The Brad­well Con­spir­acy

Tech­nol­ogy won’t save us – or can it?

Games Master - - Preview Future Hits Played Now! - Alan Wen

Whether you’re start­ing work at a po­lice sta­tion in the midst of a zom­bie out­break or a science lab con­duct­ing fishy ex­per­i­ments, first days on the job never pan out very well in videogames. Usu­ally, dis­as­ter strikes so early that we end up miss­ing out on an es­sen­tial pro­ce­dure at any work­place: the cor­po­rate in­duc­tion. In first-per­son ad­ven­ture The Brad­well Con­spir­acy, our silent pro­tag­o­nist doesn’t even work at the tit­u­lar tech com­pany but as­sumes the iden­tity of a new em­ployee af­ter an ex­plo­sion oc­curs in its of­fices, leav­ing us trapped af­ter every­one else has al­ready been evac­u­ated. Help is at hand in the shape of an AI guide and a fel­low sur­vivor, Am­ber, who’s in an­other part of the build­ing. Equipped with a pair of nifty Aug­mented Re­al­ity glasses, we can com­mu­ni­cate with her by in­stantly tak­ing and send­ing pho­tos of what we can see, which she re­sponds to with ad­vice or sar­casm, de­pend­ing on the rel­e­vance of the pic­tures.

Woss it all about?

Pre­tend­ing to be a new em­ployee in­ci­den­tally means un­der­go­ing a very cheesy cor­po­rate in­duc­tion, voiced by Jonathan Ross. It’s a high­light of this ex­tended demo where we’re also in­tro­duced to the SMP, the in­stant 3D-print­ing gun used in the game’s puz­zles. At present, these feel very fixed ac­cord­ing to the mostly lin­ear nar­ra­tive, so don’t go ex­pect­ing a new Por­tal. But from the open­ing two chap­ters, we’re in­trigued by this very Bri­tish mys­tery (you can’t get more Bri­tish or mys­te­ri­ous than Stone­henge, where the of­fices are) set in the near fu­ture where mak­ing ob­jects ma­te­ri­alise right in front of you like in Minecraft is strangely plau­si­ble.

While the dev wants to cre­ate a sense of peril, death and respawns won’t be part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Be­fore you can ab­sorb and repli­cate ob­jects us­ing your 3D printer-gun, you need to col­lect a spe­cial sub­stance, known as Brad­wellium, for it.

There’s a bit of Fire­watch’s Delilah in Am­ber, as her in­ter­ac­tions with you are de­pen­dent on how com­mu­nica­tive you are, or aren’t.

You’ll find your­self get­ting sucked in by the game’s in­trigu­ing lore.

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