Beta Test #22: Beholder 2

Beta Test

*Adjusts set top box* Ok, maybe over here? ‘These Lima beans are even better than the ones we had for breakfast and lunch! Ooh a Lima bean that looks just like the Leader, I’ll put it with the others!’, okay…or ‘I am covered in the dust of the Leader, he favours me!’, wait, how about  ‘Nananananananana LEADER’, DAMN IT!

Do you want to see the inner workings of my head? Do you want to see all that’s left after this month? Please, allow me to introduce you to the running gag reel of simpsons quotes I’ve been non stop pelting myself with!

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All hail the Leader, Citizens. I’m Bethany Griffiths, and This is Beta Test! A game review platform where I – H O V E R   B I K E Enthusiast – choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review. 

Yes my lovelies, the winter’s gone, the snow’s depart, the dead sleep on, it’s me! (Not Bertolt Brecht. Please don’t @me with your high school theatre complaints. No one can save you from the trauma of your youth). Spring is here, and you know what that means! Out with the seasonal depression, in with the regular, rapidly rising, levels of anxiety! I feel rejuvenated, relaxed, ready to huff pollen, and snort baby birds. Got a squirrel? It’s now my minion. All praise to Persephone! I’m here, I’m queer, Spring is in the air!

…Maybe I need to lay off the Zertec.

OK, you’re probably thinking I’ve gone mad, and yes, The Funny Farm is on a loop on my Spotify right now, HOWEVER it’s a good thing I’m revved up because that’s the most exciting thing about this review. Yes, sorry for the whiplash but I’ve just played one of the hardest games I’ve had to stomach in a long time. Yes, not since the days of Batman – The Enemy Within have I been so thoroughly disappointed on a game. Maybe there’s a reason I associate the two together. Both are a joke.

Beholder 2, a Warm Lamp Games and Alawar Premium creation, Tells the story of Evan Redgrave – Son of a ministry worker, who takes over his father’s place at work after his untimely demise. Set once again under the Iron curtain, with very thinly veiled references to both North Korea and China, You have to navigate through tough monetary decisions, relentless coworkers, and gruelling tasks such as working an office job, and paying bills…and reading books…OK can I just actually not. Can I do anything but this please. 

Look, I don’t know how much you know about my actual real life money job (because honestly it’s really not the game’s fault I hate it) but most days I have to sit in the back room of a hospital for 8.5 hours, and answer over 120 phone calls a day about customer complaints, questions, queries, and bookings. To say I live this game is an understatement and I can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t sit at a desk for EIGHT POINT FIVE hours a day, answering phones, telling people that yes, they need a referral to see us, and no, we don’t give out our doctors’ personal home phone numbers, and sorry I know you have cancer but your GP didn’t fax through a referral, (a real, true scenario that I wish I could erase from my mind) then come home and play a game where I sit at a desk for 8 hours hearing people say stupid shit, and telling people that the best way to criminalise their wife/son/poet neighbour is to HaiL tHe LeADeR. I just can’t do it. Even with subplot. Even with all the intrigue. Not even the sudden shocking deaths can save this game for me. 

Beholder 2 had a lot to live up to. The original game is one of my all time favourites, and I was so excited to play the continuation. I was holding out till I got a good quiet month, so I could focus all my time into giving this game all the attention it deserved. ALAS, I was let down like a Simpson on a hover-bike. My dreams of a good gaming month ruined. I was angrily ‘MMMMMMM’ing all the way through my time in this never ending cycle of wake, work, repeat and no I’m not okay.

On the technical side, because at this point I really do just have to be objective, the specs are OK, as a sole PC user though, it was painfully obvious that this was made with the intention of being played primarily on the Switch. 

You walk in a beautifully rendered 3D rendered space, but only use the left and right buttons, with your mouse trailing behind you as you scan for anything remotely clickable. The lack of physical depth on the screen is jarring, especially coming from it’s 2D predecessor, which not only boasted the best of 2D character design, but enabled 3D world movement with mouse touches. The game is repetitive to a blunt point. Not only in the monotony of everyday life, but also in the map. It was genuinely exciting to see all the places I could be going, and I was so disappointed that all it was was a flat plane. What’s worse is the devs even knew this, because you get a map near the start of the game, and the character that gives it to you says that it will save time from running from one side to the other. 

The reason I’m so mad though, beyond the specs, the game play, my job, is that this game is visually stunning. I love the art style. I get to see everything I loved about the first game’s characters reflected back in amazing 3D. I want to play so much more of this game but I physically just can’t!

Because of the pitiful whining coming from my microphone, and the sobbing cry of loss from inside my head, I give this game:

4/5 Dead Colleagues for style.
2/5 Dead Colleagues for plot line.
0/5 Dead Colleagues for easiness.
0/5 Dead Colleagues for NO.

Jesus hell, I don’t even want to do an outro, that’s how upset I am. I can honestly say I’m so glad this month is over. It gave me nothing but avoidance and pain. Also, if you recall I did a review of the original, and in the outro I said ‘Good thing there’s a sequel, or I’d be suffering withdrawals!’. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW PAST BETHANY? WHERE? Well, shit, I’ve been Bethany Griffiths, and this has been Beta Test. A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review.

Until next time. 

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