I never owned a full motion video (FMV) game until Contradiction. I played a few including Cyberia and Microcosm when I was younger but I don’t recall much of it. Giant Bomb’s Quick Look of the PC version brought this game to my attention but it was the investigation angle that convinced me to to buy it. It reminded me of a British take on Ace Attorney with live actors instead of Japanese sprites.
Just like Ace Attorney, the game is filled with exaggerated characters. Inspector Jenks pushes the limit on exaggerated gestures and emotes to ensure the audience doesn’t misinterpret his thoughts. Paul Rand (played by Paul Darrow) plays the sinister father and puppet master that rivals the likes of Charles Dance’s Game of Thrones performance. Then there’s the disinterested James who Inspector Jenks catches numerous times with various drugs and is unusually fixated on his fireplace.
It was up to Inspector Jenks and I to uncover the truth behind Kate Vine’s death. Everyone in town is guilty of something and they would often lie about things. I had to point out those contradictions to move the story forward and in half a dozen hours or so Kate Vine’s murder was solved. Unfortunately, that was just the tip of the iceberg and many loose threads will require a sequel to tie up.
I enjoyed stitching together the facts and evidence to unravel lies but the inventory and user interface was a chore to navigate. I missed obvious clues due a combination of impatience and cumbersome U.I design. I resorted to a walkthrough and discovered answers were right under my nose but were buried behind scroll bars. It was frustrating but I didn’t let it deter me.
The most glaring issue with Contradiction (outside of the obvious typos) is with the contradictions themselves. There are numerous contradictions that should be acknowledged as such but they overlooked it and I’m stuck exclaiming “C’mon! That’s totally one!”. I hope they handle it better in the sequel because that’s a bummer to think you have one over the characters only to have it yield nothing.
Contradiction is exactly what I wanted from a full motion video game. It has exaggerated acting, a wide array of little scenes that transitions from scene to scene without becoming annoying. My only gripe against is are logistical and the lack of polish in the user interface. With those issues in mind, I still enjoyed my time with Jenks and gang and hope to see them return in a sequel. I just hope the recent GiantBomb exposure doesn’t ruin the magic.
I like it