Goodbye Deponia – As We Play

As we play offers the thought strands of the reviewer as they’re going through the game. This offers unique content for the reader so they can come to understand the conflicting feelings of the reviewer as they’re playing a game for the very first time.
All feedback on this concept is welcome.

Goodbye, Deponia

Rufus is a terribly irritating, egotistical, marmite kind of character, one who’ll either make you grit your teeth at every single conceited joke, or one you’ll laugh along with and enjoy the ride. Rufus aside, Goodbye Deponia is an incredibly humorous cleverly-written and entertaining finale to a series that has had very mixed opinions throughout it’s trilogy.

Chaos on Deponia left us with a satisfying conclusion to the second part of what might be the most idiosyncratic point-and-click adventure you’ll ever play. The third part, Goodbye, Deponia, begins the final leg of the journey back to Elysium, and from the opening scene manages to hook the player with its witty dialogue and intriguing plot that sets the tone for the rest of the game. Those new to the series are introduced to returning characters from the previous games, namely Rufus’ love interest Goal and his two accomplices Doc and Bozo.

gbdeponia2“Huzzah! He completely f*cked up!”

One exceptional aspect of the game which has always managed to be consistent is the ingenuous humor, which can either impress or offend, depending on your tolerance for such high levels of outlandish antics and tomfoolery. Personally, I found the level of comedy in Goodbye Deponia slightly hit and miss in places, though I will admit to having laughed out loud on a few occasions. That said, the overall tone and style of the game reminds me greatly of the late and great Terry Pratchett.
To really dig the comedy of the Deponia series, you probably have to have a particular sense of humor, as some of the jokes can be downright uncomfortable. For example, the game occasionally makes jokes on the most alarming subjects, namely child abuse, speech impediments, and suicide, and if you’re not the kind of person who can laugh this sort of humor off, then you are not the audience Goodbye Deponia is aiming itself at.

Jumping through hoops

Though Goodbye Deponia makes a solid full-on effort on the first leg of its journey, there are occasions following on from this that are bogged down under the weight of a clumsy elongated mid-section that manages to confuse more than delight. Our half-wit hero Rufus clones himself to give him the advantage of being in three places at once, which sounds like it could be entertaining, but instead fails to smoothly integrate the mechanics of the game, instead resulting in a tedious grind that feels aimless and chaotic. Players rely on sharing the use of the inventory between the three clones in order to fulfill each of their quests, but although the idea sounds logical and simple, it becomes terribly confusing and hard to keep track of who is doing what.

Puzzles in point-and-click games can be a little taxing if you’re someone who doesn’t have a mind for video game logic, and Goodbye Deponia is no exception to the rule. Like it’s two predecessors, at times it can become tiresome having to tread back and forth throughout every scene just to see if there is something you’ve missed, but further hassling is having to try every combination in the inventory just to work out which items can be combined. That’s a whole lot of pointing and clicking, and if there’s a specific item you’ve failed to pick up then it’ll involve a lot of retreading over old ground just to solve the puzzle. That said, the locations in Goodbye Deponia are somewhat intriguing enough to hold the players interest, and the mechanics of gameplay are slightly improved compared to the first two.

goodbye_deponia_01_1920x1080_enThe bottom line

If you’re expecting things to get better from here on out, you’ll be disappointed. Sadly, the Doc, Bozo, and even Goal take more of a back-seat this time around, and there’s far too much Rufus for anyone’s liking. Though Cletus has more of a central role in this game, Rufus spends the majority of his time avoiding any engagement with him, and the whole tone of the game falls a bit flat. Cletus, who’s demeanor came across as somewhat thick-skulled in the previous games, fails to provide as much entertainment this time around, and characters such as Argus drop out of the story just as quickly as they drop in. Though the humor falls short toward the end of the game, it is clear that a large amount of thought has gone into the development of each character, with each of their motivations becoming clearer over the course of the game.

Goodbye Deponia is enjoyable, and manages to entertain for the most part, but the finale fails to be as ‘grand’ as one might have expected. Sadly, the game’s ending is somewhat abrupt, which doesn’t altogether result in the closure you might have been expecting. If you’ve played the first two, you certainly won’t want to miss out on this one, but you’ll specifically need a heap of patience and a flexible sense of humor to benefit from what is the final piece of a fast-paced comical adventure.

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