Unavowed (PC) Review

By Adam Riley 17.08.2018

Review for Unavowed on PC

WadjetEye Games certainly has the sort of track record that leaves many developers and publishers blushing. Going all the way back to The Shivah, Dave Gilbert and co.'s talent shines through time and time again, coming to a head with the Blackwell series, as well as published efforts, such as Technobabylon, Primordia, and the unforgettable Resonance. After going hands-on with Unavowed recently, and being thoroughly impressed by the first brand new IP since The Blackwell Legacy, Cubed3 now delivers the final verdict on this intriguing Adventure Game Studio-based point-and-click creation.

Unavowed is multi-layered experience, so anyone thinking they can jump in, blaze through the story and be done with it will be disappointed. This is a carefully crafted narrative, followed by another, and another, giving players a wealth of options right from the off. The idea to start with is to create a male or female character from the opening stages, cleverly done so via branching conversation paths, introducing the two main partners at the same time. Each persona has a differing back-story that affects how various elements of the adventure play out, opening up the possibility of repeated play-throughs without boredom creeping in.

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

If you want to truly appreciate the excellence of the writing within, going through more than once is highly recommended. Unavowed also boosts its replayability by introducing numerous playable folk, only two of whom can be used at any one time to accompany the main character. This leads to certain situations being solved in alternative ways, playing to the respective strengths of the team - fire use, sword-wielding, a sharp crime-busting mind, spiritually-inclined, and so on. Hit a roadblock? Then perhaps another combination of characters can be utilised to get to the bottom of things. Mandana (a Djinn) and Eli (Fire Mage) are the two key members of the Unavowed, so at least one of them must always accompany the protagonist, which is good, as that little bit of nudging prevents too many dead ends being encountered, something that could have killed the enjoyment considerably. The others in the team are Logan, a Bestower, who can send restless spirits on their way, and Vicki, a cop with a keen eye for detail, and a certain way of extracting information from witnesses.

Graphically and aurally, there is no question how impressive WadjetEye's titles have become. It only takes a quick glance at other efforts that have gone down the AGS route to realise Dave Gilbert has brought together an expert team that can make the most out of the ageing engine, bringing a certain level of class to the purposely retro-filled aesthetics. Voice acting and soundtrack-wise, Unavowed excels, as well, with emotive performances from the cast, and a great ambience imbued by the exemplary score.

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

The backdrop throughout is quite the dark affair, as the lead character was previously demon-possessed, leaving a trail of bloodshed and misery in their wake, and now it is time to right those wrongs in New York City…and beyond, sometimes dealing with the underworld when called to do so. In general, spiritual matters have been on the rise, yet membership to the Unavowed is at an all-time low, so it really is a backs-to-the-wall scenario. Thankfully, the puzzles on offer do not become equally as overwhelming, instead staying on the right side of 'challenging, but fair' and there are some in particular that give such a huge sense of satisfaction when cracked. Rarely does Unavowed put those in control in the frustration position of needing to try every permutation of person-object-scenery-item-etc… there is always logic that can be derived from the conundrums on offer, with some lateral thinking being the key. Whilst the multi-character dynamic is not as pronounced as in Resonance, it does indeed bring a fresh flavour to what is already a highly delectable recipe.

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

Part of the sheer fun factor in Unavowed comes from the sublime script work, and more often than not just sitting back and letting characters chatter away in the background is highly entertaining. Be it on the subway, delaying that choice of destination to enjoy the banter for a slight while longer, or in various areas where chitter-chatter kicks off automatically (thanks to objects not requiring a click to show information, merely needing a gentle mouse cursor hover-over instead, thus not interrupting the flow of conversation). Talking regularly to those in your current party is 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. This is something the occurs once a mission has concluded, as well, with the entire team heading back to HQ, and those that did not take part can even be spoken to about what they would have done differently had they been there, for instance. Unavowed is so smartly pieced together that it just has to be sampled by fans of the genre and beyond.

Screenshot for Unavowed on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

WadjetEye Games has done it again! Unavowed does not disappoint at all, relying on the tried-and-tested formula that has worked so well in the past, but now taking that and polishing it beyond belief, and then expertly blending in themes from popular titles, sprinkling a whole host of fresh ideas into the pot to make for one of the most engaging experiences of the year.

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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