Grab The Games: Postmortem: One Must Die

Postmortem is a very interesting blend of adventure and role-playing genres with a novel premise, but is it a good game? Upon starting you get a quick explanation of how you can move around in the game world, the controls are very easy but for some reason you can't use your mouse to move or do much else, it works in the game menu and you can zoom with the mouse. Strange, but possible to get used to.

You'd think you can click on these big buttons? Think again, the game ignores mouseclicks and waits for you to press Y or N on the keyboard.

Moving forward you find yourself in a room where somebody looking like a secretary in 1940s detective agency awaits you. She is in fact a secretary, but it's the end of the 19th century and you both work for “the powers that be. Whoever they are, they are sending you to Galicia (not having a real resemblance to the historical one) to claim one life. Why? Well, because. What you do know is that in Galicia there is a conflict between those who want to keep their society as it is and those who want to open it to modern ideas. You are being sent to a Gala where you can make the choice of who is to die. This choice is purely yours and contrary to what most games do, this one is true to the word. If you want you to walk in, choose the first person you run into and take that one you can. The game can end in under one minute should you wish. It's not that fun this way, but yes, you can.

You're going to read quite a lot if you want to play Postmortem

At the Gala you are greeted by a newspaper describing recent events and then let loose. You can find other things to read (newspapers, books) talk to people (well, read what they say, there are no voiceovers), go through pockets, get keys to locked rooms so that you can go through more pockets or maybe even read something. But mostly you are going to talk, the dialogues are pretty well written, though no amount of good will can allow them to be called literature. Also it being the 19th century is somehow lost in the language, the writing doesn't even try to have any stylistic connotation to the period. But you have a fairly large number of responses, certainly more than many an Indie RPG has to offer and you can not only interview but even influence the lives of people you meet. The trouble is the conversations are not always that interesting and there is absolutely no way to stop them until you wade through all the dialogue options and get to the end.

You can say a lot of things, pity good bye is not one of them

At this point you should probably set some goals for yourself, similarly to earlier Europa Universalis series the game doesn't have a goal you can work towards. Your choice of whom to kill can strengthen one of the factions, can plunge Galicia into chaos or calm things down. After you've taken the life you are presented with a few newspapers describing the consequences of your actions and you get to talk to this person in some sort of limbo, you can explain your choice or tell them to bugger off, you can comfort them with promises of heaven or threaten with hell. This doesn't seem to have any effect (well, except for role-playing value). After that you get another short summary of what happened and can compare your choices online to those of other players.

Don't hold your breath for pending review this is the end.

And that's it. You can play again and compare the outcome of killing somebody else... but unless one of the rather bland factions stirred your heart and you really want to help them there is little reason to do so. Thus, while there is some replayability the game is rather short (and I played what is called extended edition). It can't be too long as there is no save function. Yes, really. If there were other missions to follow, if your choice had some influence on your future, if you could learn more about powers that be this could be a very interesting game, as it is it seems more like a demo or a prototype that never got finished. Maybe it would fare better as a mobile game (it has very low hardware requirements and its rather big character would translate good to a small screen) but for a PC game I just can't find it to be enough.

Mikolaj W


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