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Gemini Rue

Score: 78%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
Developer: Wadjet Eye Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Gemini Rue is another retro-styled adventure title from Wadgeteye Games that really hits the mark when it comes to bringing back the classic adventure feel.

Gemini Rue seems to do a good job of blending two different feels based on which of the two main characters you are controlling. When controlling Azriel, you will find yourself primarily in gloomy surroundings on a planet that is under perpetual rain, meanwhile, the parts of the game that have you controlling Delta Six put you into bright and white-washed locations with a noticeable, slightly futuristic feel. As a result, the game blends both noir and science fiction together in an interesting way.

As for the sound, there were times when the voiceacting felt a bit too forced and the characters were just too stereotypical to be fully appreciated. While Azriel's segments were distinctly noir, I constantly felt like the character was going to break into a bad Bogart impersonation. It just wasn't quite right.


Gameplay:

Gemini Rue takes place in the year 2228 when humans have colonized many planets. The game's story follows two different characters with different, but connected stories. On one side is a man known only as Delta Six. He lives in some secluded rehabilitation and re-training center and wakes up to find that his memory has been wiped. He learns from some fellow inmates that this is standard protocol after someone attempts to break free, and while several of his fellow inmates claim to know him, a note found under his bunk, presumably written by Delta Six, says not to trust anyone. Delta Six's goal is, of course, to find some way out of the facility.

Meanwhile, on a planet that is constantly being rained on, Azriel Odin, a former assassin for the local crime syndicate turned police officer, is looking for his lost brother in the hopes of getting him off of the planet and into safety. His first goal is to meet up with his informant, but when he finds out that he is too late, Azriel must locate the secret rehabilitation center where his brother was taken.

Once you get past the initial setup of the game, you can freely switch between the two storylines and progress each of the characters' stories. This means that you can make progress with one character, and if you experience any trouble getting past a puzzle, then you can just switch to the other and progress their story some. While Gemini Rue isn't the first adventure game to let you control multiple characters, it is a nice change from the standard formula that makes things a little more interesting.


Difficulty:

When it comes to the puzzles you will face in Gemini Rue, there isn't anything that will truly stump a gamer who has played through at least a few adventure titles. This game does add a few twists that shakes things up a bit, one of them is the fact that you will often find yourself pressed for time and you can be killed. There aren't that many adventure titles that have the threat of death built into them, but Gemini Rue does. Let's just say, there's a reason why Azriel starts off with a gun in his inventory and one of Delta Six's main objectives is to steal one.

Actually, while the puzzles aren't that hard, its the combat mechanics that can make the game difficult, and at times, almost tedious. There is a scene early in the game that involves Azriel having to shoot down a couple of enemies, running out of bullets and trying to get through a locked door. Once you reach the point where your enemies are behind you and you are out of bullets, you don't have much time to figure out how to get through the door. Failing to do so in the allotted time means your character dies and you go back to the previous autosave (which is before the previous shootout). Thankfully, the ability to save whenever you want to means that I was able to save the game just after walking into the last room, so restoring the game at that point allowed me to attempt to get through the door several times without too much tedium.


Game Mechanics:

Like the puzzles, most of Gemini Rue fits the standard adventure-game setup of clicking on objects to interact with them and using inventory items in order to get past puzzles. It's the aforementioned combat that really changes the feel of the game. When entering a combat situation, your character automatically ducks behind cover with his gun out. The basic controls have you using the (A) and (D) keys top pop in and out of cover, while (Space) fires your gun. If you tap (Ctrl), then a focus meter will be activated and shooting when the meter is green gives you a head-shot and an instant kill. Of course, your enemy will be ducking in and out of cover as well, so timing is a major factor here.

This shooting mechanic combined with the game's retro-feel and split-storyline really makes Gemini Rue stand out in a genre that seems to more or less reskin the same experience over and over. The game is worth at least a trial run with the demo for anyone with even a mild interest in the genre.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 2000, XP or Vista, Pentium Processor or higher, 64 Mb RAM, 700Mb Hard Disk Space, All DirectX compatible video cards, DirectX 5.0 or Above, All DirectX compatible sound cards
 

Test System:



Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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