The Assembly is an interactive story set in a secret world of science, in which you play as two characters with contrasting perspectives. Investigating The Assembly’s secret bunker you will have to make decisions that may or may not have an impact on the outcome of the game. Is The Assembly worth checking out? Take a look at our review below…
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I first loaded up The Assembly. With the game quoted as being a first person interactive story, I expected my actions to be fairly restricted in terms of the overall gameplay and I would occasionally have the odd choice to make that would impact the story, but that isn’t the case. I was pretty surprised when it became evident very early on that there was more to this game than just making quick time decisions and that exploration, puzzle solving and evidence gathering played a big part in the overall story.
The game takes place in a secret advanced research centre where epidemic antidotes and cures for diseases are researched and experimented with under the radar. The game puts you in the shoes of two characters, Dr. Stone is a shamed medical professional who is going through a screening process to possibly join The Assembly and the other, Dr. Pearson is a specialist who is already employed by them but is looking for a way out. Each of the two characters give two very different perspectives on the story as they both have important decisions to make and the game switches from one character to the other after each chapter to give a real time side by side capture of events.
This is a pretty simple game to play as there are only a few controls to learn and with that in mind it plays as well as can be for this type of game. There are the familiar first person controls with the left and right analogue sticks to move and look around and there is an ‘action’ button to open doors and interact with other things around the research centre. There is another button you can use by pressing the left trigger called ‘blink’ which is an alternate method of moving around that acts as a teleport style movement that has been left in from its initial VR release last year. I tended to not use that feature as it felt unnatural to use outside of VR and I was worried I would miss vital parts to explore, so the regular walking around felt better and I was free to explore every part of the area without missing anything.
The Assembly is a decent mix of investigation and puzzle solving, although I do wish there was more of the latter because it was the puzzles that I was impressed with the most but I didn’t feel there were enough of them as it is one of the games strongest points in my opinion. There are some decisions in the game that will affect what epilogue you get at the end so you need to try and explore as much as you can because it is easy to miss something that could be a vital piece of information for how later sections of the game are affected. The story in The Assembly is quite intriguing at times and although it is slow to get going, it is in the later half of the game that things start to become interesting and upon finishing the game it had me wanting for more, I wanted to know what happens next and it left me with more questions than answers.
Visually The Assembly isn’t a bad looking game and it certainly has its artistic appeal within its setting. There are times when textures in the game would look rather muddy but there were also times when they looked good with the lighting and the atmosphere complimenting the environment really well. The game tries to give the player an uneasy feeling, an aspect of mystery that adds to the experience and for the most part it does a good job, giving you the sense that something isn’t quite right with everything that goes on but will then completely flip it, making you think something completely different. The characters in the game are all a bit wooden in their voice acting and for a game that relies a lot on the emotions of the two main characters; it is something that I was disappointed with overall. There was very little emotion when there needed to be in certain situations that the characters found themselves in and in the few occasions that it was there, it felt very forced and false which is a shame considering what the main characters are going through within the story but there just needed to be a little more personality added to them that connects the player to them a little more.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher