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Dead Synchronicity is terrifying. Itâs terrifying for all the right reasons, at that. Instead of pulling a fast one in the horror department, Fictiorama Studios opted for slow, deliberate dread. Gruesome discoveries, heart-breaking side-stories and horror that slowly settles into your bones is what itâs all about in Dead Synchronicity.
Having played a couple of hours of the gameâs preview build, I have to admit I didnât expect it to move me as much as it did. The introductory sequence brought me memories of the old dystopian novels and movies, setting the overall tone of the game in a very, very effective manner. The game begins with the protagonist, Michael, waking up in a trailer, having been nursed to âhealthâ by some of the very few decent people heâll ever come across. Heâs been struck by an amnesia and thus doesnât remember anything about himself â while still knowing what the world was like before the Great Wave. The Great Wave was an apocalyptic event that ravaged the planet in this universe. It was a series of catastrophes that destroyed all communications and energy sources and plunged the world into a new dark age. During the Great Wave, a strange purplish crack opened in the sky too, causing people to come up with a vast selection of different theories on what the hell is actually going on. During these events, a terrifying disease spread also. The afflicted â the Dissolved â gain terrible cognitive abilities and suffer from hallucinations before dissolving into a pile of flesh and blood.
Naturally, with the communications down, the world fell into disarray. The military forces quickly took over, with the horrors of the New World turning most of the soldiers into sadistic animals who enjoy torturing and murders. The creators of the game were influenced by the likes of Tarkowsky, with his broad themes, vivid atmosphere and deep, somewhat religious storyline. After gaining control over Michael, youâll soon be tasked with procuring a cure for the disease Iâve mentioned before. This would be difficult for a person that has been living in the New World ever since the beginning, let alone for a man that hasnât even adjusted to it yet.
The game begins in a former refugee camp â now turned into a wholly different camp, that of the concentration kind. Here live people who the military doesnât know what to do with, and/or wants to keep a short leash on. Itâs a gruesome place, with several tragic characters that will break your heart in more than one way. The game deals with adult subjects in a very mature way, thus never devolving into a vulgar, disgusting slide show but instead remaining deeply disturbing and terrifying. Itâs also very realistic in its depiction of sadistic behaviour, and will often make you cringe.
Most of the characters youâll be facing will be very grounded in reality. Some of them will sadden you while the others might anger you. The universe is, in that regard, similar to Game of Thrones. Itâs a dark place full of unjust actions and terrible things happening on every corner. But youâre not a hero â not really. Youâre just a thin, swelthe-looking man trying to find answers. Also one of the few people left with a clear vision of whatâs right and whatâs wrong. Although this will become more muddled as time goes by.
The gameâs visual style is highly stylistic and geometric. Youâll be looking at angular characters for the most part, with similarities to expressionism popping up every step of the way. The backdrop for the storyline is a grim, rusty world full of blood, guts, trash and rust â very logical, considering whoâs in charge of this brave new world. Iâve encountered numerous dynamic sequences, with seemingly randomly appearing hallucinations being among the scariest ones. These are all in line with Dead Synchronicityâs introductory sequence and will become more logical as you uncover facts about the catastrophe, the Dissolved and the huge crack in the sky. Sadly, I couldnât hear any voice-over in this build of the game, but Iâm guessing it will be very much in line with the rest of the game. That is â expect a very high-quality product in every aspect.
Honestly, I found myself enamoured with the world presented in Dead Synchronicity. The fact that an average Joe (not quite, but work with me) has to save time itself by traversing through this grim future is enthralling once the storyline and characters pull you in. The game world is a semi-open place, with multiple âpuzzlesâ being available at any given moment. Youâll have to collect, combine and interact with lots of things along the way, in a true point ânâ click fashion, but this is not a boring game in any way. Its backdrops, characters and events will provide more than enough incentive to keep pushing on, and Iâm sure every adventure game fan will appreciate the messages it sends and themes it tackles. Keep an eye out for this one, folks.