Mediums like The Matrix and Westworld give us viewers the chance to see simulated realities we really can’t even imagine. Yet, diving into those films gives us a new perspective that other TV and movies fail to achieve. That’s why Gamedec by developer Anshar Studios intrigued us gamers here at Honey’s Anime. In the world of Gamedec, you step into the role of a game detective—dubbed a Gamedec—whose whole responsibility is to ensure those who dive into simulated video games with ill intent are brought to justice, allowing peace for those who are trying to flee their real existence. Gamedec acts as a third-person point-and-click exploration title where you solve crimes, meet strange but intriguing characters, and stop villains who plague even simulated existences. Gamedec truly is an innovative title but does that same innovation lead to a game worth playing or one you’ll want to escape from?
I Want Some Westworld, The Matrix, Blade Runner, and a bit of Sherlock Holmes
Gamedec’s premise is pretty unoriginal but quite intriguing. In the distant future, technology has advanced to the point where people can enter into virtual worlds and live the lives of their dreams. Players can enter party worlds or even medieval worlds to live their fantasies to the fullest, albeit within the boundaries of the game’s systems. As a Gamedec, your objective is to investigate various crimes within these worlds, and how you come about solving said crimes is where Gamedec shines.
Unlike most point and click titles, Gamedec doesn’t tell you how to achieve your goals and gives you a pretty wide berth. There are 4 different point systems in total, and each allows you to open up main abilities in a skill tree. You unlock points based on how you intermingle with the various denizens of Gamedec. For example, if you act like a pseudo-doctor, then you gain the skills of the Scalpel, enabling interactions with people to be more medically orientated. Want to be more tech-savvy? Then focus on the path of the Programmer, solving cases using your technical know-how.
These sub-classes also allow you to interact with characters in quite different ways. Those who are kind to people can calm nerves but also might anger those with tougher skin. Likewise, if you aren’t truthful, some characters will sense that and not want to divulge information with you. There’s no one set solution to how you solve cases in Gamedec, and, like The Matrix and Blade Runner, how you see the world within will change how you handle the various challenges you’ll face.
A Cast of Oddballs for Sure
One thing you’ll quickly deduce about Gamedec is the cast of characters are quite…robust. In our several hours, we met people who range from lowlifes who feed off those who need to be in the gaming world and others who just enjoyed gaining power in a simulated experience. No one person stands out in Gamedec, and that keeps chats interesting and very realistic. Likewise, depending on how you approach people, there are times where you can really learn backstories for random characters or barely get a hello before they kill your in-game avatar. Luckily, death means very little in Gamedec—as it’s a fictional world you’re usually in—but it’s still almost spooky to see death taken as nothing but a joke. Gamedec’s characters are in many ways a reflection of how some gamers can be even in the real world.
Let Those Dialogue Trees Flow
Gamedec isn’t an action game, so you will rarely do more than simple mini-games and often aren’t gunning down any baddies. Gamedec’s primary focus is chatting, where the meat of the game lies in dialogue trees. Each decision you make in how to talk with a person drastically alters the experience of the crime tale you’re involved in. Disrespect someone and they make walk away, ending a whole line of side quests. Calm down a scared teenager and you might learn the truth behind a domestic abuse scenario. Gamedec is quite liberating with its skill trees, but that’s also where its big downfall comes into view.
Many of the dialogue trees in Gamedec feel like fifty/fifty draws. One mistake might ruin an entire sub-plot, and it can be a bit annoying that what you think is the correct answer is, in fact, the worst answer. Case in point, we talked to a man looking for his wife in a slum-like sex game world. Talking too much depressed him, but one wrong dialogue option led his entire quest to just fail. We would have liked a bit more freedom in not worrying about wrong dialogue choices, but maybe Gamedec is trying to simulate real-world emotions where one chat could turn disastrous?
This game’s ideas and themes aren’t that original, but that doesn’t stop us from liking the game. Solving the various crimes our way allowed us to see how endings could come out perfectly or fail due to our individual choices. Gamedec is sure to please gamers who love dialogue-heavy titles and equally love sci-fi narratives that are engaging and mystery-driven. As for the graphics, Gamedec isn’t a technical marvel of a game, but that never once stopped our love for the cyberpunk theme it tries for!
Would you like to give it a try? Gamedec is available right now, on Nintendo Switch and PC (Steam and Epic).