Chickens know issues. It is apparent. They’ve that look of their eye, the marginally disdainful squint of somebody who is aware of what you probably did and why you probably did it. They’d be excellent detectives, if not for the small impediment of their lack of ability to speak in any significant method. Fortunately, builders The Wild Gents noticed the potential of a poultry P.I. and have introduced us the tremendously-named Chicken Police – Paint it RED!, a visible novel with journey sport components that places the noble gallus gallus on the very high of the pecking order.
Going down in a noir-infused world of human-sized animals (not fully in contrast to the hit “depressed horse” Netflix collection Bojack Horseman), it is a brilliantly-written and joyously wealthy piece of narrative gaming, trafficking in hard-edged detective noir tropes however with a marvellous sense of humour, sturdy characters and a grand sense of place. It is a very spectacular feat to understand a world like Clawville with solely mostly-static and largely monochromatic imagery, voices and music, however the filth, grime and scuzz has such verisimilitude that you will need to put your Swap by way of the dishwasher after a Hen Police session. (Essential: Nintendo Life doesn’t advocate placing your Swap by way of the dishwasher)
Taking nominal management of Santino “Sonny” Featherland, it would be spoiler territory to explain the form of case you may be fixing, however relaxation assured you may be encountering cussed dames, a shaky relationship with a former associate, an obstructive chief of police and quite a few sleazy dirtbag informants. It is all very acquainted however delivered so nicely that you simply get caught up within the tapestry of all of it, because of the aforementioned sturdy writing.
And it is sturdy, compelling fiction from the very begin, enhanced by some genuinely excellent voice performing. We wished to pay attention to each phrase, and fortunately there’s an autoplay choice that allows you to take heed to the dialogue play out at its supposed tempo, however this results in a reasonably obvious gripe; in most visible novel or text-heavy video games with this sort of “speaking head” supply, hitting the A (or equal “advance textual content”) button will skip to the tip of the present dialogue and depart it on the display for the participant to learn at their very own velocity.
Right here, although, urgent A skips the at present displayed dialogue fully, shifting on to the following portion of the dialog or description. It is a little irritating, particularly if you’re a quick reader, however we suspect that is to encourage the participant to take heed to the dialogue as we’ve got described. There is a replay function when you miss a line or two, but it surely skips you to the start of the dialog moderately than simply the earlier step. Certainly a Danganronpa-style textual content log would have been a extra wise choice, right here?
Whereas we’re moaning, we discovered that a few of the in-game textual content (on posters and the like, in addition to within the UI) was principally unreadable in handheld mode, being that it was ludicrously small. That is actually choosing nits, although, as a result of you may spotlight and choose the textual content along with your cursor to learn it; we really feel prefer it’s rather less immersive this fashion, however the performance is there and it is exhausting to argue it is any form of significant drawback.
However sufficient complaining – Hen Police is a wonderful sport, one that’s tailor-made splendidly for the Swap’s handheld mode, working on the locked-down 60fps you’d count on whereas nonetheless retaining impressively atmospheric visuals. You are principally only a cursor, however the interface may be very spectacular – choosing a personality brings up one thing of a radial menu, however simply requires you to carry the left analogue stick in your chosen course to be able to provoke your subsequent transfer (analyzing the perp, chatting with the perp, or questioning the perp). It is all very intuitive, straightforward to understand and melts away into the background as you get wrapped up within the thriller.
As for the problem, there is not loads, but it surely’s all concerning the story right here. Most of your time is spent hopping across the map, making connections and gathering info, all of that are a pleasure akin to the investigation sections of Ace Attorney. There is a capturing gallery mini-game that is a momentary distraction, however principally it is all about that interpersonal interplay. You’ll interrogate suspects and be graded in your efficiency, however this might theoretically be irritating as it’s extremely not often clear what the very best strategy is. The story will proceed at any charge, however those that want “100% completion”, as nebulous as that idea will be, could also be irritated by the perceived randomness of those segments. The remainder of us will glide and play as supposed – taking issues slowly and punctiliously, and digging into the scenario with uncooked intuition.
The worldbuilding and lore are brilliantly realised, and darker than we anticipated in locations, with overt takes on racism, slavery and outright cannibalism rearing their heads. That is no morality play, nevertheless – these heavy themes match into the Basin Metropolis-esque surroundings so naturally that they’re going to simply draw you in additional. Regardless of the animal theme, that is very a lot not a sport for youths. Foul (or ought to that be fowl?) language, nudity and a splash of the claret abound, creating an immersive sense of unease because the case takes form.
An especially spectacular first sport from The Wild Gents, Hen Police – Paint it RED! is without doubt one of the finest journey video games we have performed in an extended, lengthy time and one hell of an absorbing story. It appears and runs nice on the Swap, with solely a few actually minuscule interface points that are simply ignored. At roughly eight or 9 hours, the story is surprisingly prolonged for its style, however we had been by no means bored and wished to research each little factor simply to wring out extra valuable droplets of banter and fascination. Hen Police is a elegant, fascinating expertise and we’re very excited for no matter’s coming subsequent from this group. It is only a disgrace it is so good, or we may have stated it “laid an egg”, and that may have tied in properly with the entire hen factor. As an alternative, this evaluate is simply going to, nicely, finish. Now. That is it. It is completed. No closing hen joke.