Point and click adventure games are no longer as popular as they were back in the mid nineties, but the remaining fans of the genre will definitely not be fooled with more casual concepts or silly storylines. No, we want quality, we want solid plots, mind-bending puzzles and smart, witty characters combined with an overall original and innovative game concept.
Overclocked: A History of Violence, developed by House of Tales (The Moment of Silence, The Mistery of the Druids) is one of those adventure games that promise to keep us entertained during the whole gaming experience while squeezing, at the same time, a few drops of originality out of it. Undoubtedly the most eye catching feature Overclocked comes with is the option to play no less than six characters throughout the game – and this feature only is enough to get your attention. But… does it have what it takes to keep you hooked?
The short answer would be yes, since Overclocked: A History of Violence brings us a wonderful story, a journey of self-discovery, a true, real quest you can feel, understand and, possibly, even relate to. The game tells the story of psychiatrist Dave McNamara, a trauma specialist called to assist some very strange and odd behavior problems a group of teens has. But the guy himself is not the luckiest nor mentally healthiest person in the world, so another secondary, side-story will be told. And both of them are great, deep, profound and ready to leave you with a few open questions in mind.
However, a huge disadvantage of the game is the way this wonderful story progresses or, to be more specific – your desperate attempts to find the right trigger which allows the story to be told. The most frustrating and boring part of them all will definitely be the one in which you will try to find the right recording to correctly hypnotize your patients (and which patient to hypnotize). Even worse is the fact that there are some limited situations when, after spending lots of time finding the right recording, you’ll only be presented with a cutscene and you’ll have to start your “find the right recording” quest again. But if you have the power to get over that, you’ll be up for a great reward, at least story-wise.
The story is told in a reverse chronological order, which makes a nice addition to the point and click adventure world and it further means that in Overcloked it’s not the ending which matters most, but how it all started. Even more, since six characters are involved and therefore six points of views, you will often get surprised to find out that what you first thought to be correct after “analyzing” one patient, is actually completely wrong. The only problem here is the fact that none of the characters you are allowed to play brings anything gameplay-wise, and that’s a sort of a drawback. But we’ll get over it, right?
Unfortunately, there are some bigger problems with Overcloked: A History of Violence. First of all – it’s linearity. In order to advance, you will have to perform your actions in a specific sequence and there are a few triggers which, of course, will only get… triggered if you’re in the right place. For example, the phone calls to detective Moretti – the only place where you can do it is right in front of the hospital and nowhere else. And that, for a game released in 2008, is a big minus.