Beat the Game (PC) Review

By Renan Fontes 22.11.2017

Review for Beat the Game on PC

As the only modern medium that puts control in the hands of the audience, a video game can experiment with its format more naturally than, say, a book or a film. It's an inherently interactive medium, one that creates an intimacy within the player and the content. As a form of artistic expression, a video game's potential is limitless, so it makes sense developers would feel encouraged to stray from industry standards. With no antagonist, no action, and no drama, Beat the Game is a self-described "journey into the beat" that explores sound in gaming.

A developer experimenting with how a video game "should" play is always a good thing. As time passes, trends and formats start to normalize. Production values rise, but creativity begins to stagnate. It's these developers, who look at gaming as an art form, that keep the medium fresh and alive. A developer should also remember their format, however, and make sure their game is still a game.

Problems arise all too quickly with Beat the Game, unfortunately, as it's made clear rather early that it isn't interested in delivering in the game department. Gameplay consists entirely of moving around a wasteland in search of sound emitting items in order to trigger cutscenes. These scenes, which make up the majority of the overall experience, are easily the best produced elements present. Character models act with a considerable amount of weight, and the general design of the world is colourful and eye catching. The cinematography is also worth making note of, as each cutscene works as a great reference on how to frame a scene. These are scenes that would be worthy of praise in a short film - but this is not a short film.

Screenshot for Beat the Game on PC

The gameplay's premise never evolves or changes. It does not require any skill or critical thought. The first minute is the same as the last. Yes, "minute," not "hour," because it is more than possible to collect every sound and beat the game within the hour. In many respects, the pathetically small overworld feels like a tutorial area for an adventure that's about to open up. Sadly, that adventure never comes.

It is a shame Beat the Game lacks variety and longevity, because more content would surely have helped its glaring identity issue. The world is ripe for analysis with striking visuals and an almost absurdist approach to art, but it lacks true content. Every event, every item, and every character exists not to say anything in particular, but simply because - which is a fine enough approach to artistic analysis, granted, but a game as superficial as this would have strongly benefited from something to actually analyse and take away.

Beat the Game is more disappointing than outright bad; brief to the point where it falls just short of grasping onto any artistic integrity or voice. There isn't enough content to justify a price tag, and the content that is there is utterly meaningless and static. It's quite sad that a game so focused on sound has absolutely nothing to say.

Screenshot for Beat the Game on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Beat the Game is the living embodiment of style over substance. A colourful sandbox with wacky characters and quirky music can only take a game so far when it lacks in every other regard. Gameplay consists entirely of finding sounds for a live concert with little payoff due in large part to the static premise and short play time. Cutscenes are well presented when they occur, but the absurdist approach to storytelling is pure nonsense, devoid of any actual meaning. Beat the Game fails as a video game, as a work of art, and as a demonstration of what can be done in the medium. It's little more than a glorified tech demo for a far better game.

Developer

Worm Animation

Publisher

Worm Animation

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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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