Unavowed (PC) Preview

By Adam Riley 26.05.2018

Review for Unavowed on PC

From the classic The Shivah, to the inimitable Blackwell series, and the likes of Technobabylon, Primordia, and the amazing Resonance, Wadjet Eye Games certainly has a sterling track record both on the development side and in terms of what projects to pick up for publishing. There is great anticipation, then, to see Dave Gilbert is back, now with his first brand new IP since The Blackwell Legacy blasted onto the PC scene. Cubed3 recently went hands-on with an early build version of his latest creation, Unavowed, to see how the latest point-and-click escapade crafted from the Adventure Game Studio is shaping up.

It all starts off with a scene playing out where shockingly the person thought to be the lead ends up committing murder…only then for it to be revealed that they have been suffering at the hands of demonic possession for the past six months. After leaving a trail of bloodshed and misery across New York City, Eli (a Fire Mage) and Mandana (a sword-wielding Djinn) exorcise the wicked being, leaving the protagonist collapsed in a heap, wondering what exactly just happened. After players choose what their profession pre-possession was, and the sex of the character (a female bartender for this preview play-through), you get enlisted into the Unavowed - a group with a special connection to the void that protects mundane beings (non-void-touched humans) from complete annihilation by evil forces. Yes, it gets pretty heavy, pretty quickly…

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

Spiritual matters have been increasing in nature as of late, and the Unavowed are low on recruits, so as the adventure goes on, more are brought into the ranks and, as the team expands, it means there is a choice to make, with only three members allowed to go on a mission at a time (from the previous two mentioned, and an extra duo - Logan, a Bestower that can send restless spirits on their way, and Vicki, a cop with a sharp eye for detail). The beauty of this is that puzzles faced actually change in nature dependant on who is in the party for a specific scene. There are also unique reactions from those left behind when a mission has been concluded, thus encouraging repeat plays to uncover every element contained within. Whether or not this means there will be different endings to achieve is something yet to be revealed, but currently it bodes well for such an idea to be implemented in the final build.

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

Visually and aurally, Unavowed is just as pleasing, if not stronger than previous Wadjet Eye releases, with impressive detail given to those that players are in control of, as well as non-playable ones, a highly atmospheric soundtrack, and some stellar voice work, especially the familiar voice behind Eli, the Fire Mage - with the same excellent actor that featured in Shardlight and Technobabylon returning.

No point-and-click adventure worth its salt would survive on story alone, though, and it is with great pleasure then to confirm that the puzzles faced so far in Unavowed are of a very high calibre, getting the old grey matter working overtime, but never unfairly, and some of them even making great use of the multiple character dynamic, reminiscent of the superb Resonance. Cannot get to the solution expected? Try bringing in another character that may have a skill-set more suited to the situation!

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

Talking regularly to those in your current party is also advised, because not only do they offer sometimes vital hints for progression, but there are hidden layers of story to uncover, delving deeper into the backgrounds of your new 'friends' in this fight against the impending darkness. The same happens post-mission, when everyone returns to their HQ to rest, regroup and prepare for what else is to come; getting to know the team is a joy because of the excellence in the writing stakes.

On top of that, there are even fun interactions whilst riding the subway to new locations. Instead of merely picking a place and heading straight there, sometimes it is worthwhile waiting and letting conversations between others play out naturally in the background, and the same goes for entering new scenes. Chatting will naturally begin, and thanks to the smooth interaction feature, whereby merely moving the mouse over various areas brings up text explanations or commentary, there is no interruption. Players can scour the area and listen to conversations play out at the same time, rather than the usual stop-start approach of every other game of this ilk. Key sections that need to be interacted with do obviously see a necessary change to the cursor in a context-sensitive manner, halting any talking when clicked triggered, but the approach taken for general 'extra' information works really well to maintain the flow.

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

Final Thoughts

From these early stages of the adventure, Unavowed does not disappoint in any way, taking the formula used in past Wadjet Eye releases, polishing it to perfection, and then expertly mixing in themes from other titles, along with fresh ideas to make for a highly engaging experience. There is no firm release date yet, but Cubed3 will bring you more updates when the time comes.

Developer

Wadjet Eye Games

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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