Beholder-Review Beholder Review

   18/01/2018 at 16:09       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - PS4, Xbox One, Strategy

Review by Dean Davis

This War of Mine meets the German film The Lives of Others was my initial thought about Beholder, a game that pits you as the landlord of an apartment building with an ulterior motive, you were installed there by a totalitarian state to spy on your tenants. You install video cameras in double sneaky places (not even remotely sneaky places at all), look through all of their personal belongings and through conversation, deliberately trying to get them to reveal anything that can and most definitely will be used against them in the near future!

You are given a set of directives by the state and a time frame to complete them, apparently the drug dealer in apartment 2 is already on their radar so it’s up to me to keep a file on anything that he does, eventually filing a report once I have concrete evidence of his crimes. Police brutality and an empty apartment ensues..

Unfortunately, there aren’t many instances of high drama or gut wrenching moral dilemmas to ponder over as you pretty much become some kind of errand boy for the tenants. The Doctor that’s now living in apartment 2 is lonely and wants me to find him a date, once I get him a date he wants me to acquire some chocolate from the black market, the old man in apartment 1 wants me to find his glasses, the fisherman in apartment 3 wants me to sell some canned food on the black market, the wife wants a new frying pan.. on and on it goes. This isn’t what I signed up for, I’m supposed to be wrestling with moral dilemmas, forced to make some difficult choices. Instead of this I got shot in the head by the fisherman because our joint venture of selling canned food on the black market didn’t yield a profit!

In my second playthrough I actively tried to be an absolute monster of the highest order, I intended to sell everyone out and make their lives a misery but I ultimately found that you really don’t have that level of freedom nor do you have much say in how thing’s pan out to be honest. Every so often you make a decision and that decision can manifest in some pretty big ways sometimes (Fisherman. Apartment 3) but most times you just get lead down a series of quests where you effectively have a shopping list of stuff that you need to buy off the black market.

Beholder ultimately suffers from far too much busy work and poor writing, upon subsequent playthroughs it’s apparent that most of the events are scripted to appear in the exact same order every time. It’s a very interesting concept for a game but there is little substance to it and not many reasons to keep playing once you have experienced it once.

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