Alright, Conclusion is done and dusted. Conclusion itself is basically a very short walking simulator focused on the topic of alcoholism. Some of the steam reviews claim it took 5 minutes to complete. That is definitely not true. You simply cant walk fast enough in the game for that to be a reality. The game length is more like a half hour with examination of all the items and taking in some of the scenery.
Conclusion is all about alcoholism. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell you what the narration was trying to say as all the voice work was muddy beyond comprehension. However, from the pieces of your car found, the bloodstained broken bicycle, gravestone, bottles of alcohol, and the handful of notes you can read, I’d say somebody hit a bicyclist and then crashed. Possibly causing death as a result. That is what I assume at this point anyway. Perhaps the audio will get cleaned up with a patch at some point and we might get better clarity on the story.
As it stands, the story was negligible. 3 out of 10
The gameplay in Conclusion is consistent with most walking simulators. Walk around, jump here and there, and examine the occasional object/page note. So, that all checks out.
However, there is no cursor or anything indicating when you are in the proper position to pick something up. Some of the objects I encountered were frustratingly difficult to actually pick up and examine (if I was able to at all). Having some sort of reticule would have been ideal.
Additionally, there was an aggravating amount of screen tearing and stuttering. This game was incredibly poorly optimized. This was already obvious given the 10+ gb file size, but it was in full view throughout my play through. Moving forward/backward was fine, but once you started actually looking around you were confronted head on with the poor optimization. Not the best use of the Unity engine by any stretch of the imagination.
There was also an interesting dynamic where you could explore freely to one side of the road consistently, but not the other. So…feel free to explore one side of the map. We dont really want you to see what’s hiding on the other side though.
Again, I feel the gameplay in Conclusion was sub par for this genre or any other. A 4 out of 10 in this category seems appropriate.
The graphics in Conclusion were by far the high point of this game. Conclusion is a beautiful game. I took many screenshots in my play through that could easily be used in monthly Steam competitions. They would also make very nice wallpaper/background shots as well. The developers dont have the mastery of the Unity engine that you see with games like Dear Esther or The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but they did a good job making the world seem vibrant and alive
A 7.5 out of 10 is an appropriate rating for the graphics in Conclusion
The audio in Conclusion was poor at best. For example, the ambient sounds such as your footsteps were poor stock samples from what I could tell. The voice acting, as was mentioned before, was muddled beyond comprehension.
This was perhaps Conclusion’s greatest failing as you really need to be able to hear the voice acting to have the story fully revealed to you (or so I imagine, not having been able to determine what was being said enough to know if it really had anything to do with the game or not)
This was a 1 out of 10.
Ultimately, for a sub $1 game, your expectations should probably be tempered a bit going in, but that doesn’t excuse some of the glaring deficiencies in this game. At the very least, the developers should have included a reticule and the audio tracks should have been clearer rather than muddled and indistinct. Especially considering the file size, which is actually larger than a lot of AAA titles out there right now. I expect better work from smaller projects. The graphics drove my rating up a bit, and so in Conclusion, this game deserves a 3.9 out of 10. Not the worst use of your time, but definitely one of the bottom rung examples of a walking simulator out there right now.
I would like to add a note of encouragement to the developers though. You show promise. You just need to iron out some of the key elements to your game so future games you hope to release wont suffer from the same issues.