In the shad­ows of mur­der

Mur­der most foul takes cen­trestage in this en­ter­tain­ing who­dunit thriller.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By DAVID MO­TEL

CAV­A­LIER Game Stu­dios and Tequila Works have joined to­gether to bring us The Sexy Bru­tale, a de­light­ful mur­der mys­tery that fea­tures stylish cartoon vi­o­lence.

You’ll re­live the same day where the guests at the casino man­sion (The Sexy Bru­tale) are mur­dered by the staff in a Ground­hog Day sort of fash­ion.

The story is told in vi­gnettes, all of which are very en­ter­tain­ing. In the game, you have a story that lasts around seven hours and takes you through the day’s events over and over again.

Stealthy sleuthing

You’d think it would get tire­some, but with the sharp room de­signs and the in­trigu­ing char­ac­ters that fill the ho­tel, you can’t help but want to spend more time ex­plor­ing ev­ery­thing.

Fur­ther­more, each lo­ca­tion in the casino leaves you with a unique set of clues to un­cover. Solv­ing each mur­der will come down to the same thing; you in­ves­ti­gate the area in which the mur­der took place. Then, you sneak around learn­ing what every­one was do­ing in the area that day.

While ex­plor­ing the area, you’ll need to come up with a plan us­ing the en­vi­ron­ment around you in or­der to catch the mur­derer in ac­tion, sab­o­tag­ing their ne­far­i­ous scheme. This is where the time rewind me­chanic comes into play.

Hide and seek

As pro­tag­o­nist Boone you must hide, watch, and learn the riv­et­ing sto­ries of the other masked guests in or­der to save them from the ma­ni­a­cal staff.

Each mur­der is dif­fer­ent, so there’ll be a nice as­sort­ment of va­ri­ety when try­ing to work through pre­vent­ing each one. For ex­am­ple, one of the guests is mur­dered with a ri­fle, lead­ing you to spot the staff mem­ber load­ing the gun. All you have to do is re­move the live am­mu­ni­tion and re­place it with a blank in or­der to turn the tide.

In do­ing so, the staff mem­ber comes back for a sec­ond go when you rewind time and be­lieves the gun is loaded. No mat­ter how hard he tries, he can­not com­mit the mur­der as you’ve suc­cess­fully thwarted his scheme.

In com­par­i­son, other as­sas­si­na­tions are a bit more com­plex in The Sexy Bru­tale.

Pretty as a pic­ture

At this point you may be think­ing to your­self, why can’t Boone come back and just stop the mur­der from tak­ing place by warn­ing the guest?

Well, for mys­te­ri­ous rea­sons, Boone isn’t al­lowed to be at The Sexy Bru­tale. If Boone were to oc­cupy the same room as an­other char­ac­ter, the masks worn by guests lock onto Boone’s shad­owed pres­ence and deal di­rect dam­age. While this is hap­pen­ing, you can’t in­ter­act with any char­ac­ter.

This en­sures that you keep to the rules of the game and only in­ter­fere with other char­ac­ters by spy­ing and sab­o­tag­ing. Ev­ery life that Boone saves gives him a new power such as su­per hear­ing, lock pick­ing skills, and so on. These pow­ers help open other ar­eas in the world.

Many of the puz­zles in the game re­quire col­lect­ing and us­ing items. Although, each time you re­set you’ll lose the item you once had.

For­tu­nately, what­ever you learn dur­ing your day you do get to keep with you, like se­cret pas­sage lo­ca­tions and passwords.

The game is over­flow­ing with style, and ev­ery room looks like a dio­rama in­fused with a gothic at­mos­phere and jazzy mu­si­cal track. The writ­ing and the dev­il­ishly de­tailed sto­ries sur­round­ing the deaths of each char­ac­ter made me feel ex­tremely en­gaged.

End game

I was only dis­ap­pointed that there weren’t enough mur­ders to pre­vent and cul­prits to ap­pre­hend. If you’re a puz­zle lover, this game is def­i­nitely for you.

Although, if you don’t like the idea of a lit­tle rep­e­ti­tion and spend­ing time fol­low­ing char­ac­ters around in the shad­ows of the Sexy Bru­tale ho­tel and casino, you may want to sit this one out.

Nev­er­the­less, the tightly wo­ven nar­ra­tive and the fact that all these sto­ries play out at the same time boggle my mind at just how pol­ished this game is.

Cav­a­lier Game Stu­dios along­side Tequila Works have made a game that is truly one to gush over. This game may be a night­mare loop for the guests, but is def­i­nitely a dream come true for puz­zle lovers like my­self. – Shack­ Tri­bune News Ser­vices THE SEXY BRU­TALE

(Cav­a­lier Game Stu­dios/Tequila Works) Mur­der mys­tery ad­ven­ture game for Steam


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