A new game called Gamedec is designed to help law enforcement solve crimes in virtual worlds. This game has the potential to revolutionize how we approach crime in online games, and it could be a step towards more effective policing in these environments.
Gamedec Review: Solving Actual Crimes in Virtual Worlds is a review of the book Gamedec by Dr. James Rolfe, which tells the story of how he and his team solved crimes in virtual worlds.
I’m not sure who I’d suggest Gamedec to, but it’s nice to know that such a thing exists. Gamedec is an isometric cyberpunk RPG based on Marcin Przybytek’s long-running Polish science fiction series. It doesn’t include a fighting system, and the majority of the game’s gameplay is focused on collecting clues and making conclusions.
It’s a large, ambitious project with a lot to say, but it’s buggy, and the translation still needs some time in the oven. More specifically, Gamedec is an interactive detective tale set in a vast science fiction setting that delivers a lot of world-building at you right from the bat.
Review of Gamedec: Solving Real-Life Crimes in Virtual Worlds
The most important feature is that it does not have a hard failure state. You may still bully your way through the game as the world’s worst detective, drawing the worst possible conclusions in every case, and the game will still let you finish.
Most of the NPCs will treat you like a very stupid dog, and you won’t comprehend most of what occurs around you, but you can’t mess up severely enough to finish the game.
Every gaming webcomic in the 2000s made a joke about it at some time, but Gamedec takes the concept seriously: you’re a freelance investigator in other universes.
In the future metropolis constructed on top of what used to be Warsaw, it’s the late 22nd century. Because actual life has devolved into a cyberpunk technocracy, many individuals resort to completely immersive life simulations for entertainment, escape, and, on rare occasions, full-time reality replacement. The distinction between virtual and real life is largely a question of taste at this time.
When individuals spend so much time in virtual worlds, it’s inevitable that some of them will commit crimes there. Your made-up character is one of the freelance investigators called in to deal with such cases.
The official job title is “gamedec,” which is a minor misnomer since it sounds like “game detective.” You’re getting closer to a problem-solver (a “Mr. Wolfe for video games,” to paraphrase Lukasz Hacura, the president of Gamedec’s development team). That may include performing some investigative work, but you’ll be rewarded just as well if you just solve the problem.
You start the game as an experienced gamedec who receives a job offer from a very wealthy guy who wants you to figure out why his kid can’t or won’t log off of whatever game he’s playing. You can’t simply pull his wires since it would do serious harm to the child, so you’ll have to do it the hard way.
This is where Gamedec’s interaction shines, and it’s much more detailed than a lot of other choice-based story games I’ve played. Your character’s beginning perspective earns you some points that you may spend to purchase professions, and you can earn additional points during the game by choosing properly relevant dialog choices.
If you’re constantly threatening and intimidating witnesses, like a cyberpunk Mike Hammer, you’ll earn the proper kinds of points to purchase professions that will help you become better at it.
I did my usual, attempting to be a social engineer and ending up with a collection of skills that allowed me to use my own celebrity to get information from others. Overall, Gamedec does a fantastic job of enveloping itself around you. Imagine Phoenix Wright without the need to be polite.
However, it isn’t a flawless method. My first two efforts at Gamedec were doomed from the start since my beginning point totals didn’t allow me to purchase any professions, thus the first 30 minutes of the game were filled with greyed-out choices. There’s a chance you’ll make a few of false starts.
Gamedec became intriguing after I had a character I could work with. You’re likely to fall for falsehoods, mess up royally, get people murdered, and wind up with customers who are furious at you since it’s completely choice-based. There’s a feeling of working without a net here, since there’s no true “golden road.” It’s simply a matter of deciding what sort of chaos you’re most at ease with.
Combat is possible, but it is handled by selecting options from a menu, just like everything else. Some of your cases have an adventure-game feel to them, where you obtain an item for one character in order to trade it for a favor for another in order to manipulate a situation involving a third, but you’re still slowly building a case, then making a deduction, and seeing if you were close to correct.
However, the final product is a bit of a mixed bag. Although placing the majority of Gamedec’s initial investigation in a virtual environment that’s essentially one huge porn set is definitely a decision, the first two cases are wild and entertaining. Although it isn’t stated explicitly, I did succumb to knifeplay at one time in order to get information from someone. That is something that occurred to me when I was working at Gamedec. So that’s entertaining.
Following that, the game becomes more of a slog, with a few lengthy stretches of boredom mixed with some intriguing narrative hooks. One case is set in what is basically an MMORPG, replete with real reputation/quest grinding, which may be as tedious as it sounds if you don’t start with the proper vocations.
Gamedec seems to favor technician/hacker characters in general, but it really shines when you’re confronted with some boring repetition that you might avoid if you had a cheater/cracker character.
The Bottom Line in the Gamedec Review
There’s nothing else like it.
A complex tale that isn’t told to you straight.
“Cyberpunk” isn’t used as a synonym for “splatterpunk.”
It really sells its strange concept.
- Because of the virtual-worlds gimmick, the settings are diverse and vivid.
In many cases, interrogations are counterintuitive.
It’s all too simple to make a mistake while creating a character.
Some sections of the game are a big drag if you didn’t select the appropriate skills ahead of time.
- There are a number of odd word choices in the translation.
I had a lot more fun with Gamedec than I had anticipated. When you attempt to explain the concept, it seems silly, yet it never quite winks at the camera, and its universe feels extremely lived-in and genuine.
While some of the major conclusions seem like a leap of faith, or worse, a random selection of a conclusion based on inadequate evidence, this really helps sell the broader concept. After all, you aren’t a super-detective.
At the time of writing, Gamedec has a few annoying bugs, including a few of soft lockups, and its general translation into English might need a few more revisions. The writing often has a navel-gazing aspect to it, as if it were an effort at a hardboiled detective’s inner monologue that fell flat. (If there’s anything it reminds me of, it’s Blacksad, which is roughly 50% parody.)
Gamedec is attempting to do something unique, and it largely succeeds, but the tempo is odd, the tone is inconsistent, and there are a few major mechanical and pacing flaws. I’d say that what it’s doing with story design and interaction is interesting, but I can’t guarantee that it’ll be entertaining.
[Note: The copy of Gamedec used for this review was supplied by Anshar Studios.]
The new open world zombie game 2021 is a new open world multiplayer horror game that has just been released. In the game, you create your own character and solve actual crimes in virtual worlds.
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