration that I had with other older games. Most of the puzzles in this game are pretty straightforward. The only times when I looked up what to do was because there were times that I was actually pretty stuck and I didn’t want to use every combination possible in order to get through a part. One of the puzzles involves flaming tires and baby dolphins. I guess it sort of makes sense in context, and the gag that happens with this particular puzzle is incredibly funny(even if down right cruel), but it kind of makes me wonder how they came up with something like that in the first place. But, then again, it’s not like the time traveling hamster in The Day of the Tentacle(yeah, I still can’t get over that puzzle).
I think the puzzles do actually benefit this game and Rufus’s character though. It might be insane sounding to like the puzzle solving in a point and click adventure game when all it really boils down to is rubbing as many items together as possible, but it makes sense in this context though. Rufus isn’t exactly the smartest person, but he’s able to get things done in his own way. Solving these puzzles is showing how Rufus works with problems. It may not be major, but I figured I could use this as a good example of character building through gameplay.
Huzzah! All Over Again!
I don’t think I can really make a final word on the whole story until the third game comes out, but I’m seeing lots of promise. Even then, we still have a great game that works on its own merits. It’s incredibly smart, funny, and clever, and the guys from Daedelic are showing some serious skills on story telling. If you were wondering if they could pull off continuing the story line, well, they certainly have. If you enjoyed the first game, then I see no reason for you not to pick up this game as well. I imagine there are going to be a lot of impatient people waiting for the finale.
BOG’s Chaos on Deponia Review Score: 9.0
Why So High? Very clever, well written, and a great story. Also a really funny game!
Why So Low? Usual bizzaro adventure game logic, and some people may finding spending the first half of the game in the first area to be a bit overwhelming.