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Beholder 2 Review

Beholder 2, developed by Warm Lamp Games and published by Alawar Premium, is a dark, gloomy, and occasionally humorous adventure game that provides a glimpse into the life of a world ruled by a totalitarian government. You play as Evan Redgrave, a low-level Ministry worker whose father, the head of the mythic Department 6, has just fallen to his death out of a thirty-sixth story window. As you move up through the ranks of the Ministry, you must uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death and the secret project he was working on.

Storyline

You start off working on the first floor, the lowest level of the Ministry, and must climb your way up the career ladder. There are a number of ways to get ahead, the easiest being to get rid of your competitors. You can choose to be a ray of helpfulness in the dark totalitarian state by helping your colleagues and ensuring they step down from their position on good terms, or you can ruthlessly tear down everyone in your path, framing and manipulating people into an early retirement — or even an untimely death.

Once you make it to the top of the Ministry, the truth of what happened to your father awaits you. Faced with several shocking reveals, the fate of the government as you know it rests in your hands and is dependent upon how much of the mystery you uncovered along the way. There are multiple endings to choose from, and each one has the power to greatly alter the Ministry and the world around you.

The different ways you can be promoted within the Ministry and the number of endings all help the replayability of Beholder 2. You can choose to play as a rare good guy in such a dismal world in one playthrough, then play through the eyes of a cruel careerist willing to get to the top by any means necessary in another. While unraveling the mystery won’t surprise you beyond the first playthrough, it’s still a nice shock to first-time players that can be kept in mind when planning future playthroughs.

Tasks

Depending on the choices you make, there are also a variety of side tasks available to complete. You can choose to help your coworkers on their quest for romance, humiliate your coworkers at the request of another, or find victims suitable for the sinister needs of one of the men in charge. These requests all offer rewards, whether it be reputation, money, or even books that help you break into your coworkers’ desks. Coupled with the tasks of the main storyline, these side tasks help to give Beholder 2 a solid amount of gameplay.

Mini-games

While the storyline is great, Beholder 2’s office mini-games can sometimes feel like more of a chore than a mini-game. While not technically essential to progressing the storyline, these mini-games are one of the most prominent sources of money and reputation, both of which are necessary to complete certain tasks and pay bills.

Of the three mini-games, processing paperwork on floors one and twelve are arguably the worst, as the minimal instructions and lack of a tutorial make them more confusing and frustrating than they are entertaining. Processing the clones on floor twenty-five is much less tedious and can even be fun at first, however, it can become repetitive after a while. Since these mini-games are hard to avoid, they do slightly hinder the gameplay.

Polished Feel

Despite the frustration of the mini-games, Beholder 2 has a polished feel overall. The loading screens are relatively quick, never lasting more than a few seconds, and there is minimal stuttering throughout. While the in-game map could have been tweaked to allow for more efficient fast travel, rather than having to walk back and forth across most areas, the transitions between loading areas are smooth. The art style also works great with the gloomy ambience as well.

7

The Verdict: Great

Thisis a well-polished adventure game shaped by its dark atmosphere. Though the frustrating and repetitive nature of the mini-games does detract from the overall gameplay and the map system could be improved, the countless choices allow for future replayability and help to keep the storyline interesting, and the number of tasks implemented provide hours of entertainment. If you love great storytelling and the ability to make your own path, Beholder 2 is for you.

Jade Swann
Written by
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 07:42
Published in Adventure

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Jade Swann is an avid video game player and fiction writer. She loves getting lost in open-world RPG’s, making tough choices in story-driven games, and is a big fan of the horror genre. Some of her favorite games include Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Skyrim, Planet Coaster, and The Sims 4. When not immersed in the world of video games, she can be found reading, writing, or spending time with her very lazy Boston Terrier.

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