Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
Goodbye Deponia Review – So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
Platform: Windows & Mac
Release Date: 17th October 2013
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
There’s a lot of pressure on the final installment of the epic Deponia series to deliver fans the crazy and action-packed ending that they’ve been waiting for. While Goodbye Deponia is definitely crazy and action-packed, it’s also quite different from it’s predecessors. The game follows on naturally from Chaos on Deponia as you would expect, so make sure you’ve completely played through the first two games before you give this game a shot.
The story focus has shifted from the previous games, revolving more around Rufus and his place in the world instead of Deponia and it’s zany inhabitants (except for the first few hours that are completely irrelevant to both). While the game’s exploration of Rufus’ personality is interesting and done well, it feels like it’s just not quite enough to fill an entire adventure with. Getting to know new ridiculous characters makes way for this new approach in which it seems like Rufus never really stops to try to get to know anyone, and everyone else is just there to help make a point about him. A lot of the previous cast members make appearances here and there but we don’t really learn anything new about any of them, and a few too many of those that are newly introduced turn out to be nothing more than shallow game references. It does suit the finale though, as plenty of closure comes from analyzing Rufus’ feelings and how he has (or hasn’t) changed over the course of the trilogy.
More peculiarly, the game takes quite a dark and depressing twist, particularly towards the end. Sure, it makes sense with the story as the Deponians are facing imminent destruction with no help in sight, but it feels odd compared to the jolly and optimistic feel of the first two games. As a result there’s a fairly even split between humor and drama – not bad by any means if you’re willing to part with the series’ previously established atmosphere. Weirder still is when the game starts to try to combine this feeling with humor, leading to a number of awkward situations. You might want to be cautious if you can’t handle insensitive jokes about suicide, depression and pedophilia, among other things.
There are still plenty of nonsensical and frustrating puzzles to complete, but overall they’re a tad more logical than in Chaos on Deponia. But it’s a bit of a mystery why there’s still no attempt at even a basic hint system so you don’t have to hit Google every time you’re supposed to guess that you have to substitute blankets with burritos. There are also more of those harder mini-games sprinkled around, lacking much proper instruction, but luckily they’re all skippable again. Goodbye Deponia does offer one very interesting mechanic when it lets you play as 3 people at the same time, even being able to swap items among them. It does create some annoying situations where you can’t really be sure if you’re just stuck or if you need an item from a different character’s area to progress, but it’s the closest the game comes to evoking that feeling of adventure from the previous titles.
The voice acting is just as consistent and impressive as always, but the soundtrack sticks out as even better than before. Similarly, while the art is still characteristically beautiful, if you compare some of the earlier scenes with the newer game you can really see the increased level of detail. Unfortunately there’s a lot less focus on exploration in favor of a linear storyline so it feels like there are less visually exotic places to discover.
Some aspects of the game are a little disappointing, and in some aspects just purely different, but that’s only in comparison to the previous Deponia titles and the expectations for the grand finale. In the great sea of point-and-click adventures, though, it’s still a great title and a must-see for all fans of the series and genre.
If you’re still unsure, check out the official Goodbye Deponia trailer: