Sometimes you watch a movie or play a game and by the end you are still none the wiser what has just gone on. After playing Unknown Fate, this is one of those times.
Unknown Fate is a first-person puzzle platform story driven game. It has a touch of combat, but not much. This title is all about the story. The only issue is the story is pretty fast paced and a little all over the place, and if I’m completely honest I don’t think I unlocked the best ending as it left me confused and I’d say I don’t really understand what happens.
See you play a guy called Richard. The game starts with you standing outside your house about to cross the road when suddenly your world changes. Things become broken, fantastic looking creatures are flying in the air, platforms are forming before you and to top it all off you have no memories and no idea what’s going on. As it transpires this world is a construct of your broken memories (nod to mental health issues) and you have to piece it back together to understand what’s going on.
The aim of the game is collecting the red memory shards that are scattered at the start of the game. The bulk of the game is walking and navigating platforms. I had no issues with the controls which are important for platforming titles and I have to say the level design despite looking crazy and all over the place (due to the nature of the world) I never once found myself lost despite the game having no maps or radar. The level layouts were just intuitive and I always seemed to move into the right areas anytime I was supposed to. The games puzzle mechanics are also fun. The start out simple like activate switches. Later you have the ability to manipulate platform locations and even time manipulation. Combat is boring and pointless, there is one enemy type and you beat them all the same way. Press R1 to stun aim for the tail then press R2 4 times. That’s it, I don’t even know why they added it to be fair, it’s by far the most boring part of the game, thankfully there is not much of it.
The graphics in this title are actually pretty nice. I’ll admit when the game was loading I thought to myself “this looks like another cheap indy that’s been tossed out”. I was wrong. The game has some really good lighting effects and some of the things in the world are really cool. You have light bulb spiders, flying whales and even electrical wires sticking out of walls are alive looking like snakes. All of this is background detail that adds to the broken mind effect but none of it will hurt or attack you. You may sometimes have to flick a switch or solve a puzzle but they won’t attack you.
When you collect memories the game switches to a flashback to some point in your life. At that point the game switches to a black and white style that reminded me of the game White Night that came out a few years ago. Some of these memories are interactive but even then it’s usually move a bit then get a cutscene so they are not all that interesting to play but they are cool to look at. The soundtrack of the game is good too, it adds to this creepy ominous atmosphere (despite there being no real danger). The game is fully voice acted but to be honest the quality of the voice acting is questionable, not Jill Sandwich questionable but pretty meh.
I enjoyed Unknown Fate. It did leave me a bit confused but I enjoyed seeing the world and I liked the art direction and level design. When some trophy guides hit the net I may go back to see if there is a better ending that’s possibly a bit more clear. I think this game would appeal to people who like games such as Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture, Ether One and games of that ilk.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*