The Average Gamer

Cloud Chamber Review (Windows PC)

Cloud Chamber - Node Web
Cloud Chamber is a unique game. The gameplay isn’t traditional, but instead relies on social media and the story is bizarre. The idea is that the story is open to many different interpretations. Instead of hacking ‘n’ slashing, shooting or smashing out combos, the gameplay is all about social power. The story is told through videos, pictures and screen captured emails. Each one is locked behind a node. Nodes have different requirements for unlocking them but they’re often unlocked simply by looking at the previous node.

The nodes are spread across a 3D map, ranging from hills and ditches to bizarre things like DNA and minimalistic white. The nodes are linked with a simple line system. They can create a pretty interesting atmospheric feel, partnered with the simplistic music you can get a bit of a shiver down your spine. Each node has a social ticker next to it, referred to as the forum, where players are encouraged to discuss about the node they just viewed.

Some nodes hold more important information; these are raised up higher than the other nodes and players need to get positive feedback on their comments on the social ticker to open them. The problem with giving people a forum to talk on is that people instantly abuse that. And you can report them for it; but not many people tend to bother .

That’s all the gameplay; interacting with the community and thinking of interesting points to discuss about the game.

Cloud Chamber - The Forum

The story follows a couple of scientists; and a documentary maker working for the “Petersen Institute” as they delve into a buried experiment called the Cloud Chamber. The experiment caused the possible death of a scientist called Ingrid, and now her daughter Kathleen is reopening the experiment, smart move…

The developers of the game, Investigate North have one goal in the story, to make you ask what’s happening. Did Ingrid die or did something else happen? There is a hope that you can’t then spoil the ending, because it’s all open to interpretation but you can, easily. The whole game relies on the ability to tell a story through solid acting and hopes to spark the interest of the player by making them ask questions, but the only real question I found myself asking is “What the heck is going on?” Despite having actors from the likes of Game of Thrones, including Gethin Anthony I found the whole performance dull and unengaging. This could be more to do with the story and the writing than the acting performance.

All of the science in the game is apparently actual science. I imagine some people will love it, because you can learn all about the whizzbangs and what have you, but if you’re not a keen science student you’ll find yourself struggling to keep up or even grasp any kind of understanding of what they’re talking about. Some of the more difficult concepts are presented in a documentary style video, so it’s a little more user friendly than writing out complex jargon, but it’s still extremely hard to follow.

In reference to a screen capture from the game, not me. I have porn open all the time

In reference to a screen capture from the game, not me. I have porn open all the time

The game poses no challenge unless you’re heavily invested in the story, and even then you could just spam “Likes please?” until the community inevitably gives in to your terrorist demands and upvotes your constant spam. Without really committing to the community by joining forums, reading countless textbooks or creating huge strings of comments you won’t have a good time; you’ll just feel a bit like an outsider.

I spent the whole time feeling like I “wasn’t getting it”, and it felt like a chore to sit and watch the stale acting. The biggest problem I have with Cloud Chamber is that someone could very easily upload the whole thing to YouTube and save people £10. Plus you’ll get better gameplay out of Twitter.

Cloud Chamber is out now on Steam.

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