Righteous Kill review
Righteous Kill, Enjoyable Investigation
Didn't see the movie but it's not required for enjoying that game
Righteous Kill is a game based on the movie with the same name. In reality, I think that it was created as a merchandising product, as the game was released in the same period than the movie. But you will not find DeNiro or Pacino in it. It's a new story, with a new vigilance killer.
You don't have to see the movie for playing it. Sometimes, some games required you to know about it for getting immersed in the universe. Not here.
So, what do we have, Detective?
A man was killed. He was the suspect in a robbery where a woman and her daughter were killed but because of a problem, he was released, never to be judged for his crime. The new vigilance unit, fighting against self-justice, is suspecting the woman's husband as being the killer. It's up to you to solve this case and to find the truth.
Classic storyline but with a good twist
So, yeah, it seems that we'll have to investigate that murder in order to find the killer. And as any good investigation, you'll be facing a twist in the story because, after all, it would be boring if you just had to jail the first suspect. I don't know if the plot is the same for the movie but at least, it's still a vigilance killer and as you know, doing self-justice isn't allowed. Even if sometimes, the system is allowing criminals to continue to live quietly, without fearing to be one day in the prison or, in the case of the United States (as the plot is set in NY), in the death row.
Righteous Kill is an hidden object game, meaning that it's following the established gameplay: finding the objects of a random list with time running out. It's not really new as you're only required to click on the object for making it disappear. The hint system is perhaps original but also classic. You have the right to ask for help, but as you do so, you will have to wait until the hint bar is full again. What is original in this game is that your hint system is called UV flashlight. At least, the developers were going far enough in the theme.
A good point in these levels is the good visibility of the objects you have to find. I mean, 80% of the list are objects displayed in a obvious way, the others are just a good challenge. It depends also of the background: for example, I'm more inclined to see the objects in a background I like (hospital, police desk or the crime scene are fine example). When I don't like, it's like I was blind, mainly when it's urban setting (backstreet, construction site, etc.). It's perhaps because of the Hidden Object Show, where the background are just industrial and I have some problems with that kind of setting. I don't why though.
What is also great in Righteous Kill are the minigame at the end of each "part" of the case. You have four different games: dust the object and find fingerprints, reconstitute the document, find differences between two cameras footages and block the signal with firewall. I'm explaining them.
Dust the object for finding fingerprints is just a reminder, for me, of CSI games, where you're also required to do these actions. It's great to have to find evidence somewhere else than in the hidden objects levels but for me, it's also a little repetitive, as I've played CSI. I don't know for the others though. But what is exciting here is the limit of powder allowed: you have a bar and I did find myself with an empty bar despite having dusted every object present. I didn't found the last fingerprint, indeed, some of them are really difficult to spot. However, it was fun to play.
A reconstitution of a document is classic, it's a puzzle game in reality. You have to reunite different parts of a document or a picture that was torn to pieces. It's also an easy minigame.
Spot the differences is also a classic minigame in hidden objects games. But here, it's two pictures about an already visited scene and it's not just something given like that, it's camera footages and so, you're really feeling that you're watching two footages. Indeed, the developers did make you feel that you were watching a monitor. The differences are easy to spot, as it's about missing objects and not about a difference of growth or anything else. That's something I'm appreciating because I still suffer from the hardness of Secrets of Great Art in that domain.
Finally, the good surprise is coming from the firewall game. You have to trap a signal by putting firewall on a grid, that signal is moving. When it reaches the edges of the grid, it will escape. So, you're given a new grid, with new "access denied" placed and it's up to you to try to trap it again. It was really fun to play and quite a challenge as every time I've played it, it did take me a few rounds to trap that dot. It's quite colorful: the "access denied" is something very brightful (blue or green) on a black grid with a red dot.
When you're finishing a part of your investigation (I think it's always after the firewall game), you will have to place pictures on a board for resuming where you are in it. It's finally useful to get an idea of your progress and also for setting the storyline clearly.
If I must resume the gameplay, it's fun, efficient, intuitive, perhaps classic but really enjoyable, mainly when it comes to the firewall game.
When I saw the opening cutscene, I thought it was extracted from the movie. Then suddenly, I'm finding myself in front of "cartoonish" characters, what I mean here, it's like I was watching comic characters. For those knowing Max Payne, if you remember the way the story was told and the drawings, well, in Righteous Kill, it's nearly the same.
When I played the first level, I was suddenly asking myself why that feeling of deja-vu was coming. In reality, the way the backgrounds were designed was reminding me of another hidden object game that I still need to review, Blood Ties. The graphics are just what I love in an hidden object game: not too realistic but with enough sense of realism for making it credible. Also, I loved the colors used: it's not too dark but it's not too bright. You don't have colors everywhere, like you can find in some games.
And as I've already pointed it, the contrast found in the firewall game made me fall in love with it.
The soundtrack is made for having suspense. The first I heard during a level was having drums, something that I didn't really find in other games, as it's more based on wind instruments or on piano. You did have also piano tunes but it's really sticking to an investigation. I don't know if they're tracks from the movie and it's not something important, but at least, we have a good soundtrack.
The cutscenes are voiced. That's great because generally, in that kind of game, you have only a sort of comics for relating it. But here, as it's not a comic despite having a style nearing it and despite subtitles (something good for people who have problem to identify the sounds), it would have been a wrong choice not to voice the game. And well, it was a good job done. I was nearly watching a TV series.
Oh, you know, it's not that loading is long, no, it's fast but I needed to point that it was original to make the loading screen full of bullet holes. In reality, as your % is progressing, you hear gunshots and you see the bullets impacting with the background. Interesting, no?
It took me nearly three or four hours to finish that game, in a straight play. It was really hooking me up to the story and well, the lifetime is really high for me. Why? Because for once, I want to play that game again, mainly for the firewall game and for seeing again the East River, the Hospital, etc. background. My only regret is that you solve only one case. The game would have been perfect with more cases. It did a good job to be different from the movie, so, why not go further and propose more cases? Perhaps a sequel? I don't know but if the developers are doing a sequel to the game, I'll be there when it will be free somewhere.
Righteous Kill was really a game I wanted to play... because of the minipic I've submitted here (I'm 99% sure that I was the one to submit the profile). I wasn't disappointed. The game is perhaps classic in terms of gameplay and yet, some minigames are refreshing the genre. The graphics are sober and yet, I'm nearly in love with the choice. The soundtrack is great and yet, I was more impressed by the voice acting than by the music. If I'm recommending it? It's a huge YES. It's a great game for everyone: novice or fan. That's why " I'd sell your soul to get me one of these", added by an half. So, in normal words, it's 4.5/5 or in my favorite scale, 9/10.
I'm still not appealed by watching the movie but as I've said, I would be impatient if there was a sequel to that game.