The point and click genre is almost a forgotten pastime of years gone by. But, as modern games embrace huge open worlds with either a first or third-person perspective, the point and click genre is quietly experiencing a revolution. Unavowed is the jewel in the revived genre’s crown as Wadjet Eye’s most ambitious project sets the standard and shows what point and click adventures can bring to the modern video game landscape.
The game centres around the New York division of the Unavowed, a secret society of human and non-human people who are dedicated to protecting the “mundanes” – regular, non-magical people – from ghosts, demons and monsters.
Unavowed begins with a demon being forcibly extracted from you on a rooftop in the middle of a rainstorm. This opening gives you the opportunity to decide whether you’re going to play as a man or a woman and choose between three career backgrounds – actor, cop or bartender. Each background has its own story and unlocks unique dialogue options, while it also impacts how people treat you which gives different advantages at various moments through the story.
The bleak reality quickly sets in. While possessed by the demon, your character went on a murderous rampage across New York City. Wanted by the police and, with few options available, the protagonist joins the Unavowed and sets off to find out what the spirit did and why.
The story is split into days and takes around 8 hours to complete. Starting at Unavowed HQ, you can talk to your companions then set off to a location where your spirit is suspected of passing through. Throughout the course of the adventure, you will see the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn and many more iconic locations. The attention to detail is remarkable and complements the strong story.
Along the journey, you’ll link up with a varied cast of characters. Eli, for example, is a mage who can conjure fire, Mandana is a Jinn and wields a sword, and is a Logan “bestower” with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts.
There are several other characters worth mentioning and each has an impact on the story rather than simply being a name and an ability – when you choose your party for each exploration, you receive the benefits of having said characters with you. For example, Logan is able to communicate with ghosts, get information from them, then release them from their ties to this world. If you choose not to take Logan with you, you’d never know that the spirits are present, but will have access to different information brought to the table by who you do bring.
Restricting the number of characters you can bring along with you is no doubt designed to encourage replayability. You’ll often take a team to a location only to wish that you had a certain person with you. While this can be frustrating, you’ll rarely feel disadvantaged by your choice of cast.
Puzzles are essentially the usual point-and-click fare. Scene scanning and utilising items in your inventory to solve puzzles is the genres bread and butter, and Unavowed masters it. You’ll feel immense satisfaction solving puzzles where the solutions aren’t immediately obvious, which makes the occasional frustrating challenge all the more rewarding.
Visually and acoustically, Unavowed is as atmospheric as they come. The dark, rainy streets of New York provide the perfect backdrop. The detailed background art is exceptionally detailed and oozes with mystery. Throw in the jazzy soundtrack and ensemble is complete.
Unavowed is an epic and ridiculously detailed adventure. It successfully borrows and builds upon elements introduced by the legends in the genre to create a modern day classic.
If you’re even remotely interest in the point and click genre, Unavowed should be top of your list. It is that good.