Review: Goodbye Deponia

pacing is dealt with exceptionally well…

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Goodbye Deponia brings to a close Daedalic’s pointy-clicky Deponia trilogy, following in the footsteps of the pretty enjoyable double act of Deponia and Chaos on Deponia with a much longer and more risqué affair that has plenty of charm, despite seemingly trying hard at times to totally put you off.

The main protagonist Rufus is back for more, this time charged with the task of saving Deponia from being blown up by its ex-inhabitants as they move to a nicer world which isn’t covered in junk. The resulting adventure takes you through a range of beautifully drawn locations with varied and likeable characters, all the while bumbling from one screwed up situation to the next. Even if you hadn’t played the previous titles in the series it takes no time at all to figure out each character in terms of the role they play and just how useful they’re likely to be. Playing this as a standalone title means you’ll miss out on a few of the in-jokes that have been formed in the earlier episodes, but that’s hardly the end of the world.

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Either way you’ll get several laugh-out-loud moments mixed in with some eyebrow-raising “did that actually just happen?” sections which make you question the amount of thought which went into some parts of the dialogue. Very early on there’s a scene with a woman who’s clearly a bit nuts and not making any sense, so what’s a game to do? Well it’s obvious: blame it on a “visit from Aunt Flo” (and if you don’t know what that means, ask your friends at Google…). Later down the line you’re trying to free an organ grinder’s monkey, which ends up as a bizarre and slightly uncomfortable segment which raises its own questions about bad taste in gaming. The game isn’t riddled with these moments, but the fact they’re there at all shows that the developer was feeling especially brave, or was just being quite dim. I can’t decide which.

It’s a shame really because the rest of the adventure is interesting and a fair challenge, even if it starts to feel a bit long as you get nearer to the end. The issues common to most pointy-clicky games have long since been stamped out by Daedalic, with a helpful hint system on offer which shows you all the clickable areas of the screen whenever you hold the space bar. It doesn’t tell you what to do with them, but at least you can be sure you won’t miss anything. Puzzles aren’t hair-tearingly difficult either, and although some sections spread themselves very thin and let you find items long before they’re needed (the early hotel section being the perfect example) you rarely feel like there’s nothing left to try and nowhere else to go. On top of all that, pacing is dealt with exceptionally well, and just as you start to question the difficulty increasing, the challenge dips slightly to allow the final moments of the story to shine through.

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Most of the dialogue is genuinely great too if you ignore the issues mentioned above, with the relationship between characters bringing about some amusing and enjoyable conversations. A series of individual mini-game type puzzles also help to break up the action into manageable chunks and provide a range of challenges which, as per the main game, range in difficulty from insultingly easy through to bewilderingly complex. In addition to this, the ever-present inventory works nicely with the mouse wheel, letting you bring up your items, select one and close the window in a manner far slicker than a lot of other adventure games you might have played.

Goodbye Deponia is a very slick package, showing the result of a series of games which have been tweaked each time to arrive at an easy to play and easy to enjoy final chapter. It’s lengthy, and it’s a bit too inappropriate at times, but most pointy-clicky fans will love it. And while it’s not essential, if you can stretch to pick up the whole set you’ll be able to get the most out of it all.

Reviewed on PC

 
 

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