The Complex (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 10.04.2020

Review for The Complex on PlayStation 4

It's not fair to judge The Complex too harshly on its timing, but it's hard to not notice. While the game's pathogen is very different from the real world horror that is Covid-19, it will inevitably attract as much attention as it will repel due to the current state of the world. For those who it attracts, or those who read this after normalcy starts to reappear, you'll be happy to know The Complex is a decent thriller, though not one that will leave you feeling satisfied.

The Complex is a choose-your-own-adventure adventure, where you control the decisions of Amy, an employee of Nathalie Kensington. Amy is a doctor working on nanocells, which are currently not particularly stable, resulting in a blood-based pathogen with some really ugly side effects. When someone on a subway car becomes violently ill with the sickness, they are quickly quarantined so Amy can investigate.

The Complex, much like other Wales Interactive FMV titles, plays more like a movie where you occasionally make a decision. The decisions will show up on the bottom of the screen, somewhat randomly, and are timed, meaning you have to be paying attention pretty closely. You have the option to disable the timer though, which nullifies a lot of the tension of making split second decisions, so it's best left turned off.

Many of the game's decisions also don't carry any weight with them. This is likely to keep you engaged in between making the more important decisions, but many of them feel needlessly tacked on. Worse, different decisions often lead to the same results. This is more noticeable when playing through again, as you can fast forward through scenes you've already watched. This doesn't quite feel right though as you make different decisions, and watch the same scene play out as with the other choice. However, as the scene plays out exactly the same, it seems the skip option is tied to choices, not the scenes themselves. Either that, or the changes are so small they don't even matter and are hard to notice.

Screenshot for The Complex on PlayStation 4

The actual film quality is there, but the performances and effects are severely uneven. While acting from characters like Rees or Clare are pretty good, Amy's or Nathalie's feel forced or uneven, while some are even bad. The few fight scenes feel purposefully slow, and one of them is laughably so. Two characters square off, and one of them, instead of just killing the other, mindlessly walks around the room trying to catch his breath. No survival instinct in these characters, or so it would appear.

The special effects are awful though, and things as simple as gunshot wounds look absurdly fake. One scene involving a white light is remarkably phony-looking, and never once did a green screen look like anything other than that. It's a shame because the budget's clearly there, as most of the practical set pieces actually look really good.

The story, however, is fairly decent. The dynamic between Rees and Amy is very believable, and the plot progressions make the best use of your time. Really, the story is nice, and while it's let down by poor technical performance, it is a decent enough way to spend a couple hours, in case you want to see every scene and ending.

Screenshot for The Complex on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The Complex is a decent story that feels bigger than it could be. While some choices feel very weighty, they are few and far between, leaving a lot of inconsequential decisions in between. Honestly, it may have worked if the experience was a bit shorter - sure, a common complaint has been it is too short, but maybe it would actually benefit from being trimmed a bit. As it stands, it feels like whatever ending you got the first time through, everything else is just "what if" scenarios that don't really matter.

Developer

Wales Interactive

Publisher

Wales Interactive

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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