Deceptive Games have plopped us inside a locked room inside a house with only a series of clues to find our way out. Find out how we fared in our The Initiate Review!
|Release Date||August 1, 2017|
The Initiate is an interesting concept for a game. It’s a first-person puzzle game that is confined completely to one house. Your character wakes up in the house with no idea of how to get out and must work to figure out all the mysteries that plague this mysterious place. You quickly find out that you’re being tested and that completing these tests is the only way to get out alive. It’s a scary and thrilling scenario that keeps you invested in the game all the way to the end.
The game would be intimidating all on its own, but a haunting voice taunts you from the very beginning. The voice itself isn’t so intimidating as the fact that you know that you’re being watched and that you never know what’s around the corner. The premise of the game is that you’re an initiate. You have no idea what you’re being initiated into, but you do know that failing your initiation will almost certainly result in something bad happening. This is even more noticeable with the number of cameras that are set up throughout the house. You’re being watched at every moment.
The Initiate features some great, intricate puzzles. Some of them are incredibly tough to solve, but I never felt like the answer was completely out of reach, or impossible. The tools were always there to solve a puzzle, they just might not be right in front of you or might not be available until you complete another puzzle. The game is all about attention to detail. Puzzles involve the whole house and if you don’t look in every little spot, you might miss something. I found myself going over things 3 or 4 times and still finding new items and clues that I didn’t see the first time. There were also times when finishing one puzzle would open an area that was either locked or didn’t exist before.
What I liked about this game the most was the difficulty progression. Some games like this are so hard right from the get-go that they’re not accessible to more novice gamers. The Initiate doesn’t have that problem. There’s a nice learning curve in this game where things start off pretty easy in the one room before introducing you to the other parts of the house. By that time, you start to understand what the game expects from you and it’s easier to be on the lookout for anything that may help you get out of this place. There isn’t much more that I can say about the puzzles without spoiling them, but the game continues to get better all the way to the end.
The game runs on Unity and looks pretty solid to me. I couldn’t really ask for much more in the graphics department and the lighting is superb. Some of the textures are kind of flat, but more of the house is pretty nice to look at. Considering all you’re doing is searching, that’s a big deal. The sound is equally as good scaring you with creaky doors and broken potted plants and vases. The game also gives you some nice audible cues most of the time when completing a puzzle correctly.
I did have some pretty major performance issues. At first, I thought it was just me, but after reading multiple other reviews, it’s clear that there are some definite optimization issues here. I experienced a lot of stuttering going through to different areas of the house. It was like it was loading the other areas and it was enough to make me consider quitting the game. As of writing, the game is at version 1.08, so the development team is definitely working on things, but this issue is still present. It’s worth noting that the recommended requirements on Steam are a GeForce GTX 1080 or equivalent, a Core-i7-7700k, and 16GB of RAM so you should make sure you have a decent rig to run this.
I loved my time with The Initiate. I completed the game in about 4 1/2 hours and I’d expect that most would take between 3-6 hours on it. The game kept me searching for every little thing I could find to get out of the house and never once did I feel bored. This is a great puzzle game and one that I’d recommend to everyone. The stuttering issues are a bother, though, so if you don’t want to deal with that, you might want to wait until a patch resolves it.
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Deceptive Games for review purposes*