Youth in revolt
The first fifteen minutes of most games give you a good idea of everything that lies ahead. After going through the first two hours of Harvey’s New Eyes, I got the gist of what things were to come. So, this is basically some awkward throwback to '90s E-rated adventure games. At this point, I was tearing my eyes out at the game’s painful sense of humor and terrible voice acting. I actually sent an email to my editor, pleading to take me off this review. Then, I played some more.
Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes (PC)
OK, no spoilers just yet. Let’s start with what the game wants you to think it is rather than what it turns out to be. After a lengthy, self-indulgent opening credits sequence, HNE introduces the player to Lili, the game’s silent protagonist. She’s a do-gooder sequestered to a convent run by an abusive nun, who tells Lili that she “isn’t even fit to rake leaves.” Soon an evil doctor, who made an appearance in Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, is introduced -- and, no, it is not necessary to play the first game before jumping into HNE.
Of HNE’s three chapters, the first contains both its best and worst moments. This is because you’ll deal with the pedestrian conversations with some dull, cliche characters. Here’s your typical mean bully, ditzy blond girl, etc. Once the plot twist happens, it’s cathartic to see what becomes of them. All of a sudden, dismantling a WWII bomb and dropping a beehive on a student are the least of Lili’s misdeeds. Once the imaginary gnomes show up, shit gets real. You must be thinking, “Oh man! Imaginary gnomes? Now, I need to play this game!” -- but hold on a second.
The main issue with HNE is that it’s just not very good -- don’t worry there is a BUT coming up. The voice acting is atrocious -- and this comes from someone that thought Deponia’s was not bad -- the sound effects are the definition of budget, animation is next to non-existent, character design is crude, the puzzle explanations are muddled, the dialogue is uninspired, and the environments lack the interactivity I expect from an adventure game BUT -- there you go! -- the story is one almost worth seeing for yourself due to the sheer lunacy of it.
If you identify yourself as both a big fan of adventure games and a very patient player, it may be worth diving into Harvey's New Eyes' sick, twisted world.
THE VERDICT - Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes
Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
|7:00 PM on 05.23.2013|
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