I'll say this in the intro – I really liked Unavowed. I didn't think I was going to, but here we are. It does so much right for what it has. So how does a point and click game with largely 90's style 2D graphics pull it off? Well...
You are a person (man or woman – you choose! Cop, bartender or actor background – you choose!) who, for the last year, has been murdering people after a demonic possession. Unfortunately you learn this through the easiest plot device ever – amnesia. You have all of New York after you, so, by no will of your own because the story doesn't let you, you join the Unavowed – a group dedicated to protect New York from evil threats. Also, you need to piece together what you did by point and click investigation. The story is pretty unique, and even with the amnesia plot device, it's a good story that hooks you. If you want a story driven game, this is for you!
Being a point and click game, you can pretty much guess how the controls are. Unless your hand-eye coordination is at nil, the controls are decent.
The gameplay in Unavowed doesn't favor action, but favors more of a mystery-based storyline in a more supernatural, but real, setting. Think of an Agatha Christie mystery in the Gargoyles universe. Working with team members, you hustle around the city and solve puzzles o get on with the story. Some are intuitive, but there were some that felt like the mystery-solving detective work of LA Noire. Talking and figuring out. It works out quite well – just expect a few Ghostbusters-like scenes to happen in the middle of hard questioning.
Graphics were pretty good, all things considered. They're a mix of old school bit graphics along with still pictures for extensive talking parts. And it works. The detailed versions work for conversations and the bit graphics work for everything else – it really sells the New York of a another universe vibe. Plus, there's enough non-bit graphics to sell on realism. It's a perfect balance of graphic types.
Music and Sound worked too. First off, the voice acting is excellence. Characters mouths don't move during talking parts, but they don't need to. The acting carries on it's own – often subtle, often downplayed and enough to still pack a punch in terms of dialogue. Music works. It's not over top, and usually soft with music changing depending on location – for example it's soft jazz/lounge music at a bar. It's enough for ambiance, but not enough to be overpowering.
There wasn't much in terms of glitches. It worked out just fine with the point and click of it all. Sometimes I'd need to click twice on something for it to 'get it', but that's the extent of it. The frame rate was good (also it's bit graphics, so it's not exactly that they'd be immediately noticeable). It worked for me perfectly, even with a major download I had to do at the same time. When a Steam game doesn't lag when that happens, THAT is a smooth game.
Unavowed is a good game. What can I say. I was looking for things to nitpick, and besides a cliched story beginning, it was good. It pulls from different sources, but combines them and makes it it's own. It uses simple game styles, but uses the writing and intrigue to carry it. It's a few steps removed from a create your own adventure, but as is, it's pretty great.
Final Score: 9.5 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.