Most fictional gumshoes seem to end up down on their luck at some point, but the star of solo developer Adam Gibson's The Detective Chapters starts out that way before even getting the job, as you can see for yourself with today's release of the first of two planned installments.
Players control either a male or female protagonist (your choice), an "aspiring detective trying to make a name for yourself." Unfortunately for your best-laid plans, your life is "heading in all the wrong directions." After dropping out of college, you now "work the graveyard shift at the local convenience store to make a pittance," while your girlfriend is "relentlessly on your butt about going back to school." Your mother is a "drug-addicted alcoholic," and worst of all, it was you who arrived home to find your father dead, having apparently asphyxiated himself on exhaust fumes in the garage. It appeared on the surface to be an obvious suicide, but as you probe deeper, it seems "the evidence is lacking." Could there be something more to his untimely death than first meets the eye?
This "dark and gritty ... story-rich narrative first-person exploration adventure" is a first-person 3D mystery in which you are able to freely roam your family home and other key locations around the city in your attempt to "find answers to secrets dead and buried." You'll also need to utilize your computer for topic searches and accessing incoming messages. Along the way there will be many timed choices to make, each of which carry consequences to carefully consider. There are no "wrong" decisions, but they all matter as they can change the direction of the story and "affect how people react to you." To help you keep track of what you've learned, a handy journal will contain hand-sketched pictures and bios of those you meet.
The Detective Chapters: Part One is available now on Steam for Windows PC, along with a demo that allows you to try before you buy. If all goes well, we should see the conclusion of the story released sometime next year.