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Controlling the actions of a bitter veteran detective investigating a brutal gangland murder and a reformed criminal trying to protect his family, the player is forced to make tough choices and deal with the resulting consequences of those moral dilemmas. The gameplay focuses on branching narrative mixed with interactive comics, and is completed by a professional audio track.
From the Ashes is the second episode of The Detail, a critically acclaimed neo-noir crime adventure from Rival Games. It continues the story of detective Reggie Moore, informant Joe Miller and officer Katelyn Hayes as they seek to find out what is truly happening to their city.
The Detail is a police adventure game with elements of noir narration, and visual style, this contains episode 1 and 2, the the third and final episode is also available. The story is told through comic book style panels with word bubbles to characters and possible choices you can make displayed on the screen or by putting you in a static crime scene environment with different things or people to click on. The setting stays true to life without any kind of supernatural elements that is commonly found in detective video games, though this can start to be a problem as things can be formulaic, complete with the usual predictable lines that you've been seeing for 30 years on cop shows and movies, complete with the angry police interrogation where you are told to cool down and that this isn't the way things are done and an internal affairs investigator disagreeing with your methods. Even the characters you control are pretty cliche, characters include a rookie cop, burnt out older detective, and former informant. As is almost always the case in these types of games you are offered choices but most have very little meaning as they will amount to little more than callback lines later on, having no real effect on what happens. The art style of the game changes depending on what kind of scene you are looking at (it could be in the comic style, walking around an environment, and the art on the character portraits) and can make characters look different. The first episode ends in way where you think things will get more interesting for two of the characters but nothing really comes of it, and your choices still don't seem to matter long term. The second episode ends up mostly being more cliche cop moments and the plot seems to be heading for a very cliche conclusion where your somewhat corrupt officer brings down the more corrupt politican or police higher ups. Episode 1 and 2 are each under an hour and a half so unless you pick them up on sale or the third episode is a significant improvement the game just isn't worth it.
These two episodes of The Detail are definitely an interesting bunch. Gameplay is great, maybe a bit sharp for me. It doesn't always play and feel smooth, but that's not really the main focus in this game. The graphics are nice, visuals quite unique, and the cell-shaded graphics are excellent, have a good Borderlands/cartoony feel which i always like. The sounds are really cool in this game as well. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an awesome crime-fighting game with a good narrative. And it's absolutely worth it for the price if it's on a sale, like right now!
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