Unavowed 2018: Join The Ranks of the Unavowed, and Fight Against the Oncoming Darkness.
August 8th, 2018
Wadjet Eye Games
Choose a male or female protagonist
Three playable origin stories
A total of four companion characters to choose from, each with their own talents and abilities.
Twice the resolution of a typical Wadjet Eye Game!
All the usual guff – voice acting, commentary, original music, etc
From his early days as a simple guy producing games on the Adventure Game Studios forum, Dave Gilbert has come a long way. It has been more than ten years since he began producing what became The Blackwell Legacy. Dave is now the head of WadjetEye Games, perhaps the top independent developer and publisher of point-and-click adventures that can compete with Lucas Arts and Sierra. In August 2018, Dave launched Unavowed, his biggest, best, and most commercially successful endeavor to date.
In addition to taking place in New York City, Unavowed is set in the same world as Blackwell and The Shivah. A certain detective and another person Rosa and Joey met on their excursions both appear in the game as recognizable faces. Because there are a lot more strange occurrences in the universe than just ghosts that are unwilling to pass on, Unavowed discloses that there was a lot more going on behind the scenes than Rosa and Joey ever knew about.
Demons, fae, dragons, and elementals are all very real entities that have an impact on reality. The Unavowed was established by supernatural entities and people with supernatural abilities centuries ago, with branches all over the world, in order to protect the planet from any interdimensional and otherworldly threats and to ensure that their presence is kept a secret from the general public. Things remained quiet for a long time until one day.
You take on the role of an unnamed MC who has three possible career backgrounds: bartender, actor, or police officer. These backgrounds allow you a variety of dialogue options throughout the game, as well as unique introductory chapters. For example, the bartender is adept at lending a sympathetic ear to those in need. Characters that would eventually appear later in the game are also encountered in each origin. The MC is possessed by a demon, and for a full year, the demon wreaked all manner of supernatural devastation around NYC, regardless of the background you select.
The MC is saved by two members of the NYC Unavowed branch who exorcise the demon effectively and permit the MC to join the organization because they had become complacent in the decades of peace and are woefully understaffed for the destruction the demon unleashed in its wake. When the MC joins, there are only three members of the Unavowed: Eli, who appears to be the last of a long-extinct order of sorcerers known as Fire Mages, Mandana, Kalash’s half-djinn, half-human daughter, and Kalash, who is the branch’s commander.
Logan, a spirit medium like Rosa, and his spirit guide, the ghost kid Kay Kay, are recruited by the Unavowed as they continue to seek more members for their cause. Vicki, an NYC officer who gets mixed up in all of these paranormal antics, is also brought on board.
The game is a classic point-and-click adventure, but it has some subtle differences thanks to Quest for Glory and Bioware RPGs’ influences. One significant aspect of this is the background system, and another is the capability to assemble a “party” of two additional Unavowed agents. Each member of the Unavowed has a special skill that helps you solve a puzzle in the game, such as Vicki’s gun and influence with the police, Logan and Kay Kay’s ability to communicate with ghosts, Eli’s ability to use fire magic to read burned documents, and Mandana’s ability to use her sword skills.
The game is divided into missions where you and the two companions visit a site in New York City to try to determine what the demon caused there and attempt to fix it. You return to the Unavowed HQ after finishing each area, where you can speak with your teammates and get to know them better before embarking on the subway once more for the following mission. All of the puzzles are fairly excellent and reasonable; they are not difficult, but we believe that is for the best because it gives the game a good flow and prevents it from throwing something absurd at you.
The game also places a strong emphasis on player choice, requiring you to choose how to approach each mission’s challenge. The characters, the tone, and how the last level is resolved are all impacted by your decisions, but not the overall plot or the ending (which depends on the decisions you make at the very end).
The MC will provide their thoughts in a textbox when you mouse over anything in the game environment to study it, which is another extremely good gaming aspect. In order to interact with something, you only really need to click on it once, which is a pretty good way to streamline point-and-click mechanics.
In the beginning, Dave proposed to DC that he create a Sandman/Hellblazer adventure game for them. All we have left of that is a picture of Death, Dream, and John Constantine together because DC passed on it so quickly. Knowing this proves how much Sandman and Hellblazer influenced Unavowed because the end work remarkably captures a vibe shared by both of them. Even one of the missions seems to be a loose adaptation of one of the Sandman short stories.
With so many mystical components, Unavowed expertly manages to create a universe that, despite the fact that you don’t see much of it, gives you a thorough knowledge of how everything works without being overburdened with explanations. With the exception of the connections to the main cast and the overarching plot, each mission is essentially its own self-contained story thanks to the way the game is set up, which prevents the game from dragging.
All of the characters are excellent, but we think Mandana and Eli stand out as being the most developed and compelling. The supporting cast is also strong, and the game does a great job of handling its riddles while keeping you interested in trying to solve them and discovering new information about the environment and your partners. The best writing in Gilbert’s games to date can be found in Unavowed.
The mood of the game is fantastic as well. Anyone who has played Gilbert’s games knows how much he loves his city of New York City, and Unavowed maintains this theme by bringing to life the locales you explore in and around NYC. The game is brought to life by WadjetEye regulars composer Thomas Regin and chief artist Ben Chandler, both of whom are at the top of their respective games. The surroundings frequently have a suitably gloomy and decrepit appearance, adding to the game’s excellent sense of mystery. Like the Blackwell games he did have, Regin’s music contains excellent ambient pieces that really capture the dark tone of the game.