Level 22: Gary's Misadventures (Xbox One) Review

By Nikola Suprak 24.02.2017

Review for Level 22: Gary

No one wants to go to their job. A person could be a professional bacon tested in a movie theatre staffed entirely by models, and when the alarm clock goes off they'd still be tempted to hit snooze a couple of times. Thus, when the titular hero Gary in the Xbox One title Level 22: Gary's Misadventures shows up late to work after a late-night birthday celebration, pretty much everyone can relate to his plight. Well, at least until he starts hiding in air conditioning vents and fighting deranged security guards on motorized carts. This light-hearted approach to the stealth genre is certainly unique in premise, but the rest of the package is not nearly as creative.

Gary here has a very big problem. He is late for work, something he apparently has made a habit of for a while because he is quite certain if he gets caught again the boss will fire him. Worse yet, he works up on the 22nd floor so cautiously sneaking in through the window isn't really an option. And to top things off, the boss apparently has the whole office building looking for him, because even if the guy working the copier catches a glimpse of him it is game over. So now Gary will have to work his way up, dodging co-workers and hiding in every nook and cranny until he can wedge his way in his chair and innocently pretend he was sitting there the whole time.

At its core, this is a stealth game. Well, really, at its core this is a bad stealth game. It features some extremely simple gameplay, and Gary can move around or interact with objects and not much else. The basic idea here is to simply avoid getting caught, and each floor has a handful of people that need to be avoided. Each level will also have different tricks to get by. One may feature a newspaper that can be hid behind (because random men showing up in the office and hiding behind a newspaper isn't suspicious at all), while another may force Gary to get some coffee to spill on a copy machine to distract someone that he needs to get by. Vents can be crawled through, or rooms can be run in to avoid someone walking towards your direction. All of this sounds like it might lead to some complexity, but really there isn't much here in terms of things to do. The floors are small, the people that need to be avoided are easily avoided, and there isn't any real challenge from getting to the end.

Screenshot for Level 22: Gary's Misadventures on Xbox One

It feels a bit more like a puzzle game than an actual stealth game at time, but the challenges that need to be solved are all remarkably simple, and usually Gary's pal on the radio will call to tell exactly what needs to be done. In levels that require Gary to interact with the environment in some way, there are typically only two things around. There is one thing that can be picked up and the one thing that thing can be used on. So figuring out what to do comes with all the fun of solving a two piece puzzle. Overall, it just doesn't ever lead to any interesting gameplay. There are a handful of boss levels that use the mechanics here about as well as is possible, but that is essentially the sole positive thing there is to talk about. Otherwise it is boring level after boring level, with easy to avoid people and simple to solve puzzles. There simply isn't enough of a challenge here, and there isn't much that the game does well or that is particularly clever in its execution.

The only other thing to do in this game is to dig around for secrets. There are little figurines to find, usually in some obvious place, and a safe with a code to be cracked in each level. The codes are six digits are hidden around the level somewhere. The start relatively easy with two three digit numbers scrawled on the wall, but end up getting absurd to the point it isn't worth even digging around the levels trying to figure out what you need. One level has one two-digit combination, one single digit written on a medal, and two letters that correspond to their numbers (one of which isn't even a clear letter), and one number seemingly picked at random. Oh, and most of those digits aren't given an exact position in the six-position code. It simply isn't worth spending ten times as long in a level trying to find these stupid number and letters when the reward is a piece of the puzzle that shows some random picture. They were probably put in the game as a way to add some replayability, but in order for that to work it would need some playability in the first place.

Screenshot for Level 22: Gary's Misadventures on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

For all of its faults, the biggest one at the heart of Level 22: Gary's Misadventures is that it just isn't very much fun. There are ways to do good or interesting stealth gameplay, and this certainly is not it. It is a simple premise that never really grows into anything interesting and leaves you slowly wandering around a poorly designed office building for a couple of hours before mercifully ending. Even stealth fans aren't going to find much to like here, and getting fired for being late is actually more fun than this.

Developer

Moving Player

Publisher

Moving Player

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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