Get Even is a psychological thriller with first-person shooter elements that has players uncover the clues behind a murder and a kidnapping. Get Even often feels like two different games – an atmospheric thriller that forces players to stay on their toes while exploring decrepit asylums, and a bland shooter that encourages stealth but does not provide the means to effectively avoid enemies.
Game Name: Get Even
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Also on Xbox One and PC)
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer(s): Farm 51
Release Date: June 23, 2017
You play as Mr. Black – an ex-military man who is forced to retrace his steps in Pandora – a memory reconstructing technology. The experiment is orchestrated by a man who calls himself ‘Red’, who wants to understand Mr. Black’s involvement in the crimes as much as players do. Players will collect clues and explore everything from warehouses littered with armed guards to insane asylums with violent patients.
Get Even‘s story is one of its stronger assets. Understanding the relationship between the two main characters and learning more about Red’s motivations by exploring the past can be entertaining. However, sometimes it feels as though the plot is deliberately convoluted. Of course, the goal is to uncover a larger mystery by picking up the smaller pieces in Pandora. Mr. Black may visit a designated space that keeps all the relevant clues on different boards. Get Even gives its players all the tools to put the pieces together, but the problem is that there are just too many pieces.
The story is good when it stays on track, but it quickly becomes convoluted when it throws murder, extramarital affairs, and kidnapping at players all at once. I found myself looking forward to the end when everything would be explained, rather than retrace my steps to understand how the clues related to one another.
Get Even is at its most entertaining when guns aren’t involved. Red, who communicates with Mr. Black while he is in Pandora, continues to remind the player that avoiding combat will lead to a better outcome. However, there is no way to knock out guards without killing them, and playing with stealth is tedious. At first, I tried to keep the body count to a minimum, but I gave up quickly and accepted that I would get the ‘worst’ ending just by taking out all the enemies.
In addition to guns, Mr. Black uses a smartphone equipped with a flashlight and blacklight, map, a scanner for clues, and a record of the previously collected clues. There are puzzles throughout the game which call for players to use the smartphone and their surroundings to solve. I enjoyed the puzzles and gladly would have completed more of them if it meant less gunplay. The sections using the smartphone over guns were far more enjoyable. These were usually the sections exploring the asylum. I almost wish the game would have embraced the creepy asylum setting. While this is only a small part of Get Even‘s larger story, these sections were the tensest and atmospheric. Unfortunately, Get Even is more action than it is horror.
Get Even isn’t the most visually impressive game around, but it makes some interesting design choices in Pandora and even manages to be creepy at times. My biggest issue is that the game can be dark – as in it is literally hard to see. While exploring buildings, I frequently had to equip the phone’s flashlight to find all the clues and make it to the next room. This was mildly annoying when I had to switch to another app, as the phone does not allow players to use the flashlight and another app at the same time.
The game’s score stands out at certain points in the story, but once again, it’s a mixed bag. The music could make moments feel all the more poignant and dramatic, but at other times the song choice is downright bizarre. There is one section in a cemetery where Mr. Black must take out a group of armed men, all the while an upbeat pop song plays (if you have already played this game, you’ll know exactly the one I’m talking about).
*Get Even was provided to us by Bandai Namco Entertainment for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
Get Even is not a bad game. In fact, there are moments where its storytelling and atmosphere really shine. However, it is held back by its gunplay, stealth, and at times an overly complicated plot. I felt relieved when all the pieces came together and the ultimate mystery revealed itself, but that doesn’t excuse the confusion I had during much of the game. Perhaps the complex story could be forgiven if the game was a little more fun. It’s unfortunate because there are elements of a good game in Get Even, but ultimately it tries to do too many things and only succeeds at a few of them.
- Interesting characters
- Asylum segments of the story are tense
- Plot is unnecessarily complicated
- Gunplay and stealth felt like a chore