You’ve Gotta Be Kindarian Me
HIGH The outcomes are eye-opening.
LOW The sound quality.
WTF The highly realistic London Underground scenes.
The Coronavirus is currently ravaging the planet and causing severe isolation. Is it, perhaps, not the right time to release a game in which a nanomachine cell infection is potentially threatening the world? Wales Interactive doesn’t seem to think so, because they’ve released The Complex.
The Complex is an FMV (full motion video – basically real actors in a film) title that follows in the footsteps of Wales’s previous publications like The Bunker, and Late Shift.The player watches footage of characters and then makes choices at critical points. The story and relationships between characters then diverges as a result of these choices.
The player takes the role of Dr. Amy Tenant, an expert studying nanotechnology as a means of exploring space and curing disease worldwide — the problem is that the tech has been stolen by a woman who’s now dying because of it. Amy is joined by a former medical partner (and possible romantic partner) with whom she shares a tense past.
Everything on display is delightfully lo-fi sci-fi, and all of the actors seem game for it, especially Amy’s boss played with zeal by Kate Dickie. Amy’s former lover played by Al Weaver also turns in a strong performance, and I was pleased to recall him from the 2005 Doom film.
There are nine endings that have massive variations – no spoilers here but Amy’s role in the disaster can be wildly different, and pretty much everyone can end up dead. The Complex also addresses one of the problems I have with some other FMV titles — being forced to re-watch old footage before being able to make new decisions. The Complex smartly allows for previously-viewed scenes to skipped so that players can get right to things they haven’t seen before. My first run was about 2 hours, but subsequent revisits were much shorter.
The audio recording seems a little blown out with higher-pitched voices crackling a little, although no one but audiophiles will likely be bothered. Also, I did balk at parts of the story that deal with a fictional authoritarian Asian country, but people’s mileage will vary on this.
The Complex is good, low budget ride with a lot of heart. Anyone who’s enjoyed the other FMV offerings from Wales Interactive should dive right in.
Disclosures: This game is developed by Wales Interactive ltd. and published by Wales Interactive ltd. It is currently available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and XBO. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the XBO-X. Approximately 6 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed twice. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated M and contains Blood, Strong Language and Violence. This is a game that is absolutely not for kids — people graphically bleed from their eyes and mouth, some get shot, and the opening sequence takes place in a triage emergency where the player has to choose between saving two people about to die.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available in the options.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Subtitles are on by default. The text cannot be adjusted and the color cannot be changed. There are no audio cues necessary for play. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable. There is no control diagram. The left stick switches between options, the A button selects them, and the RB button skips previously watched scenes.