Ok I have just finished a game called The Beginners Guide and i don’t know where to start. First of all a brief history of what it is and who developed it. Galactic Cafe aka Davey Wreden and William Pugh were the creators of the smash hit The Stanley Parable, a first person narrative game filled with humour and satire, which lead it to be a unique experience unlike any other game of its type, and a good one at that. Their second outing however tones down the humour in favour of an emotional journey through the world of game development and also Davey Wredens mind.
The Beginners Guide is once again a first person narrative linear game along the lines of The Stanley Parable, although that’s what it seemed at first. On booting the game up i honestly thought i had bought the wrong game as it started out as what i thought was an interactive documentary on game development and Davey Wreden. Little did I know that in no time at all I would be thrust into a game mixed with moral choices, regret and sadness on the developers part and led by the hand through his own journey and experiences in the industry. Filled with mystery and a strange narrative at first you soon begin to realise that this is indeed a real life diary of Davey Wreden’s mind, or at least a more enhanced version of the developer.
If like me you can become an emotional softy at the drop of a hat then you will struggle to keep it together by the end of the game, with both joy and sadness and an overwhelming feeling of sombreness. The Beginners Guide has it all. Other than i cant really tell you too much about the story, its kind of like the Matrix, you have to see it for yourself.
The graphics engine is based on the source engine not only for practicality but also the engine is integral to the plot point of the story as it takes you through a journey of a developer called “Coda” and his games that he never wanted to show or release.
The soundtrack is filled with joy and sadness throughout the game and really adds to the scenarios you the “student” are put into during the game. A mix of old school retro and classical music. The SFX are barely noticeable but it seems they are deliberately done this way in order to gauge your concentration on the narrative and the task at hand.
The controls are your standard first person keyboard and mouse controls, but also gives you the options of using a game pad. Although i recommend using the mouse and keyboard simply for accuracy in control.
The game is just over 1 hour and 30 minutes, maybe more depending on how you play it but for the very small price they are asking it is worth every penny. If you go into this game hoping for care packages and M1 assualt rifles you will be disappointed. If you go into this game with an open mind and just let yourself play the “game” how its intended then you will leave with a unique experience unlike any other in games today. By the end of the game i had a lump in my throat and could easily have let the emotions run wild if it wasn’t for the fact that i was on camera whilst playing it.
I can’t recommend this game enough simply for the experience of a totally unique game unrivalled in the games from the past, present and future. A must buy for those wanting an emotional connection to the developers themselves.
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