Everyone knows about and can’t stop talking of upcoming AAA games. They’re announced the year before at E3 and have trailers and screenshots plastered across your social media platforms so frequently that you almost feel like you’re part of the development team. On the other side of the spectrum, you have those lesser-known titles that creep their way into your radar. They don’t promise to deliver the world, but they usually have engaging storylines and gameplay that leave you satisfied nonetheless. For me, I like to call these my ‘sleeper games’ — and I think Get Even might just be my sleeper game of this year.
It was only the day prior to my hands-on time with Get Even that I had even heard of the game. A press release came into my inbox including a link to a YouTube video. I decided to give it a watch and was instantly intrigued. It looked different — and thrilling — so when I had the chance to give it a shot last week along with DiRT 4, I couldn’t pass it down.
The game starts by introducing you to the main protagonist known only as “Black”, on a task to rescue someone from a kidnapping ring. Complications arise and you find yourself losing consciousness, awaking some time later in a courtyard, surrounded by abandoned buildings. You’re asked to enter a site known only as ‘Building B’, where you’re introduced to a mysterious man who has control over the building (later discovered to be an asylum). Complications arise yet again — as they’ll do — and you awake with a VR-esque device known as ‘Pandora’ affixed to your head. It provides this owner of the asylum with the ability to see what you see, but more importantly, appears to connect to your brain and access your memories.
The story then continues; you’ll start to learn more about the history of the asylum as well as delving further into your past as an investigator and gunman for hire. It’s when these two stories begin to come together, combined with your own suspicions on who the mystery man is and what his motives are, that you truly begin to dive in.
Story aside, what I really began to love about Get Even was juxtaposition of its two time periods. The current day game takes place in 2015, but you’re stuck in a run-down and abandoned asylum. When you time travel to explore your past you only go back a few years, but to futuristic settings and buildings (think the likes of Quantum Break). The change of pace is welcomed, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t excited each time to return back to the present to explore the asylum.
Get Even is great at building suspense as you progress. Music will intensify as you move through the asylum, you’ll hear the chants of released inmates from behind the walls and even the setting itself, having empty or worn rooms with graffiti and excerpts of patient files all add to the thriller setting. It’s the perfect mix of frights without being too intense, and made for an experience I found difficult to walk away from.
Gameplay-wise, Get Even is set entirely in first-person. While in the asylum you’ll mostly be walking around and scanning for evidence using your smartphone. The evidence allows you to better piece together your memories and how the story links to you being in the asylum to being with. There is the odd occasion where you’ll need to use your firearm, however the real combat takes place in your memories (stages set in the past). Here the game introduces what is known as the ‘CoverGun’, an assault rifle capable of being snapped either side allowing you to shoot from cover. Generally though you’ll work through each level avoiding detection and taking out your enemies before they call for reinforcements.
Overall, Get Even is looking to be a strong title for 2017. The setting and storyline are both engaging and interesting, and the switching between modern and past environments makes for a constantly refreshing experience. Gameplay is nothing new for what you’ve seen before, but there’s more enjoyment in the exploration and evidence-gathering that combat itself. It’s certainly a game I’ll be keeping an eye out upon its release in May on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4.