Detective and Mystery games frequently fall into horror. There's something about murders, creepy mansions, no lights, clues and all combinations thereof that intrigues. But to be successful it needs to be more than just a simple checkpoint to checkpoint style. Otherwise you risk getting into the monotony of using rail-shooters or quick-time events too much. No70: Eye of Basir shows what's right, and wrong, with this kind of game.
Behind every good game like this is a good story. You are Erhan. You find that your house has secret rooms, and you wonder why there are rooms. And also an eyepiece for some reason. You need to figure it all out. While it was interesting, especially bits focusing on the past like the Ottoman Empire, much of the story devolved into a lot of infodumps of writing and used all of the standard scare factors (think sudden appearance of figure to a loud noise). It was also WAY short, although that's more on the game itself than the story. There were some glimmers of goodness, but ultimately it was disappointing.
A high note is the art and graphics. The house and grounds are well rendered. Graphics were a little last gen, but it really nailed down what a creepy old house is, and what it can hide. Old-timey things were reproduced digitally in an old-timey way, and even things like the rain looked what they do in those conditions.
The controls in No70 were pretty basic – walk around, get clue, flashlight, etc. Not much confusion on what to do on Steam. As for the gameplay, the controls pretty much answer what it's like playing this. Walk around to clues. You need to figure some stuff out, but honestly it's not that hard. No70 tried very hard to be horror, but honestly it felt more like walking around in a dark house.
Not much on the music side, just gentle guitar in the opening, and then lower notes of dread playing forebodingly in the background. It was also very minimalist on the sound – just walking noises, ghost whisper sounds, loud banging – standard horror stuff. It fit well into the game, but it was nothing special.
The frame rate was ok. Sometimes it's crystal clear, and other times it feels almost a second behind. Besides a few wall clipping points, there weren't any real glitches.
No70: Eye of Bashir gives a very vanilla game. There isn't much to do except go around and slowly solve a mystery. It almost feels like a guided tour at times. The art is really good, and a few story points are interesting, but it doesn't distinguish itself that much. It felt like many other games of the same thread, if a bit shorter. If you like the genre, you might get a kick out of No70, but for me, it was a little basic.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.