Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II (PC) Review

By Athanasios 31.03.2017 1

Review for Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II on PC

Adventure games are already a niche genre; therefore, sub-genres within its realm like visual novels and walking simulators are even more so, especially with the latter. Made for a few or not, however, it's possible to make something good no matter the group something belongs to, evident by titles like Firewatch. Sure, the narrative is the main focus here, so don't go in expecting an action-packed experience. Waking the Glares is one of the newest additions to this sub-genre, with Chapter I and II giving a taste of what is to come in this, supposedly, seven-part saga - a bitter taste, that is.

The adventure begins, and two things are made perfectly clear: first, the audio-visuals are severely lacking, to the point that this feels like something that's still in the alpha state of development, and second, the atmosphere is great. The protagonist awakes into a snow-filled, almost post-apocalyptic kind of Suburbia, with a road that leads straight to an ominous mansion… And then he enters, and the whole atmosphere thingy disappears.

That's because, once inside, instead of an "otherworldly" locale, all there is to see is a simple interior, with the only thing that helps a bit in terms of mood being the Silent Hill-like absence of life. This is where the "true" game begins, and it won't be long that one realises that this offers the bare minimum of what an adventure game is supposed to be, since, instead of finding a variety of items, and figuring out how to use them to solve puzzles and such, you just pick an item, and a mouse input is shown when approaching the spot where it can be used.

Screenshot for Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II on PC

No thought is required here. Instead, the only challenge is finding the aforementioned items and spots. In other words, this is basically a scavenger hunt, not an adventure. Even worse? It's a boring scavenger hunt, not only because there isn't much to explore, but mainly because this lacks the necessary elements that could make it more immersive, with audio-visuals that are quite unpolished, with awkward hand animations, and out-of-place, overly loud sound effects.

Furthermore, this is a slow game. It's literally a walking simulator at its worst as the protagonist movement is almost sleep-inducing. Generally, Waking the Glares is full of signs that not much talent was involved, with one particular example being the fact that it's ridden with graphical twitches and clipping, heavy frame-rate drops, unresponsive menus, and so on.

Screenshot for Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II on PC

The only saving grace in such a title could only be the plot and the narrative, which, unfortunately, is also disappointing, with the main reason being the fact that it's nonsensical! Ever played one of those games where, even after completing them multiple times, nothing makes sense? No, not Dark Souls and things like that, as they can actually be enjoyable despite their cryptic nature. Waking the Glares will simply make you feel… stupid.

The free e-book that comes along with this is supposed to clear things up a bit and provide some backstory for the protagonist, but while this is marginally better, don't expect a literature masterpiece. Secondly, like the rest of the experience, it doesn't really help with anything. To give a more concrete example, the very first level has the player walking around a house, helping some flowers to sprout by lighting things up. Does it mean anything? Is there a secret meaning behind it? Well, if there's some sort of symbolism here, it was lost.

Screenshot for Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II on PC

Note that while this is titled Chapters I and II, it's a surprisingly small trek. As explained before, the first "chapter" is all about "waking" a couple of flowers. The second one tales place in a larger area, but don't let this fool you, since it's just a boring fetch quest/scavenger hunt, with little to no challenge involved… but lots of trial-and-error annoyance.

The "funny" thing about this piece of software is that the release of the subsequent chapters depends on the success of the two at hand. In conclusion, then: a boring adventure game that's not a game, and definitely not an adventure, has to perform quite well in order for the gaming community to keep on "playing" it? This humble reviewer will pass…

Screenshot for Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II on PC

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Waking the Glares: Chapters I and II is a perfect example of how some use the term "indie" to excuse everything. It looks amateurish, it doesn't work as well as it should, its "gameplay" is heavily unpolished, and its story is "symbolic and means stuff," despite it leaving you with a big, irritating question mark above your head, but it's okay, because it's "indie." The truth? It's a bad, bad, bad video game.

Developer

Wisefool Studio

Publisher

Wisefool Studio

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

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   

Comments

Sounds, and looks, rather like All the Delicate Duplicates that I recently reviewed. What was even more frustrating about that one was how it'd managed to score a heck of a lot of funding from the Arts Council and National Lottery Fund... *sigh* Smilie

 

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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