If Antihero was too comical for you, then the GOG release of Warmlamp Games’ totalitarian strategy/adventure mix Beholder should surprise you.
Being a State-installed manager of an apartment building, one doesn’t only follow the daily routine of making it comfortable for tenants to live in, because the main goal is to spy on them. Watching them and eavesdropping on conversations is one thing, but bugging their apartments, rummaging through their personal stuff in order to find something than can threaten the authority of the State is all a preparation for finally profiling tenants and reporting them if necessary, which obviously results in brutal beatings or other more violent punishments. While this all sounds like immoral business, one has to take into account what would happen to one’s own family. Much like Papers, Please, it’s not all black and white in this satirical strategy adventure game.
Every decision affects the way the story plays out. So blackmailing people to receive money for oneself has consequences as much as how one interacts with each of the tenants outside the spying business. Deciding who deserves what treatment or who doesn’t is morally ambiguous, but intriguing nonetheless, so unlike many stealth or strategy games, this is one with a message and an open-ended gameplay that warrants multiple playthroughs. It’s certainly depressing material and the black and white faceless character designs with bleak backgrounds do their part in addition to foreboding music.
The game was already released last year with a DLC follow-up in 2017 on other digital platforms, but it’s now DRM-free on GOG with a 57% launch discount for the base game and 32% off for the DLC which last until July 18, 4 PM UTC.
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