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Review of The Sexy Brutale by Harald B

Stars - 45

Rating by Harald B posted on Apr 15, 2017 | edit | delete

Highly original, all around great game

Combining a well-handled time travel theme with one of the most innovative core gameplay mechanics seen in any genre recently was enough for me to get into this game, but there is much more to recommend it on than that.
The aesthetic and production values on the graphics are great, the interface polished and carrying some nice quality-of-life features. The music by itself is more “catchy” than amazing, but what makes it stand out is how it keeps adapting, sounding more clear or muted depending on how close to the apparent source you are and getting more dramatic as important things are about to go down. Pushing it further is what punctuates the music: several murders leave sounds that resound throughout the mansion, so that what previously sounded like random ambience can suddenly take on a special meaning.

In case you’re bothered about if this is even an adventure game I’d say the story is certainly big enough, powerful enough and well-integrated with the gameplay. While the first couple of chapters can feel like unrelated vignettes or levels, the story comes more into focus later as things previously only hinted at get clearer and there is more attention for relations among the characters and the deeper secrets of the mansion. Also the gameplay itself has you avoid direct confrontations with murderers and there is never any real problem with timing so long as you plan your moves out in advance. Certainly nothing twitchy going on. Finally, there is also some great dark humour especially from the overheard mutterings of the murderers.

Overall the game excels in almost every area, with the most important points of critique being that it can feel a bit easy at times for a practiced adventurer and the fun is over slightly too soon. (It took me 8 hours and change to finish, and that could have been less than 7 if I had not made it a point to get every collectible and piece of backstory. If the length bothers you too much, wait for a slight discount.) There is also no voice acting to speak of, with one notable and greatly done exception I’ll not spoil here.

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Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

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