Beholder Complete Edition Review

  • Dev: Warm Lamp Games/Alawar
  • Pub: Curve Digital
  • Released: 19/01/18
  • PEGI/ESRB: 12/T
  • Players: 1
  • Size: 2.4 GB
  • Price: £19.99/$24.99/€24.99
  • Xbox One X Enhanced: No
  • Just take a moment to imagine if every single part of your life was being monitored without your knowledge, sounds scary, doesn’t it? This is the power you have been granted as the new landlord for Krushvice 6; an apartment block in a city of an oppressive totalitarian state where you can be deemed a criminal just by the colour of the tie you are wearing. Siberian dev team Warm Lamp Games have arrived on Consoles with a port of the late 2016 title Beholder, packaged with the Blissful Sleep expansion to make-up the Complete Addition as it is titled for the console release.

    You are Carl Stein and the day of your promotion to Krushvice 6 landlord has arrived. Your family is coming with you as you move into your new place of work for the Ministry of Allocation. As you arrive you witness the previous landlord getting abruptly removed from your new home to the shock and despair of your wife and two children. This sets the tone as you play through the tutorial mission as you given the task of installing hidden surveillance cameras in the apartments shared kitchen area so you can watch what your residents like to do.

    Once completed you will report back to your boss who explains that all tasks set forth by the State ran Ministry are to be completed and every little detail of the resident’s lives are to be known and you must write reports on any lawbreakers. No sooner has your boss left you to begin when the phone rings with him asking you to start looking for illegal activity from someone in your building. From here you must now install more hidden cameras and to go through the belongings of the suspect until you eventually find a weapon and evidence of drug production by the tenant. After reporting your findings back to the Ministry, the Police arrive and remove the Tennant by force, never to be seen from again.

    Beholder: Complete addition is presented to you in a side on view of the Apartments in a very similar way as Bethesda” Fallout Shelter game or 2017s Xbox Game Preview title – Sheltered. This gives you a good way to keep an eye on all the residents at the same time, as long as you have installed cameras allowing you to see directly into their apartment at all times. As you go on observing everybody like some weird surveillance creep, you must juggle tasks and money between your buildings upkeep, searching apartments without getting caught, family happiness and more adding an interesting management mechanic into the game where choices you make can have knock-on effects with at times, some grave outcomes.

    You must do this at the same time as keeping your employers happy with their underhanded requests. It doesn’t take too long before your jobs start building up and the needs of your family really start to affect your ability to do your job well. You are giving some big moral choices; do you prioritise a family illness which needs considerable money for the medication, or do you disappoint your overlords by not completing your tasks on-time or even using some dirty tactics yourself in an attempt to keep all party’s happy, all choices made now can affect your outcome later on and at times can be a matter of life and death.

    As an example of how the story branches off from the decisions you make, early on, you can let-out an apartment to a fisherman for a couple of weeks, Once he moves in he asks you to sell some canned fish and any profit over $3000 is yours to keep, sounds good. You take the fish to a travelling salesman who passes your building each day to sell and after returning to the trader the next day for your cash, he tells you that it only sold for $2000. Now you must return to the fisherman who is not happy with the bad news that he has not got all his money.

    You can tell him that you will make up the cash which adds further pressures to your cash flow, or refuse to take the blame only to then reach a sudden stab wounded end after been murdered by the angry fisherman. On a different playthrough, I refused his offer as fish had then been deemed illegal by the government by this time, so he swiftly packed up and moved on to his job on the seas leaving me with an empty apartment and to start looking for a new tenant all over again.

    The pace does pick up after an hour of gameplay and it does not take long before you can pick up or leave many tasks which you have to juggle continuously with your time and money. Now your choices will be getting tested to the limit and if you decide that your family has become too much of a burden with all their whining and demands affecting your work, just frame them for owning illegal goods or, start making excuses to your employer as many other parties start vying for your time while your trying to protect your family at all costs. What you do next is up to you just as long as you are willing to deal with the consequences of your actions and the choices you make.

    A download code was provided for this review by the developer/publisher
    Gameplay 7.5
    Graphics 7
    Audio 7
    Replay Value 8
    Value for Money 7
    Beholder Complete Edition

    Warm Lamp Games have created a game that really tests how you would react in a situation that gives you complete control of your actions, from satisfying your family needs to the demands of your oppressive employer who sees all. Your outcome is up to you and the choices you make. A great well thought out story and presentation with spying, moral choices and base management, adding to what is a good game that you must play yourself to really experience the outcome of your decisions.

    • Good story branching
    • All your choices matter
    • Moral compass tested.
    • Short story
    • Sometimes you have too many choices.

    About The Author

    Full-time Dad, full-time gamer, gaming since the 90s. Love racing games, Sci-fi a good single player experience and anything with a good story. You can usually find me playing Ark or clearing out my uber backlog. Come along and say hello on Twitter and XBox Live by searching ziplobthud.

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