If you're easily offended by gratuitous blood and gore, Angel Devoid will give you plenty of reason to run screaming to the nearest guardian of the senses. Electric Dreams has developed a nightmarish journey into a stark world of corruption, crime, and nerve-jangling suspense. The compelling storyline and its treatment is the basic strength of the game. Regardless of questionable taste in the depiction of the seedier and gruesome realities encountered within Angel Devoid, the designers have presented a hard hitting, all-encompassing tale of deception and survival. Through an unlucky set of circumstances, the character you control, Jake Hard, ex-cop of the Paradise City PD, has been robbed of his identity and now looks exactly like the master criminal he's sworn to capture, Angel Devoid. Now the whole world, from the sleazy crime organizations to law enforcement agencies, wants you dead and it's only through impersonating the antagonist that you'll have access to the dark and sinister world that will lead you to ultimate redemption and justice.
You'll die a great number of times while playing Angel Devoid, partly because of the strict design of the game which requires the player to choose the correct response attitude when interacting with characters. A bad choice can result in almost instantaneous attack and poor or slow reflexes will almost assuredly result in instant death. Save often. With that in mind, it seems at odds to say that rarely has there been such flexibility in games of this genre or has the player been given this much decision-making power to determine which of the several multiple endings is achieved, but that's the case here. One of the problems with Angel Devoid is the linear aspect that demands split-second decisions. To paraphrase an old saying, "He who hesitates is dead."
Angel Devoid is a dark story in a dark setting. The graphics portray the surroundings in an unusual neo-Gothic futuristic blend of styles and relies on extensive full-motion video to move the story along. Interaction is definitely a factor in the game and you'll find yourself having to step into the mind-set of the master criminal in order to deal with many of the characters you meet. The interface, for movement, interaction, and combat, is standard point-and-click and easy to use. Inventory management is uncomplicated and firing a weapon simply requires good reflexes and aim. Compared to other FMV games in 1995, the time of release, Angel Devoid delivers on the interactive movie aspect more so than many of the others purporting to be interactive. However, the gratuitous blood and slow load times keep it from being a standout in the genre. The story is compelling and the evolution of the plotline is handled well through the choices of dialogue and attitude. Playing Angel Devoid can be a tense experience mainly because of the tough decisions and unrelenting action you encounter as the game develops but puts too much emphasis on death when those decisions are wrong.
Graphics: Not everyone will like the sinister dark mix of futuristic settings with old Gothic style architecture. Acting is above average for most FMVs and the 3D rendered graphics are a cut above the norm.
Sound: Terrific soundtrack and excellent sound effects although the game suffers occasionally from disconcerting bad synchronization of sound to video.
Enjoyment: Too many deaths (thus restores) because of trial-and-error, especially in the beginning of the game, detract from enjoyment. Angel Devoid will test your resolve and patience and requires a desire to stick with it to get to the meat of the story.
Replay Value: With multiple endings on account of the varied responses and attitudes used throughout the game, replay value is surprisingly good.
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Blade Runner, Are You Afraid of the Dark: The Tale of Orpheo's Curse, Ark of Time, Black Dahlia, Aliens: A Comic Book Adventure, Animal, Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express, 9: The Last Resort
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