Chickens know issues. It’s apparent. They have that look of their eye, the marginally disdainful squint of somebody who is aware of what you probably did and why you probably did it. They’d be excellent detectives, if not for the small impediment of their incapacity to speak in any significant method. Thankfully, builders The Wild Gentlemen noticed the potential of a poultry P.I. and have introduced us the tremendously-named Chicken Police – Paint it RED!, a visible novel with journey recreation parts that places the noble gallus gallus on the very prime of the pecking order.
Taking place in a noir-infused world of human-sized animals (not solely not like the hit “depressed horse” Netflix sequence Bojack Horseman), it is a brilliantly-written and joyously wealthy piece of narrative gaming, trafficking in hard-edged detective noir tropes however with a marvellous sense of humour, robust characters and a grand sense of place. It’s a really spectacular feat to understand a world like Clawville with solely mostly-static and largely monochromatic imagery, voices and music, however the filth, grime and scuzz has such verisimilitude that you’re going to need to put your Switch by the dishwasher after a Chicken Police session. (Important: Nintendo Life doesn’t advocate placing your Switch by the dishwasher)
Taking nominal management of Santino “Sonny” Featherland, it might be spoiler territory to explain the form of case you will be fixing, however relaxation assured you will be encountering cussed dames, a shaky relationship with a former accomplice, an obstructive chief of police and quite a few sleazy dirtbag informants. It’s all very acquainted however delivered so nicely that you just get caught up within the tapestry of all of it, due to the aforementioned robust writing.
And it is robust, compelling fiction from the very begin, enhanced by some genuinely very good voice performing. We needed to pay attention to each phrase, and fortunately there’s an autoplay choice that permits you to take heed to the dialogue play out at its meant tempo, however this results in a fairly obvious gripe; in most visible novel or text-heavy video games with this type of “talking head” supply, hitting the A (or equal “advance text”) button will skip to the top of the present dialogue and depart it on the display screen for the participant to learn at their very own velocity.
Here, although, urgent A skips the at present displayed dialogue solely, shifting on to the subsequent portion of the dialog or description. This is just a little irritating, particularly in case you are a quick reader, however we suspect that is to encourage the participant to take heed to the dialogue as now we have described. There’s a replay characteristic in the event you miss a line or two, nevertheless it skips you to the start of the dialog reasonably than simply the earlier step. Surely a Danganronpa-style textual content log would have been a extra smart choice, right here?
While we’re moaning, we discovered that a few of the in-game textual content (on posters and the like, in addition to within the UI) was mainly unreadable in handheld mode, being that it was ludicrously small. This is actually selecting nits, although, as a result of you’ll be able to spotlight and choose the textual content along with your cursor to learn it; we really feel prefer it’s rather less immersive this manner, however the performance is there and it is laborious to argue it is any form of significant drawback.
But sufficient complaining – Chicken Police is a wonderful recreation, one that’s tailor-made splendidly for the Switch’s handheld mode, operating on the locked-down 60fps you’d anticipate whereas nonetheless retaining impressively atmospheric visuals. You’re mainly only a cursor, however the interface may be very spectacular – deciding on a personality brings up one thing of a radial menu, however simply requires you to carry the left analogue stick in your chosen path with the intention to provoke your subsequent transfer (analyzing the perp, talking to the perp, or questioning the perp). It’s all very intuitive, simple to understand and melts away into the background as you get wrapped up within the thriller.
As for the problem, there is not so much, nevertheless it’s all in regards to the story right here. Most of your time is spent hopping across the map, making connections and gathering info, all of that are a pleasure akin to the investigation sections of Ace Attorney. There’s a capturing gallery mini-game that is a momentary distraction, however principally it is all about that interpersonal interplay. You will interrogate suspects and be graded in your efficiency, however this might theoretically be irritating as it is very hardly ever clear what the perfect method is. The story will proceed at any charge, however those that want “100% completion”, as nebulous as that idea might be, could also be aggravated by the perceived randomness of those segments. The remainder of us will flow and play as meant – taking issues slowly and thoroughly, and digging into the state of affairs with uncooked intuition.
The worldbuilding and lore are brilliantly realised, and darker than we anticipated in locations, with overt takes on racism, slavery and outright cannibalism rearing their heads. This isn’t any morality play, nonetheless – these heavy themes match into the Basin City-esque setting so naturally that they will simply draw you in additional. Despite the animal theme, that is very a lot not a recreation for youths. Foul (or ought to that be fowl?) language, nudity and a splash of the claret abound, creating an immersive sense of unease because the case takes form.
An extraordinarily spectacular first recreation from The Wild Gentlemen, Chicken Police – Paint it RED! is among the finest journey video games we have performed in an extended, lengthy time and one hell of an absorbing story. It appears and runs nice on the Switch, with solely a few actually minuscule interface points that are simply ignored. At roughly eight or 9 hours, the story is surprisingly prolonged for its style, however we had been by no means bored and needed to analyze each little factor simply to wring out extra treasured droplets of banter and fascination. Chicken Police is a cultured, charming expertise and we’re very excited for no matter’s coming subsequent from this group. It’s only a disgrace it is so good, or we might have mentioned it “laid an egg”, and that may have tied in properly with the entire rooster factor. Instead, this evaluation is simply going to, nicely, finish. Now. That’s it. It’s completed. No closing rooster joke.