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Unavowed by Wadjet Eye Games

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Joined 2010-11-16

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^which makes me think all the more that unavowed is time-proof. Because when i finished primordia i immediately thought “this game is special, and it will always be.” I feel the same thing about unavowed.. its just one of those things where you just know. Now that pc gamer article is obviously silly.. but for me this is a game that deserves some celebration.

     
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Joined 2003-09-09

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Hi all! Just wanted to pop in to share the news that Unavowed is an IGF finalist! It got nominated in the category of “Excellence in Narrative” and was an honorable mention for the Grand Prize.

I’ve been dreaming of getting one of our games into the IGF since I started this silly company in 2006. It took 13 years and over a dozen games, but we got here!

I know I don’t post often anymore, but I do lurk and see all the chatter. All the kind words have meant a lot. Thank you all for helping us get here.

-Dave

     

Website: Wadjet Eye Games || Twitter: @wadjeteyegames || Currently working on: Unavowed

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Joined 2011-04-01

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Congrats Dave, well deserved for 13 years of hard work! Smile

This doesn’t mean you can slack off now though, we’re already looking forward to your next game Grin

     
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Total Posts: 285

Joined 2017-08-15

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Great job Dave! Woohoo! Totally deserved, Unawoved is great!

     

Member of the NAALCB - (North American Anti- Lobster Cop Brigade) since 2019.

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Joined 2007-09-21

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sordy-wordy - 15 October 2018 07:40 PM

Finished it yesterday, i really liked it.
One of Wadjet’s best. Now i’m replaying it as a cop and with the comments on.

Still, even though i liked it, it has it flaws. My main complain is with the key decisions on each case. They don’t really matter at all. As i was playing i was expecting some deep impact of my decisions at the end of the game, i sensed a big build up to something that never came. Correct me if i’m wrong but your choices impact whether you have an alternative solution to the final puzzles….in turn, that impacts on the size of your team at the final confrontation….and that impacts….on nothing? I will see in my current playtrough if going solo to the end changes anything.
Also, Vicki’s character…i was expecting that all members of the unavowed showed some kind of power…she was disappointing.Her story is kind of messed up if you don’t play as a cop. She is void touched because she survived a mass shooting? so what? where is the paranormal in that? Until i replayed as a cop; then things made a little more sense…but overall she was pretty much useless….i don’t think she had any impact on my playtrhough at all.

Now that the rant is out, i can say i really enjoyed it! Each case felt unique and fun, it really absorbs you into that underworld and you just want to keep exploring it.

Oh! By the way, anybody tried to change the date to see that easter egg on the 9/11 memorial? What is it?

@sordy-wordy: So did it have impact on the ending having no help to summon?

For me it was great to play a wadget-eye game again. But there are some things I disliked:
The whole thing about making choices I don’t like. It is a bit profound from the developer to “judge” you in the end isn’t it? For example Jordan must be sent to burn eternally to be able to summon him in the end. But to me it sounds like sending him to, ehm well, hell?

That aside, it was a true unique experience with lots of character development. Now I’m anxious for the next one from Dave!

     
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Total Posts: 1361

Joined 2005-12-06

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I finished Unavowed today. Spent most of last night with it finally going to bed before entering the portal. It definitely hooked me completely and I can say it is a great game, though I probably need to think about the final scoring a bit still.

Puzzlewise the game is lighter and and I guess it could also be said worse than the best of Wadjet Eye games (later Blackwells and Resonance at least were very strong with their puzzles if my memory serves me right) but I didn’t feel bothered by it at all really because the game’s structure is a bit different with the optional characters. I did kind of regret not bringing Eli with me to all the missions, as I could always spot a need for his fire skills (and he is a great character anyway).

Though I definitely would not object pre-chosen parties either. It’s impossible to say which type of story would have been better.

I instantly loved the “autolook” possibility. The endless clicking really bores me, it feels a lot more intuitive just quickly look around the whole scene instead of click+dialogue+click+dialogue everything through, possibly having the character also walk next to every item.

