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Download Free D.C!

Free D.C!
 
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Dystopian worlds are some of my favourite settings for games, books and movies; nothing makes me a happier man than seeing one done well. The sense of foreboding and the horror of a world gone bad is much more entertaining to me than a perfect Utopia. Free D.C.! is set in just such a world: One where robots have taken over the entire planet and the last humans are kept in the Human Zoo. The main character is Avery Zedd, a cop from D.C.’s past. He has been reawakened to track down a renegade human for the robots -- and I won’t spoil any more of the plot. But not all is as it seems from all sides of this story: Everyone has their own agenda in this game.
 
The game itself is an adventure game, but, unlike most other adventure games, it is not about solving puzzles with items from your inventory but rather about talking to people. This might throw some people off, as the normal puzzle solving is just not to be found. However, it fits well into the game; Free D.C.! isn't about solving puzzles in physical form, but about solving the puzzles in people. Figuring out how to talk to them to get the most information, and anything they are hiding from you, needs to be worked out of them. It reminds me of Asimov’s Robots of Dawn books; the people in the game world block the player, and you need to listen and react in the correct ways to get all the information out of them, in order to solve the mystery. Not a game style for everyone, but a unique and cool one to those who do like it.
 
The graphics of Free D.C.! are just right for this game. They manage to get the atmosphere across rather well, even if they aren’t the best ever made. The characters are actually claymation, and add an odd sort of movement style; however, I doubt I would have worked this out without it being mentioned in other reviews.
 
The game view is split into two parts -- one of which is the main, upper, half in which you click to move around and pick some things up. Other interactions are down on the bottom of the screen; this half shows your gun or map, depending on which you are currently using, and allows other interactions with the world and with Watson, your robot. It also shows your Health in red and the enemy’s in blue. This did confuse me at first, as the player's health is on the right and the enemy's on the left. Walking around on the top half is done by clicking on the screen, although this feels clumsy; at times you just can’t seem to get Avery to go where you want him to, or he will get stuck on something that he shouldn’t. It's also hard to tell if you are just getting stuck, or if you aren't meant to go that way at all. Walking off the screen in a southerly direction (downwards) is only possible when you see a small coloured line marking the point on which to click. However, even then this doesn’t always work. A bit of work on this would have solved the problem, but it's easy to get used to and didn’t bother me after a few minutes.
 
The sound is weak and the music is okay, although it stops at random times and in no way adds anything to the game. There is voice acting for some of the dialogue but not for the rest, and whether it plays or not seems to be a bit random. I would have liked either all voice acting or none in this case; overall it adds nothing to the game and is off-putting at times.
 
In conclusion, Free D.C.! isn't one of the worst, but isn't one of the best, either. The setting is great and the idea is a unique one. However, the controls feel clumsy and often lead to Avery getting stuck, not to mention that finding the exits from the screens can be rather difficult at times. The graphics do an okay job but are nothing special, and the music and voice acting is unfinished and adds nothing to the game. However, if you can overlook these handicaps, the game is fun and the story and setting are really cool. I give it 3 out of 5.
 
 
Pressing S and L will open the save and load options for this game. 

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Reviewed by: DarthHelmet86 / Screenshots by: DarthHelmet86 / Uploaded by: DarthHelmet86 / share on facebook
 

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