Retrospective Review: The Deponia Trilogy (Daedalic Entertainment, 2012 – 2013)

Yesterday, I finished playing Goodbye Deponia, a point and click adventure game by Deadalic Entertainment made in 2013. The Game is the final (well…almost) instalment of the Deponia trilogy,

SPOILERS

I love Daedalic Entertainment and here’s why: I am not someone who likes intense first person shooter games and I’ve really enjoyed point and click games in the past. Deadalic has an unparalleled combination of the right amount and difficulty of puzzles combined with an easy, character-centric humour that doesn’t seem too forced. The humour is at its peak in the darkly comedic Edna and Harvey games and lightens to a beautiful children’s adventure in Night of the Rabbit whereas Deponia, clearly, the brands major series embodies a middle ground.

Now, I will give a little warning with this review of the Deponia games – my memory of the first two isn’t great as I played them a long time ago, but I will try to include as much as I can remember, and if I replay the games, I may do more in-depth individual reviews for each game, as this is more of a general overview of the series with an emphasis on Goodbye Deponia.

Firstly, I have to say how much I love the mechanics of the games, the way the puzzles are integrated into Rufus’ personality and the humour that comes with that. Rufus is not a complex character, but a classic loveable oaf. I definitely think the games get better, the first game is retrospectively weak and sometimes a little buggy by comparison to the latter two. I think my favourite game is probably the second due to the clear expansion on the first one, but honestly, I really like the mechanics in both the second and the third games where you spend a lot of time in one area but continuously returning to it. Particularly in the third game, the section with the three Rufus’ and the necessity of using each Rufus to trigger something in the other Rufus’ sections was fantastic. I even liked the mechanic of finding the Platypus eggs, which is an unnecessary extra, but fun nonetheless. Much like with Night of the Rabbit, I can imagine myself playing through the games again to try and get everything out of them. This really indicates that the game is pretty good value for money, as it is definitely replayable and there is a lot of hidden content (especially in the last two).

I found the puzzles challenging but not so much that they actively stopped progression, which is always a pet peeve of mine, and I am the sort of person that will use a walkthrough if necessary. Whilst I did use the walkthrough a little with theses games but overall, I found I could progress by myself.

Now for the Elephant in the room – the ending. Any google search on the game will show you how unsatisfied people were with the ending, and I do agree – I found it very surprising and kind of unfitting with the rest of the game. On the one hand, I can see how it may have seemed necessary to the developers to complete Rufus’ character development, but on the other hand, when you have sunk maybe 30 hours into completing the trilogy, killing the main character, who you have come to love, is a little upsetting. (I also don’t fully understand the logic behind Rufus’ decision, as I thought the blades would rotate again if someone let go, but that doesn’t really matter.)

People were so upset about the ending that there is a new game called Deponia Doomsday which was released in March of this year. As it is so newly released I will probably wait to buy it until it is more discounted on Steam, but from brief searches for reviews, due to my shock at the ending of Goodbye Deponia the ending of Deponia Doomsday seems to be just as disappointing, and the general consensus seems to be that it is another great game in terms of humour and mechanics, but the narrative is not actually changed by the new game. Which leads me to two thoughts: both, why bother with another game in the first place and a steadfast respect of the developer for making another game to defend the previous ending. Either way, I will definitely be playing it at a later date, though I will say I would like to replay the original trilogy now in a shorter space of time to get the full narrative experience and see if this affects my response to the ending.

Verdict: Overall, despite the controversial ending the Deponia games are fantastic and something that I will definitely replay to get the experience, and indeed, the achievements (I’m that person) again and again.
9/10

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