One thing that really stood out to me rather negatively was the wholoe “affair plot”. The game starts in a building where the protagonist has slaughtered several people in the most gruesome ways, but then a sexual relationship with some hippy dude is all shocking and weird and thihihi-embarrassing. Really?
I also chose the male protagonist, so the whole deal seemed rather homophobic to me. I’m quite sure this wasn’t intentional and the reactions are probably same with the female protagonist, but as there really was no possibility for comparison in a single playthrough, that’s how it came across to me.
I am trying to think that the point is supposed to be about Art’s flamboyant hippyness, that it’s embarrassing because of that, but the characters never specify what exactly is so horrible… and truly that would only marginally better. Why are we laughing about someone wanting to sleep with Art? To me that seems really mean and out of character from the seemingly emphatic group, not to mention that the guy has just died. Disrespectful.

Otherwise I was kind of hoping for a spark of romance between the protagonist and Logan. Even after the twist. Or maybe especially after the twist.But that’s really a non-issue. Forced romance is not something I need.

The twist itself was a good one. Not too obvious but not too out there, either. It is hinted at rather directly during the runaway after second possession, so it isn’t just thrown at the player completely out of the blue. It is not a novel idea really to have the human soul represent the evil and the demon something more neutral, but it isn’t overused either, at least not yet.

I ended up sparing almost all of the baddies and I was wondering how those roadblocks in the end could even be solved without the summonings, but I guess they can be? There are many of them though, one should run out of party quite fast…

Also I was a bit disappointed that there was really no difference in endings whether I was released or just killed.

     

Currently playing: Requiescence, Divinity II
Recently finished: The Silent Age, Overland, Before We Leave, Demonheart, SoulSet, Quantum Consciense, Amnesia: Memories
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

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Total Posts: 580

Joined 2015-07-01

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I guess this is also a controversial opinion, but i do not like unavowed. The only interesting character to me was the fire mage. The rest felt very underdeveloped. The story was avg, like a more hardcore/gritty Ghostbusters. The puzzles were also only one step above a telltale game. I also thought the implementations of said puzzles using different characters to solve them was very rudimentary and over simplified. The voice acting and writing was solid however. Overall though this game just didnt hit on all cylinders for me at all.

     
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Total Posts: 1361

Joined 2005-12-06

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Jdawg445 - 24 June 2020 04:39 PM

I guess this is also a controversial opinion, but i do not like unavowed. The only interesting character to me was the fire mage. The rest felt very underdeveloped. The story was avg, like a more hardcore/gritty Ghostbusters. The puzzles were also only one step above a telltale game. I also thought the implementations of said puzzles using different characters to solve them was very rudimentary and over simplified. The voice acting and writing was solid however. Overall though this game just didnt hit on all cylinders for me at all.

I don’t really disagree with your criticism though I consider it a bit harsh. It is still a very good game.

I also think Mandala at least was a pretty good character too. Logan and Vicki were a bit one-dimensional, I agree. But I think all the “random chatter” between the characters actually fleshed them all out rather nicely. The characters weren’t brilliant perhaps, but those interactions were very good.

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post was the inconsistency of the initial possession.
What is the playable memory of being possessed by touching the book supposed to mean? As we later see that things didn’t go that way. I don’t think it was planted. Was it just something that Mel concocted in his head, to create a narrative that would fit? Since he thought he was the human. He never seemed to catch any of those malevolent thoughts from the human soul anyway. But he didn’t seem neutral either, which would have made sense. He is kinda bland and unemotional, yes - especially at times - but then he certainly has positive feelings towards the team mates… Then again, they are linked, so perhaps that could explain it?
Actually, since I played the “empath bartender” it would make sense that Mel has the memories of what has happened from an outsiders view - without the actual inner emotions - and that would of course make the human he’s inhabiting seem like a kind, empathetic listener. And he’s building his personality from that view.
I will make notice of this thought when/if I replay the game with different background.

