Betrayer – A First Person Action Adventure with Ghosts, Skeletons and quite possibly, the Undead
Betrayer has been out for awhile, but it’s on sale at Steam for $3.99 and from the trailer it quickly got my interest. Just what sort of game is this? It’s the 17th century, no one is around, you’ve been abandoned and something terrible has happened. As I started playing, I found this to be one of the most unusual games in my collection. I’m not normally a survival game fan, but I kinda like this.
To start with you’re at the edge of the water with several containers around and a ship leaving in the distance. I sat there for a couple of minutes waiting for a tutorial that never started. Oh I see, I have to figure this out myself. All right, challenge accepted. With few options available, I smashed the available crates and grabbed some coins and other items. Since the water was behind me, there was no where else to go but up the hillside.
Without knowing what to do I started to follow the paths and began to discover chests and small totems. It was then that I got the brief tutorial of not to die, shoot things in the head and be careful. Well ok then. Any other pearls of wisdom you would like to pass along? No? Silence? Fine.
I then stumbled onto a fort and was attacked by my first possessed enemy which I managed to shoot in the face. This longbow is junk, but I suppose an arrow to the eye is still pretty deadly.
So the premise of the game is somewhat allusive, yet simple. You have landed on the shores of a new colony, but that colony has disappeared. There are strange creatures lurking in the woods and scraps of messages detailing some of the problems and requests for help. The goal is to put all this together and figure out what happened. There are no real instructions on how to do that or what needs to be done, so there is plenty of opportunities for discovery and exploration.
One aspect of the game that is uniquely strange is it’s in black and white. Yep, the game is basically greyscale with tinges of red to note important items. Well that’s creepy as hell. It can be changed to bring the color back if you really want it.
Another aspect is the lack of sound and dialog. As you wander around all you really hear is the sound of the wind and call of the crow. Everything is silent. Silent and dead. It’s quite eerie actually.
To call this a First Person Shooter is accurate, yet incorrect. Yes, you play in the first person and yes you sneak around under the cover of rocks and scrub so you can make a headshot to take out an enemy, but you have at your disposal a bow and arrow, a musket or a flint lock pistol. You aren’t going to go running at the enemy with guns blazing! Reloading the musket takes several seconds and you will have to be damn close to make an arrow shot count. Many of the complaints I’ve read deal with how slow the game is. It’s 1604, what the heck did you expect? You have to formulate plans and really think about how you plan to attack something before you just jump out there. It’s actually one of the reasons I like this game.
The graphics and gameplay remind me of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger where you sneak along the path and crouch behind rocks. You have to be quiet and subtle. You need to take aim and not just hold down the trigger like a madman and spray thousands of bullets around the place.
I’ve only made it to the first Fort and found a few of the cemetery headstones. I have managed to put a few clues together, but so far, I really like this game. I like the atmosphere and the slow pace of it. You have to look around and take notice. You have to take it slow and plot how to get rid of your enemy. You need to realize you’re going to be killed multiple times and come to terms with it.
I’ve read ahead a bit and already know that some of the things I need for my current location are actually further down the road and I will need to come back. I’m okay with that and think it’s part of the fun. I do find some of the comment a little funny. People seem frustrated with no tutorial and having to backtrack, because nothing in real life is like that is it?
I’m sure Betrayer will take me 10 times longer to finish than the average person since I suck a first person shooters and I have a tendency to die a lot. I’ve already been sent back to the first fort multiple times so I’m right on track for my death toll.
I also have a tendency to miss that vital clue that let’s you progress to the next level wherein I have to look it up, go back to the beginning and then progress as expected.
However, I like Betrayer. The graphics are cool, the sound and noises are atmospheric, the controls are simple and the story has me intrigued. For the traditional FPS player this game will be too slow. For those that like to solve puzzles, wander around, look for clues or find hidden objects, this should be a lot of fun. I spent 2 hours playing this the first night and it felt like 10 minutes. Time really does move quickly when you’re on the edge of your seat.
Since the game is on sale, you can’t complain about the $4 price tag. It’s well worth that and should give you plenty of entertainment for the investment.