Review by Lathany
"Excellent plot, decent puzzles with the added interest of character switching"
Resonance opens with TV feed of various catastrophes taking place all over the world. The game then rewinds to 60 hours earlier and puts you in charge of Ed, a mathematician who works for a brilliant scientist by checking the calculations in his new, dangerous research.
Resonance was released this year (2012) by the Wadjet Eye Games company who also publish the Blackwell Legacy series and Gemini Rue. Resonance can be purchased from Steam or directly from their website (at the time of writing, these were the only places I could find it) and can be purchased as a Steam code to run on Steam.
Resonance is a point-and-click game set in the present day. You play four characters and the gameplay makes use of the facility to switch between them. While the controls are all fairly intuitive, it is worth taking a quick look at the gameplay instructions (which can be accessed once the game starts) just to see what additions there are to the standard point-and-click approach. The main differences are that you can switch between characters for much of the game and that you have both long-term and short-term memory slots as well as item slots. The short-term and long-term memory slots are there primarily for conversations with other characters. It takes a little getting used to - copying scenery into the short-term memory (click and drag) - but is well worth it for the additional scope it provides to gameplay.
The game has an excellent range of puzzles, helped along by its memory slots and multi-character approach. Resonance does not resort to bizarre combinations of items but instead comes up with solutions that you could believe the characters might try. Some situations are solved simply by raising an short-term memory with an NPC, others involve using several different items and characters. Usually, completion of a puzzle is obvious, although, very occasionally, I felt that I had solved the puzzle and was trying to find an approach that would result in the game confirming that I had. One other thing, some puzzles had more than one solution and therefore more than one approach could move you on.
Resonance is set across a city and the characters can visit a number of areas which range from being large locations themselves to ones which are only a room or two in size. The locations all make sense, are consistent and their purpose has been thought through carefully by the game designers.
The four main characters each have a short pre-credits gameplay section which gives you a feel for the type of person they are (geeky mathematician Ed, quiet doctor Anna, brash police detective Bennet and blogger-journalist Ray). The characters are very different from each other with different skills, strengths and weakness, they have different relationships with the other main characters, and will chat to each other when on screen and you are not doing anything.
The wider cast of characters are also good and you can find out more about them if you decide to do so by your actions (for example, reading communications between them). I particularly liked Bennet's partner Reggie and the security systems creator Tortoise.
The story is really impressive. It starts off simply enough, a character at a time, then builds to the events shown at the start. There's a great plot twist towards the end that I did not suspect despite the in-game clues leading up to the moment. Many of the earlier events and coincidences are revisited to show that they are not the random or unlikely things they first seem. On top of that, your characters get to make choices to which there is no obvious good or evil solution.
The graphics and sound are pretty standard for the point-and-click genre. You can tell what the scenery and items are, but it's cartoon rather than realistic quality. The soundtrack changes for different locations, although usually for quite large areas.
One word of warning - this game does not adjust well for monitor size and I had to rescale my screen resolution (which is not difficult). However, my monitor is unusual, so I suspect this is not generally a problem.
The game is roughly ten hours long or so. You could probably polish it off over a quiet weekend. The game has some different solutions to puzzles and, additionally, provides you with a long list of possible achievements and an overall score. All these make it somewhat replayable. Alternatively, you could reload from the last save to see the different endings (two main endings, plus some slight differences for one of those two which lead to slightly different credits).
Resonance is an excellent game. I like the point-and-click mystery genre and this is one of the very best I have played. I thoroughly recommend it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/23/12
Game Release: Resonance (US, 07/25/12)
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