     

Currently playing: Requiescence, Divinity II
Recently finished: The Silent Age, Overland, Before We Leave, Demonheart, SoulSet, Quantum Consciense, Amnesia: Memories
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

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Total Posts: 580

Joined 2015-07-01

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millenia - 24 June 2020 05:58 PM
Jdawg445 - 24 June 2020 04:39 PM

I guess this is also a controversial opinion, but i do not like unavowed. The only interesting character to me was the fire mage. The rest felt very underdeveloped. The story was avg, like a more hardcore/gritty Ghostbusters. The puzzles were also only one step above a telltale game. I also thought the implementations of said puzzles using different characters to solve them was very rudimentary and over simplified. The voice acting and writing was solid however. Overall though this game just didnt hit on all cylinders for me at all.

I don’t really disagree with your criticism though I consider it a bit harsh. It is still a very good game.

I also think Mandala at least was a pretty good character too. Logan and Vicki were a bit one-dimensional, I agree. But I think all the “random chatter” between the characters actually fleshed them all out rather nicely. The characters weren’t brilliant perhaps, but those interactions were very good.

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post was the inconsistency of the initial possession.
What is the playable memory of being possessed by touching the book supposed to mean? As we later see that things didn’t go that way. I don’t think it was planted. Was it just something that Mel concocted in his head, to create a narrative that would fit? Since he thought he was the human. He never seemed to catch any of those malevolent thoughts from the human soul anyway. But he didn’t seem neutral either, which would have made sense. He is kinda bland and unemotional, yes - especially at times - but then he certainly has positive feelings towards the team mates… Then again, they are linked, so perhaps that could explain it?
Actually, since I played the “empath bartender” it would make sense that Mel has the memories of what has happened from an outsiders view - without the actual inner emotions - and that would of course make the human he’s inhabiting seem like a kind, empathetic listener. And he’s building his personality from that view.
I will make notice of this thought when/if I replay the game with different background.


Not to me, it was a very below avg game, with mass effect 3 type endings, very binary, which is ok but it is a funneled in a specific direction. Dave himself will tell you he is not a puzzle dev guy, but his puzzles in the blackwell games were much better in my opinion than here. I felt like i was supposed to feel emotions for these characters, that just never surfaced for me. I will just chalk it up to not my cup of tea. Technically speaking it is an excellently made game,but doesnt hold a candle to the blackwell games or technobabylon.

     
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Total Posts: 326

Joined 2017-09-18

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From the moment the game was announced I was underwhelmed by the story for this game, and that feeling didn’t change after I played it. Everything else was done well, some things very well, the puzzles, the characters, but… “a group of superheroes team up in New York City to stop an evil…zzzzzzzzzzz”. And ok so maybe there have been interesting stories based on that exact plot… but those had plot twists, some kind of meta-commentary, or examined social issues, while this game was kid’s fare.

     
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Joined 2005-12-06

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Jdawg445 - 24 June 2020 07:00 PM

Not to me, it was a very below avg game, with mass effect 3 type endings, very binary, which is ok but it is a funneled in a specific direction. Dave himself will tell you he is not a puzzle dev guy, but his puzzles in the blackwell games were much better in my opinion than here. I felt like i was supposed to feel emotions for these characters, that just never surfaced for me. I will just chalk it up to not my cup of tea. Technically speaking it is an excellently made game,but doesnt hold a candle to the blackwell games or technobabylon.

Yes, my whole point was that I agreed with your criticism but to me all those “issues” didn’t take that much from the enjoyment. And someone else might consider those things bad enough to make the game actually unplayable. (Also already twice agreed with the worse puzzles and even mentioned Blackwell by comparison in my first post.)

Luhr28 - 24 June 2020 10:42 PM

From the moment the game was announced I was underwhelmed by the story for this game, and that feeling didn’t change after I played it. Everything else was done well, some things very well, the puzzles, the characters, but… “a group of superheroes team up in New York City to stop an evil…zzzzzzzzzzz”. And ok so maybe there have been interesting stories based on that exact plot… but those had plot twists, some kind of meta-commentary, or examined social issues, while this game was kid’s fare.

