As this is the first interactive movie I've played I'm not sure if I should have been expecting more puzzles or something but as it is you just go along clicking on things and that's about it. This of course would be fine if the story was interesting or as atmospheric as (I assume) an interactive movie should be but the atmosphere falls flat. Obviously it's rather noir inspired but a bunch of suits, a lot of smoking and alcohol; in black and white do not make a good atmosphere. Speaking of smoking the humour in the game falls rather flat as well. Alice Sanger (the somewhat jaded P.I. that you play as) occasionally makes wise cracks but they're rarely funny and generally come across as whiny. One amazingly insightful comment was made when I examined a large billboard advertising smoking. "The easiest way to throw away your money on something useless" this coming from a woman who was smoking profusely in the first scene of the game. Speaking of scenes some of the shot changing during conversations is shockingly timed and the camera angles are utterly atrocious. I mean if you're going to constantly switch between the characters at least film from a decent angle.
The story is rather un-inspired stuff that is disturbingly close to the film Gattaca only in an un-entertaining noir setting. Basically the government has installed chips in everyone's head which tells them when they're likely to become sick, how smart they'll be, etc. so basically people who are stupid or ill aren't going to be getting somewhere in the world. Sound a little like Gattaca? The thing I found rather amusing about this was the fact that a character who is rather high up in the world is a rather heavy smoker. Surely if they can tell if you're gonna have a damn heart attack they'll be able to tell that SMOKING IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU! I'm getting a little ahead of myself with the story though. It all be begins when she's given a job by a seedy looking gentlemen to pick up a briefcase but when she goes to pick it up she is shot by a sniper. So when she's released from hospital she goes after her shooter. So the story isn't too bad (if not incredibly cliché) but combined with a poor script and terrible acting it fails miserably.
Speaking of the script at times it's not too bad and some of the problems could of course be due to the fact it's a Dutch game (Constant re-use of the same words, etc. And more importantly begging almost every examination with "It was…") and they just couldn't translate it into English properly, but overall it's pretty poor and it completely lost me when one of the characters went off on a tangent complaining about the chip system, which was triggered by something like: "I can understand you not liking the system because you're a diabetic", and her reply included the gem "Take Beethoven for example: In this society when he was a child it would have been found he would become deaf and he would never have been able to become a composer". I mean first of all surely as Alice lives in the damn society she'd already know this sorta stuff but secondly why the hell would she suddenly choose that moment of all to complain (a conversation on a train while she's trying to work and is not interested in talking with Alice)? Not only that but it was virtually a monologue and completely inconsistent with the rest of the game and it just sounded preachy and pretentious.
Still it's not as bad as the acting which is really really poor. The same character who goes off on a tangent somehow manages to mumble her words half the time and in one scene it even appears she forgot her lines!
Plus it features one of the WORST attempts at a Scottish accent I have ever heard and I've heard some terrible ones. Still al though she had the worst performance she was not alone as all the actors put in a rather torrid performance from Alice who came across as whiney and obnoxious to-well to her mother who put in an incredibly wooden and well, she just sounded incredibly bored the whole time which to be fair maybe she was (she seems to spend her whole day sitting around drinking of tea).
Talking of Alice's mother though you're able to phone her up and when she picks up the phone she's in a small room all alone doing nothing but drinking tea and one you can ask her if she and Alice's father still live in the same house to which she replies "yes." Now this is all well and good but later one when you ring her you get the answering machine which tells you "you've reached the Sanger residence" now surely if when Alice rings her mother and she answers the phone at the Sanger residence then this would imply that they do in fact live at the same place. Maybe Alice is just incredibly stupid?
There were a couple of decent performances (in comparison) I thought a certain someone from Alice's past (I can't say much more else I'll spoil a major plot twist!) was alright at times and he managed to do a pretty effective performance overall as most of the time I never knew whether I was meant to trust him or not. Of course in the end I made sure it wouldn't matter! And once again I probably shouldn't say any more. Oh and even Alice was alright at times but most of the times she just made me cringe.
Now this might sound incredibly harsh (which I suppose it is) but it managed to keep me at least partly interested towards the end and the harshness is mainly down to me being completely put off by the terrible acting, obnoxious protagonist and terrible script but if you can look past them and this is your sort of thing you've got nothing to lose and may as well try it.