A confederacy of dunces
Deponia ended right when things were getting good, and so that’s where Chaos on Deponia begins. Despite the first reaching the West in January -- or August, really, for us Steam-lovin’ folks -- a full, bona fide sequel is already upon us.
The true opening of CoD (the non-shooting-dudes CoD) is one of the most knee-slappingly funny and creative intros I’ve seen in an adventure game. It brilliantly plays upon the tropes of the genre and established fiction of Deponia. Rufus is brought into the home of an elderly couple, who bicker and talk about Rufus’ as the player kills their pet, breaks their plumbing, and burns their house down. If only all of CoD’s puzzles were so humorous and self-contained.
If the opening city hub of Deponia made you fall to your knees, you’re going to faint when you enter CoD’s main city that is double, if not triple, in size. CoD is not for the novice adventurer, since there are always so many locations, people, and items to factor into a puzzle. This is not the game’s problem. Its problem is that it frequently does a poor job in directing the player and subtly dropping hints. Perhaps something is lost in translation from the game’s original German, but I often felt lost and frustrated. Grim Fandango has a similar structure but I always thought it was my fault upon discovering a solution. I either wasn’t paying attention or listening to dialogue close enough. This is rarely the case in CoD and considering the game’s large world, that’s unfortunate.
Where CoD fails as a sequel, it succeeds with flying colors as a stand-alone, comedic adventure. Curb your expectations and you’ll discover a great cast of characters that are much better written and voiced than anything else Daedalic has put out. From Rufus’ hard-to-please father to the deluded renegade leader, CoD strives on the strengths of its outlandish characters and gorgeous world. As unlikely as it sounds, CoD manages to look even better than the first title. Secret of Monkey Island-style close-up dialogue scenes add some much needed variety and personality to presentation, and the large city hub is fantastic, full of color and detail. The backdrops still lack animation, though.
THE VERDICT - Chaos on Deponia
Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
|5:45 PM on 10.12.2012|
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