I agree that the setting isn’t exactly original or groundbreaking, but to me this was more of a story about that one person and one demon, not so much of the organization. So it worked pretty well, though obviously the story isn’t as legendary as Blackwell series is, but I wouldn’t really expect any single game to be.

     

Currently playing: Requiescence, Divinity II
Recently finished: The Silent Age, Overland, Before We Leave, Demonheart, SoulSet, Quantum Consciense, Amnesia: Memories
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

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Total Posts: 326

Joined 2017-09-18

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millenia - 25 June 2020 08:09 AM

I agree that the setting isn’t exactly original or groundbreaking, but to me this was more of a story about that one person and one demon, not so much of the organization.

Okay. So what did you get out of that story? What did it teach you, what was it trying to say? That is what should inform us of its quality, and not the minor details of who or what chess pieces it involves.

     
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Total Posts: 1361

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Luhr28 - 25 June 2020 08:50 AM
millenia - 25 June 2020 08:09 AM

I agree that the setting isn’t exactly original or groundbreaking, but to me this was more of a story about that one person and one demon, not so much of the organization.

Okay. So what did you get out of that story? What did it teach you, what was it trying to say? That is what should inform us of its quality, and not the minor details of who or what chess pieces it involves.

It was a mystery to be revealed, a detective story. Not all mysteries have to teach me a ton of things. Detective story can be told in any kind of setting and and the setting doesn’t always have to be brilliant itself - though honestly I definitely appreciate a good game setting and it can make up a lot of other shortcomings.

If you look at my posts above, the story did make me think about how the demon’s personality was building. Also I found it interesting that the whole “supernatural activity getting busier” was actually just doings of a one deranged human being. I think that’s also some food for thought. Eli’s story is also pretty good, even though I often disagreed with the character.

All in all I wouldn’t say that Unavowed’s story was phenomenal or anything, though the writing itself is excellent. But I don’t really see the story being “supernatural organization fighting evil zzzz” either. I was very much interested what was going on with the protagonist, even though it might not have been exactly Kafka.

I’m not sure what you are asking, really. I don’t think stories need to have a clear thing they are “trying to say” or that they should teach me anything. That makes it sound like every story should be edutainment or take some kind of clear moral or political stand.

     

Currently playing: Requiescence, Divinity II
Recently finished: The Silent Age, Overland, Before We Leave, Demonheart, SoulSet, Quantum Consciense, Amnesia: Memories
My game reviews and other stuff: Lux Atarnia

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Total Posts: 580

Joined 2015-07-01

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I agree not all stories have to have a lesson, but this was a detective game with very little detecting, bc the puzzles were all very easy or designed to character specific powers. As a rule I hate silent protagonist, the only game that doesnt bother me in is half life. It is one of the reasons im struggling with dragon quest 11, the other reason is bc much like unavowed I dont really care for any of the characters in dq11. Eli is the fire mage right? I felt like the whole game really revolved around him, with the rest being 3rd rate characters, to espouse exposition or a funny line here or there. I felt like the multiple characters/powers gameplay gimmick was much better executed in whispers of the machine. I know there was just one playable character, but the puzzles dealing with the different augments that you could unlock was far more enjoyable, than bring the guy that can talk to ghost to solve puzzle d like in unavowed. At least to me.

     
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Total Posts: 326

Joined 2017-09-18

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millenia - 25 June 2020 09:42 AM

I’m not sure what you are asking, really. I don’t think stories need to have a clear thing they are “trying to say” or that they should teach me anything. That makes it sound like every story should be edutainment or take some kind of clear moral or political stand.

No, that would be absurd. But when we started talking about quality, there are certain benchmarks. And given the nature of the will’s natural drive towards freedom, knowledge, clarity, it would be difficult to see how a story in which nothing significant or meaningful happens, and hours are spent in a state of distraction or entertainment (personally there are many ways I would prefer to entertain myself, such as spending time with friends or going on a long walk) could be considered as superior to a story which adds meaning to our seemingly pointless existence on this planet.

     

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