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Event-D - Visual Novel Review

Visual Novels come and go in the most extreme style possible, and during this last year, we’ve seen them all. However, rare were the occasions we laid eyes upon something like Event-D. Crafted with passion and extremely well directed, this game is nothing more, nothing less than a hidden gem for Sci-Fi fans, and anyone who can’t miss on a fantastic adventure.

Developed and published by Freedintale Studio, Event-D it's the very first project from the studio founded by Manuel F. Cedeño, a 3D artist, getting his first game on Steam just a couple of weeks ago. This is a Sci-Fi Visual Novel depicting space exploration in an original and well produced adventure, one that will most certainly fascinate any fan of the genre.

Humanity is finally doing it, colonizing Mars is no longer a dream, it’s a reality. A chance to leave behind all the negative aspect of the human kind: the pain, the sorrow, the losses, the hatred, everything… The biggest desire of them all, to start something new, fresh and pure, on a new planet. At least that was Commander Claire Vusnon thought, but such high dreams usually come up a large disappointment.

The Space Program was simple, three ships named Arcana were prepared to launch the colonization of Mars, the first ship was supposed to send the first team to prepare everything, while the second was supposed to take in equipment and manpower to build and prepare for the third ship, which would take the colony with hopes of a successful program. Unfortunately, the Arcana 1 never reached its destination… Media coverage claims the ship exploded, but is it true? Considering the expenses, the space program decided to postpone the project indefinitely.

Arcane 2 was supposed to take Commander Claire whose dream was always to get far away from Earth With the incident regarding the first ship, her dreams sounded less and less a possibility even though she worked hard and completed her physical and psychological exams with merit. Things changed when project director Mr. Fenth asked Claire for a special meeting which he revealed the truth to what happened to Arcana 1. The truth would shake Claire, but would also give her a new chance to go to outer space, not as a colonist, but in a rescue mission, one she immediately accepts.

Together with Claire, a small team of the best space engineers, physicians, pilots, and medical support will dive into a mystery that will haunt each member of the crew individually,have them question the whole concept of existence, as well as to test the human boundaries that will put our minds and bodies to the final test. The concept of humanity will never be the same in what Event-D determinants the success of a species and the final barrier between dreams and reality.

Event-D is a 5 to 6 hour long Kinetic Visual Novel inspired by works such as Star Trek, and the award winning Mass Effect video game series. Players will follow Claire and her crew in a mission across our Galaxy to salvage a lost ship to find out what really happened to Arcane 1 in a very well directed game. Thanks to its plot and the well executed narrative, it’s easy to simply get lost in the adventure, without a doubt one of most prestigious requirements any Visual Novel needs.

A narrator will either explain the basic world-functions as well as characters in third person, as an introduction to any new concept. We’ve seen this method in many other games, but we still appreciate the thought of having a “back voice” to really add to the game’s motion. Characters will interact mostly through text and to themselves with thoughts, but players will have a further description of moods through the narrator. In some instances, Event-D can become a book experience, or a comic if you will, since there are no decisions to make, it’s the perfect scenario for players to lose themselves among the fluidity of its narrative. Characters dialogues are very well written, and provide a pleasant and enjoyable reading, crossing all ages.

The game approaches complex issues, but never jumping into the ridiculousness of theorising the inexplicable, although some matters such as Spatial Disarray, Teleportation and Particle Fusion are some of the terms one can go deep with, and scientific references seem to come and go, but all in a perfect balance, so players always understand what’s happening. One of the re-occurring issues among Sci-Fi novels such as the evolution of Artificial Intelligence is also in focus here, with Robots being more than just machines. Could their feelings represent a danger to mankind? Clearly a well placed idea that we've seen before, but still well developed in this case, as it's an important part of the plot. Narrative is almost practical in leaving one with no questions, but having a deep curious desire for more.

Event-D is both very well directed and produced, as in camera angles and positions, but also in unveiling the occurring events. The game is mostly Sci-Fi, but in the deep, dark space, it’s impossible not to mention horror, suspense, even thrilling elements of the unknown, as they come out and their intensity its well represented. Players follow not only Claire, but other crew members, which are less represented, but still become relevant and important, not only through their past, but in their present words and thoughts. Thanks to this, the ambient can become similar to one seen in a movie, or in a really good book, where players will see the interaction of various characters, and not just Claire.

Visually, Event-D has a lot of personality, as it avoids typical character sprites or renders and goes for a much complete experience with 3D Workflow, in which every scene is a dedicated one, with their respective body language and character behavior. Expressions are accurate and small details change, such as reflexes and light/shadow-play, accordingly. The scenes aren’t repetitive along the game, and characters have an amazing design, with a very unique style, mixing a cartoonish 3D art direction, with the extra realistic detail of spaceships, fabric, or space suits. The overall exterior design is very exquisite and detailed. As for the interior, it has a more minimalist side, usually in empty areas or spaces such as rooms or corridors. Everything is 3D and the spaceships in particular are well worth the mention, with fantastic details and look absolutely astonishing upon the dark but sparkling universe covered with stars!

The soundtrack is engaging, with a very futuristic sound, but smooth to the ear, with electronic tunes, created by Naturatech, a producer from Colombia. Music during normal scenes is somehow melodic, and something immediately reminding us of a space adventure, resembling the Mass Effect soundtrack when in the Wards location. It's still delivers a very own style that goes really well with the game and events. More intense action scenes have their own thrilling sounds, still minimalistic but perfect for a dark ambient adventure. Overall the soundtrack suits really well for the game, and it’s currently not for sale as a DLC.

Event-D is without a doubt an hidden-gem, a Visual Novel that delivers a great Sci-Fi engaging adventure, one player’s will fuse completely after a couple of hours in. Original in its visuals, the storyline is intriguing and interesting to follow, where players witness the events not only for Claire, but from a wider perspective.

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