Things aren't always what they seem at first glance, and The Farm 51's Get Even is a good example of this. It's a game that has been in development for quite some time now, and was originally planned for release in 2015. Fast forward two years and the game is finally ready to launch this spring, and the years seem to have been kind on this one. After what we had seen in earlier screenshots and trailers, we didn't know exactly what to expect (much like everyone else). Was it a horror-themed FPS? We couldn't be sure. After all, The Farm 51 had developed games like Painkiller and NecrovisioN in the past; thus our initial prediction would've been a logical conclusion to arrive at.
We were wrong about it being a horror-themed FPS, though. Yes, there are some horror-elements in there, and yes, the game features shooting sections played from the first-person, but there is actually much more to Get Even than just this. By the end of the two hours that we had to spend with the game, we're pretty sure we didn't see even half of the surprises and various elements that the game has to offer.
Get Even tells a complex story about Cole Black, a private investigator that gets involved in a mysterious kidnapping. The crime itself takes a backseat quite quickly, as Black has to deal with this own past and memories relating to a mysterious lunatic asylum with very grim past. There's a party coming, but of what kind remains to be seen.
According to Artur Fojcik and Lionel Lovisa of The Farm 51, Get Even is designed to give our expectations a run for their money, making the player feel many different emotions throughout the journey, as well as telling a story that has different meanings. Sure enough, what first starts out as a horror adventure, momentarily turns into a walking simulator, before switching into first-person shooter mode. And then there's some puzzle solving thrown into the mix too. With all these different elements crammed into one game, you might think it would be a total mess; on the contrary, the deeper we got into the story, the more we were intrigued about what it had to offer.
For instance, decisions made by the player throughout the game will affect the events that transpire thereafter. Helping a pleading inmate instead of letting him rot in his cell, for example, may lead to unforeseeable events that are hard to gauge when making the initial choice. According to the team, the story itself doesn't change all that much based on the player's decisions, but the things that happen during the main story do. It's a neat touch, and it makes the game world feel interactive and alive.
As the game progresses, it also becomes evident that despite some horror elements in the story, the narrative is mainly a psychological drama. At least during the first couple of hours, the twists in the story came just as the previous change had started to become familiar, and the pacing of the narrative feels pretty nice as a result.
The selection of items given to the player is quite limited, but there's still enough to carry the game. Black has a smartphone that can scan, map his surroundings, and even act as a torch. The weaponry seems to be limited to the neat cornergun, which can be fired around corners and combined with other weapons. When it comes to the puzzles, the game has lots of them, and solving each one usually requires using the different functions of the smartphone. For example, at one point you have to gather evidence with the camera, and in another trace back electrical lines using the thermal view. Hopefully in the rest of the game there's as much variety in the puzzles as was seen during the initial stages, and if there is it should keep things interesting.
One of the most discussed aspects of Get Even is the sound design. 3D audio is used to create a very atmospheric soundscape and you can always hear and pinpoint the direction in which something is happening, and this can be particularly haunting at times. The visual design is also quite nice, and there are lots of different and interesting locations to see besides the seemingly abandoned asylum.
Perhaps because we didn't know what to expect before sitting down to play it, we didn't have lofty expectations for Get Even. However, as the game progressed we started to see what the studio is trying to do with the game and the story they're trying to tell. It's coming out in a couple of months, and we can't wait to see more of what it has to offer, and what secrets we might discover when it hits PC, PS4 and Xbox One on May 26.