A genre that receives little love these days, full-motion video games were the bread-and-butter experience that sold many households on the future of CD-ROM video gaming. From Sega CD’s controversial Night Trap to the PC’s Phantasmagoria, FMV games on the PC in the 1990s also explored a lot of subject matter that games really never touched up until that point. The downloadable game THE QUIET MAN from Square Enix is born out of this long tradition but also shows signs of its publisher’s lineage as the home of the world’s finest Japanese role playing games.
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To download THE QUIET MAN you should click on the Download button located below the review. You can download the game from Steam.
THE QUIET MAN Review
Designed with a level of graphical fidelity that will make you question whether or not this is rendered or real, THE QUIET MAN is a tale that is at turns oddly strangely and then strangely odd. Like many Square Enix games, there’s a huge, convoluted narrative here but, unlike other titles, there is little in the way of action.
The protagonist, a deaf man, is thrust into a world wherein he is part of a conspiracy after witnessing a female singer get kidnapped by a masked man. Taking place over the course of one night, THE QUIET MAN has a muddled approach to storytelling that probably sounded edgy on paper but comes off very poorly in execution.
As Dane the protagonist, the player shares in his inability to hear what is going on and instead must interpret a lot of the dialogue for themselves. Without even so much as a subtitle to go on, the gamer is really left pretty clueless as to what is transpiring in what appears to be an involved narrative. This inadvertently results in comical moments such as showing a dead bird off to strangers in a scene terribly reminiscent of the first Dumb and Dumber movie starring Jim Carrey.
This, coupled with the knowledge that THE QUIET MAN takes itself very seriously, does little to bolster the story. Dreamt up in some artistic fury, a lot of the story is nonsense and the action becomes frustrating and weird as a result. Taking on the quality of a dream sequence, many of the action scenes in the game rely upon gimmick and are ultimately unsatisfying.
While it is an undoubtedly beautiful game, one cannot help but feel like a lot of the title is one gigantic missed opportunity. With such lovingly crafted characters and set pieces, it is frustrating that Square Enix thought an experimental approach to storytelling that cut out most of the game’s sound would be an interesting way to go.
That said, THE QUIET MAN is a thoroughly unique title and one that gamers should give a try if they are craving something out of the norm. But it isn’t for everyone and a lot of the game’s systems will inevitably fall flat.
- Absolutely gorgeous graphics and set pieces - looks like a real movie
- Great job with camera work and attention to detail in the in-game world
- Innovative and a definite breath of fresh air in a dead genre
- Muddled gameplay experience
- Confused approach to narrative
- Low replay value