THE QUIET MAN
FORMAT PS4 / ETA TBC / PUB SQUARE ENIX DEV SQUARE ENIX, HUMAN HEAD STUDIOS Its FMV is OTT
“THERE’S A CHARM TO THE QUIET MAN – THE FIDELITY OF THE MODELS IS UNIQUE EVEN IF THE ANIMATION IS SKITTISH.”
Gaming’s quiet man is here to stay, and he’s turning up the volume, or at least he’s punching some faces, saving the girl, and catching a serial killer. We love the dev’s ambition in attempting to merge FMV and digital doubles as this game jumps from narrative cutscenes into classic brawling.
The Quiet Man is centred on deaf model Dane as he seeks revenge on the gangster who terrorised him as a tween, which leads him to team up with mobster Taye. There’s also a serial killer on the loose, a sultry club singer to smooch, and a rundown detective out for one final score. It’s pulpy and a little odd but there’s something uncanny here.
In-game you juggle between light and heavy punches on r and e, kicks on w, and counters on q. The photoreal characters move in a wooden way, which jars with the aimed-for realism, but there’s a charm to The Quiet Man – the fidelity of the character models is unique, even if animation transitions feel skittish.
There’s no HUD either, which doubles down on the sense you’re playing a movie. Health is visual and even the Focus gauge is shown subtly – a red lense flare rises from the right bottom corner to the top; when it turns blue you can deliver devastating finishers. As our floppy-haired hero rages, FMV of his childhood trauma bleeds into the screen.
New York is as well modelled as the characters, and between fights you can explore these locations for clues. If the many parts can be drawn together, flaws ironed out, The Quiet Man could make a noise.
A warning to everyone: pay for your petrol or you’ll be forced to drink it.
Above The ‘real’ cast includes Lieutenant Ash on the hunt for a killer, and friends gangster Taye, Club Moonrise singer Lala, and protagonist Dane.
Above Set in New York City, some streets are CG, others shown in FMV.
Above This hooded crow-man is a serial killer obssessed with Lala.