So…yeah. I’m not opposed to surrealism. And I don’t have any problems with clowns, per se, beyond the usual creepy, “Ew, get away from me.” But, it turns out I may have a bit of a thing when you put the two together.
At least, that’s what my time playing Reality Show: Fatal Shot seems to have led me to believe. But, seriously, how many clowns does one game need?
The opening scene of Reality Show: Fatal Shot is a man with a noose around his neck jumping off a bridge and then a close up of the rope snapping taught. It was a pretty startling way to start a game, even a detective who-dun-it, and I was never really able to settle down from that.
Then, suddenly, I had this lady in my office with a really strangely animated face. I think the animators were going for realistic and took it a touch too far; something about the way her cheeks, lips, and jaw move was just disturbing. And that’s true of all the animated characters, of which exactly zero weren’t creepy. Here’s the nice hobo rabbit man, who you, as a detective, are constantly getting advice and help from. Because, why not? He just screams “trustworthy,” right?
And why is a detective even relying on a coffee addicted hobo-rabbit, anyway? This is one of many, many questions that were buzzing through my head as I kept playing. And play I did, because this is a fast paced game that keeps you moving, which I loved.
I also loved the absence of hidden object areas, which, in my opinion, just slow things down. There were a good amount of puzzles (some of which were pretty unique, which made me happy), and they were relatively easy to figure out in Casual Mode.
The majority of gameplay is collecting items, using them in some truly bizarre ways, and talking to aforementioned creepy characters. All of this, while chasing a strange clown man who may or may not be trying to murder the dead contestant’s melty-looking wife. I think I spent the entire game with a “WTF” face on. Wouldn’t you?
I did admire the ambiance of the game, though. The scenery was really interesting and well done, the music was suitably creepy, and the many, many marionettes and mannequins were strangely entertaining.
Speaking of the dolls, I was a little perplexed about what they were doing in a studio with a reality show as its headliner. I mean, I don’t flip over to TLC expecting to see a modern retelling of The Lonely Goatherd; I flip over looking for a train wreck of a reality show, because that’s what they do (not that I ever watch that stuff…). So why dozens of creepy dolls, TV station? Why?
I kind of don’t have anything else to talk about, mostly because I spent the entire game in a state of bafflement and feeling like I wasn't nearly drunk enough for this.
It was so strange…not necessarily bad, just strange.
I loved the pace of Reality Show: Fatal Shot, I really enjoyed the world and all the puzzles, and I even thought the premise of a reality show gone wrong was super interesting. But there were too many creepy clowns popping up and running around, and the animated scenes gave me the willies; really, the level of strange just kind of overwhelmed everything else.
Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; I certainly don’t regret playing. But here’s my advice: go in prepared to be a little bit shocked and a lot puzzled. That in mind, you’ll probably have a fine time. I did.