Interrogation: You will be deceived (PC) Review

By Athanasios 05.12.2019

Review for Interrogation: You will be deceived on PC

Video games where you play an officer of the law, either throw you in the streets to do some shooting, or have you solving cases in a point-and-click adventure style (flashback from the awesome Whispers of a Machine). Critique Gaming's Interrogation is different. Evident by its name, its sole focus is on the actual process of collecting information from suspects in order to find out who did what. From simple questions, and psychological manipulation tricks like deception or intimidation, to the raw abuse of your power, this atmospheric, narrative-driven puzzler offers you all the necessary tools to do the job. How far will you go to solve the case, and where will your choices lead you?

It all begun with a homicide. The boys in blue arrested a small-time burglar, and brought him in for questioning, along with the victim's husband. Solving the case, however, will lead you to the beginning of a trail that leads to much bigger fish; the terrorist group known as the Liberation Front. Those looking for some real action, or on-the-field investigating, won't find it here. Interrogation takes place exactly where's it's supposed to: in a claustrophobic, dimly-lit, interrogation room, where the tongue will prove to be mightier than a Smith & Wesson Model 29.

A very text-heavy affair, the gameplay loop revolves around asking questions from a multiple choice list, and then adapting your strategy depending on the answers, in order to lead your "victim" towards a confession. The most crucial aspect is the psychology of the suspect, though. Asking something personal, for example, requires building empathy, shown in the game as an eye dilation meter, while intimidation works best when the subject is nervous, presented as a small, heart rate monitor. If all else fails, turn off the recorder, and beat some sense into your friend…

Screenshot for Interrogation: You will be deceived on PC

The developer has done wonders in creating its characters, as you can "read" them just by looking at the way they are sitting, apart from how they react to your questions. Also, true to the game's subtitle, you will indeed be deceived. Besides the first case where the "obvious" criminal is clearly not the guilty one, simply everyone seems to be a likely suspect, teaching you to not just trust your gut instinct, and judge people based on your beliefs on race, gender, social class, or looks.

It's extremely enjoyable to start seeing cracks in the façade of a suspect… but it's equally annoying to not be able to understand why you failed. Interrogation is similar to a choose-your-own-adventure title, but it's mostly a dialogue puzzler, with many sequences having a structure that tends to be quite strict. It's easy to hit a wall, simply because you didn't ask a specific question amongst the 50 or so available in the right moment, leading to plenty of trial-and-error.

You aren't really that free to role-play here. The way you behave does alter the story quite a bit (mostly near the end), adding to the replay value, but it's somewhat easy to ruin a play-through by making the wrong moves, like leaving a few bruises on your suspects, behaving badly to your crew, not handling the press correctly, and so on. You can always rewind the campaign to a previous chapter, but how can you be sure that you did alright in the previous ones?

Screenshot for Interrogation: You will be deceived on PC

Finally, the repercussions of your actions are almost never fully shown until you reach the end. Quite admirable for a video game in this day and age, but maybe this has gone a bit too far with the "secrecy," as it would be better if it provided some subtle feedback in-between chapters. Some actions aren't even adequately explained. Outside the interrogation you will have to assign tasks to your crew, something that can provide additional funds, or make the press or public like you more, but your first play-through will leave you in the dark in regards to what does what.

As for the socio-political commentary available, this is really a mixed bag - sometimes good, sometimes quite sloppy in the way it's all handled, and never really that "deep," if that makes any sense. On the other hand, Critique Gaming has done the right thing, by not really choosing sides, and forcing the opinion of the team behind this into the game. The writing, while it certainly has room for improvement, it is generally quite good, and definitely one of the highlights of Interrogation… as long as you like reading, of course.

Screenshot for Interrogation: You will be deceived on PC

It's important to note that, annoyed or not from the way the dialogue puzzle aspect has been managed, you'll certainly get emotionally invested in what's going on. A great example is the moment where a very enthusiastic (aka, psychotic) Internal Affairs agent pays you a visit. Gameplay-wise it's probably the most annoying chapter, but it's also a pretty engrossing one, making you really think each and every step you make - and hating your new bearded friend while at it.

Generally, in terms of presentation, this gets a perfect ten. Essentially a visual novel, backdrops and characters are basically still, or slightly animated, 2D images. There's also a complete lack of voice-acting. After all that would be impossible for such a small studio, and in a title with so much text. Thankfully, it doesn't really matter, as this is actually a masterfully crafted work that shows that a strong visual style is preferable from a bland world made out of a trillion polygons.

This has a unique noir vide, with everything, apart from a few coloured spots, being black and white, and with characters being portrayed by real people, whose captures have been rotoscoped, bring the otherwise motion-less world of Interrogation to life. Coupled with a very good choice of ambient, non-intrusive music, and great sound effects, the atmosphere is strong with this one. Despite some rough edges, fans of adventures with an interesting story can safely try this out.

Screenshot for Interrogation: You will be deceived on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Interrogation: You will be deceived is a cops and robbers game where the action takes place inside a single room, with you having to skilfully manipulate suspects into spilling the beans… by any means necessary. It has its issues, like how annoyingly precise you have to be with your moves, or how it's sometimes hard to understand why you failed, leading to plenty of trial-and-error, and, yes, this is a niche title that won't appeal to just about anyone. Having said that, it's a very good interrogation sim, features a great noir art style, and is deeply immersive.

Developer

Critique Gaming

Publisher

Mixtvision

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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