Video Games Review: Get Even (PS4, 2017) delves into the mind with an engaging and innovative premise

Get Even is an interesting experience with an interesting premise. Based on a psychological mystery, Get Even takes players on a journey that intrigued me for the majority, if leaving me a feeling little underwhelmed.

Get Even puts players in the shoes of Mr. Black, a man with amnesia who has vivid memories of specific events leading to him wake up in an asylum. Now he must figure out who he was and why he is here. Get Even’s protagonist is somewhat entertaining and well acted, but I felt that the overall story surrounding the character was much more engaging, as I found it hard to connect with a character we literally know nothing about. While the story rectifies this, and the pay off is clear, it does not excuse the lack of character development for the majority of the experience.

The narrative presented here is quite strong. While Mr. Black attempts to uncover the mystery of his past, the story itself is engaging as I wanted to uncover the next piece of the puzzle. While the environments are strewn with artefacts which can be read and examined in order to  deepen Mr. Black’s understanding of his situation, players can avoid these for the most part and are still able to gather enough through dialogue and memories in order to keep up with the seemingly complex narrative. Get Even’s hook is its promise to deliver an original, cinematic experience and for the most part, it does deliver.  It definitely tries, giving the player the opportunity to make decisions that will affect the gameplay and the outcome of the story. However, I was never made aware how much of the story I had actually changed and which of my actions were being noted, especially later on in the game. Delving into the mind, and discovering one’s identity after a traumatic event that results in memory loss is nothing new, but is told in such a way that feels innovative.

Gameplay is both fresh and familiar in Get Even. Gunplay is present, but used far less compared to an outright shooter. Its thriller elements come into play with the use of the smartphone. Having this device at all times allows players to access multiple functions from the one device. While it fells a little clunky at first to navigate through all the phone’s applications, it comes to feel intuitive the more you use it. The phone is the most interesting part of the experience as it is used to solve reasonably challenging puzzles that implore you to think outside the box. Gunplay is slightly innovative with its use of the corner gun, a new piece of technology that allows the user to shoot around corners without exposing themselves. This is admittedly hard to control as it makes you feel disoriented, but also becomes more intuitive as time goes by. However, I found myself using my weapons normally whenever I could, which was not a good sign. The game does nothing to make you feel like you need to use the device and presents no original situations tailored for the corner gun.

Get Even looks decent enough considering its lesser known developers allow the game to slip into the sphere of indie games. I rarely ran into any glitches and it ran relatively smooth. There’s a production value here which fools you enough to assume it could pass as a AAA title, and I feel like that’s a good thing. I only had minor issues with the game’s presentation in that the colour palette was quite bland and the enemies are not varied in any way and provide no variety in difficulty. The AI was slightly off as stealth sections were sometimes too easy and other times unforgivingly hard. For example, being spotted and quickly escaping would cause the enemies themselves to get amnesia by the looks of it, forgetting to pursue you and resuming their patrols. Upon the next attempt however, guards would spot me instantaneously and swarm me like a pack of wild dogs, no matter where I tried to hide.

Overall, Get Even is a slightly rough, uneven title, but offers enough to keep the player entertained and intrigued for majority of the experience. While the shooting mechanics were admittedly plain, and the environments bland, there’s a genuinely interesting story being told here, in which players can dive deep enough to uncover the story in every single detail, or choose to ignore these extras and pursue the story based on what is given at face value. Both methods result in an engaging narrative that fails to be completely original but does entertain in parts. This title does little to reinvent the genre, but does little to tarnish it either.

Review Score: 6.5 out of 10

Highlights: Interesting and engaging story, interesting gameplay mechanics.

Lowlights: Bland environments, shooting mechanics.

Developer: The Farm 51

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

Release Date: Out Now.

Reviewed on Playstation 4.

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Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is a games and technology author at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @chunkysworld1 and Chunky's World on YouTube.

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