Modern day master of the point-and-click adventure Wadjet Eye Games has just released its latest endeavour on PC – the hugely ambitious, demonically tinged Unavowed.
Written by Dave Gilbert, who was also responsible for Wadjet Eye’s critically acclaimed Blackwell series, Unavowed immediately scores points for originality by casting you in the role of a character that’s spent the last year terrorising New York City as a result of demonic possession – and who now, free at last, must put things right.
Who that someone is is up to you, with Unavowed quickly showings its ambitious hand, by letting you pick from one of three possible, and notably distinct, origin stories. You can choose to be a bartender, an actor, or a police officer, and your selection affects the skills you’ll have at your disposal as you approach the many point-and-click scenarios to come.
As an actor, for instance, you’re a dab hand at lying convincingly to other characters, while the bartender is able to quickly get others to open up. Structurally, the entire experience is, as Gilbert readily admits, heavily inspired by BioWare.
The BioWare influences go further though, and Unavowed offers four companions to accompany you on your adventures. The twist, however, is that you can only pick two of your pals (members of the titular organisation that saved your from your possessor) to join your party as each chapter begins. Not only does this potentially alter the mood of each chapter, it can influence the narrative components and activities available throughout each sequence.
As is typical for Wadjet Eye, Unavowed is wonderfully written, fully voiced, and its pixel art aesthetic is sublime. However, with its ambitious RPG-esque elements and plenty of good-old ethical dilemmas along the way, it’s clear that Gilbert has stepped some way outside of the traditional point-and-click template that’s largely informed Wadjet Eye’s work so far.