While the humble point-and-click adventure generally no longer enjoys the same level of success it did back in the early '90s, in Germany, the genre is thriving. Here at Gamescom, the booths are filled with adventure game delights. One such example is Gray Matter, a dark thriller developed by Wizarbox Games.
Gray Matter is written by renowned author and game designer Jane Jensen. It tells the story of Samantha Everett, a student and part-time street performer. After her motorbike breaks down on a rainy night, she takes shelter at a mansion, owned by the mysterious neurobiologist Dr. David Styles. She inadvertently becomes his assistant and is sent on an errand to retrieve subjects for one of his experiments.
However, she soon finds out that the locals are extremely wary of Styles, who has become a recluse after losing his wife in a car accident. Undeterred, she uses her street performance skills to entice subjects to the mansion, only for the experiment to set off a chain reaction of inexplicable events. It’s your job to take control of Sam, and Dr. Styles, to discover the truth about the strange goings-on.
The game is played like a typical point-and-click. You move your character using the mouse, interacting with objects in the environment. All the usual commands are present; you can look at objects, pick them up, and use them to solve puzzles. In the Xbox version of the game, you control your character directly, using the analogue pad to move him or her around the prerendered 2D backgrounds.
Sadly, we weren’t shown any puzzles from the game, but we were told that they would use Sam’s street performance abilities, as well as Dr. Styles’ scientific ones. We did, however, get a look at some of the game in motion. It’s similar to how the old Resident Evil games used to look, with 3D characters overlaid on prerendered 2D backgrounds. Of course, this being a much newer game, the character models and backgrounds were more detailed, with a dark and sinister-looking art style. The story also sounds interesting, and we were told that the plot gets even stranger later on when Styles starts to see visions of his deceased wife.
Gray Matter is due for release on the PC and Xbox 360 in Q3 of this year, which gives you just enough time to brush up on your point-and-click skills.