Get Even is a bit of a head scratcher.
At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s a first-person shooter, or perhaps even a survival horror game, but instead it is a crime drama that blends together elements from both of those genres, whilst taking inspiration from the following movies: Source Code, Inception, Momento, SAW and Old Boy.
All of those films feature an ever-evolving storyline that slam down plot twists to great effect and whilst Get Even certainly takes a good jab at crafting a tale which offers its fair share of twists and turns, compared to the advantageous pacing of the movies it’s been inspired by I’ve struggled to remain invested across this game’s 10-15 hour story campaign.
You play as Cole Black, a man who finds himself in a mysterious dreamscape and must figure out why he’s been tasked with sifting through memories. Your investigation is kicked off by the abduction of a young girl and it’s your job to find out who is behind her disappearance.
The memories – or levels – that Black explores are easily at risk of corruption and if all the clues aren’t found, or if you stray too far from a memories’ core framework (I.E. you kill a lot of people who didn’t die in the original memory), then it may hinder your progress. The device capable of making all of this possible is called the Pandora; a headset that bears a resemblance to virtual reality gear.
For the most part Get Even’s gameplay focuses on puzzle solving and Black is equipped with a smart phone which can be used in a myriad of ways; taking pictures of evidence, using its camera’s heat vision mode, accessing the in-game map and managing other relevant information. At the heart of the experience lies a central hub which Black can use to survey 9 important memory points and, if necessary, these can be replayed in order to locate more evidence to form a clearer picture of the plot from beginning to end. Get Even’s storytelling often reminded me of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, since it features fractured echoes of characters in conversation and its story is backed by a brilliantly composed soundtrack.
Overall, I have enjoyed experiencing a game that dares to do something different, but I’m not convinced that it ties together its plot in an entirely satisfying and cohesive way. It’s not necessarily the fault of its writers (both of whom work closely with magician Derren Brown on his mind-bending shows), it’s more down to the medium that the story is based within. As I explained at the beginning of this article, films have the advantage of pacing its story accurately (for the most part) but a game relies on an individual’s ability to keep themselves invested via their own play style.
Everyone will have a in Get Even different experience, but I’ve personally found the game to be a little bit of a hog and, at times, a little too vague for its own good. That said, it’s a concept which has never been seen before in an FPS and many people will probably find its change of pace refreshing, it’s just a shame that it didn’t gel with me. Add the fact that its graphics look outdated and it certainly isn’t doing itself any favours.