Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure Review – PS Vita & PC



Adventure games are a genre of gaming that always offer great elements. Telling powerful stories, bringing a smile to your face through well-written jokes, and using the gaming medium in inventive ways to offer fresh experiences. This genre of gaming was present on PC’s for decades but it has a clear home on consoles and portables alike this generation.

The title Demetrios: The Big Cynical Adventure is a adventure game that released on the PlayStation Vita in Late 2016. After having critical success on the PC platform, does the game adapt well in a portable form?

Lets find out by joining Bjorn on his big cynical adventure on the PlayStation Vita and PC platforms!


Story

We follow the adventures of Bjorn Thonen who an antique dealer from Paris. He lives a simple life of running his shop, playing video games and watching TV. He learns that his antique shop was robbed and after specific events happen, he decides to go on a grand adventure to save the world. The set-up is simple but what makes the story work so well is the immense amount of character present throughout the entire game.

When Bjorn interacts with objects, they offer new dialog to see and they are quite funny. Just exploring his apartment got me laughing hard and continuing exploring the game world continues the writing on offer. His interactions with others in the game world are another example of the sharp writing on offer and interacting with specific objects results in various ‘game overs’ with stylized comic book art-style. I greatly enjoyed these bits and they were another reason to explore/interact with everything.

One thing worth noting about the writing is that it can be crude at points but I feel that adds to the games overall charm. It makes interactions feel very visceral and the end result is a game that isn’t afraid to be out there.

Characters you encounter like Sandra show different layers of his character and as you play the game, Bjorn grows as a person. I was invested in his adventure and his personality was a big reason for that. The overall story is well told and written, resulting in a game that is both gut-busting funny and offering a solid story to experience.


Design & Gameplay

The frame work of Demetrios is that you are exploring an overworld map across various chapters trying to solve puzzles to continue through the main story. You have side objectives like finding hidden objects like cookies and interacting with everything but the game funnels you along through the main story. Exploring the world is very simple, having the option for either touch or physical controls. Using both work well and you even have a zoom option to get a better view point of specific objects.

You also have a solid tip system where after eating cookies, you can get a ‘hint’ to solve the games puzzles. As you eat more cookies in succession, you can even get the puzzle spilled out for you if needed. While the puzzles can get tricky sometimes, they are mostly well designed and it results in challenges while not brain taxing, does make you think.

The interface overall is strong and responsive, making usage of items and tools very easy. While not every puzzle is fair, general structure and gameplay is great ensuring you will have a great time exploring the vast world of Demetrios.


Presentation

Demetrios is a great looking game thanks to a great art style that pops off the PS Vita screen. Character designs are quite unique and through having a bit of a ‘rough’ look, you can empathize with the cast a great deal. Bright colors and detailed hand-drawn backgrounds are well done, helping breath further life into the world of the game. Character portraits are also filled with charm, with various expressions having great emoting.

Sound design is solid as using objects offer nice sound and music overall is very enjoyable. It’s varied and always matches the locations you visit. While not an issue, it is worth noting that there is no voice acting in the game. Not a big deal at all, as the text is well written.

Performance is rock-solid on Vita due to maintaining a locked 60FPS ensuring the experience feels smooth. Loading times aren’t that long either on Vita, which is great when trying to load saves for solving puzzles.


Overall: 4 out of 5

Demetrios is a solid adventure game that does a lot right. Offering quality writing that always makes you have a big grin on your face, striking visual style that makes you connect to the game world and game-flow that never punishes you for failing to understanding a puzzle; Demetrios is a great experience I can recommend to adventure game fans on PC and Vita.

This game was reviewed on the PS Vita using a review copy provided by the developer.

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