Released back in 2013, Greed: The Mad Scientist is the first game of a trilogy, that finally reached Steam in 2019 through HH-Games. Developed by Urchin Games, Greed is the turning point for the Pakistan studio, significantly increasing the production value of their games.
Dr. Ralph Goodwin is a worldwide famous scientist, that has only one goal in is life; create the ultimate cure. Not for one specific disease, but for almost all of them, it’s quite the ambitious project, but still, not impossible. Just a few days before the press conference where such a fantastic cure would be announced completely for free, a large explosion destroys the research facility.
With the lab destroyed, players take the role of a detective, charged with the mission to find out what happened. With less to zero probabilities of the cure being intact, a young woman named Sara comes to our aid with important info and even some curious revelations. What mysteries may be lying within the complex lab facility?
Greed: The Mad Scientist takes players to a mist of pharmaceutical interests, greed, strange mutations, and dark secrets. The storyline is perhaps the best Urchin Games has ever developed up until now, with well constructed events that might surprise the less observant ones. The narrative is simplistic, but co-exists just fine with the flow of events, which is usual when games direct all mystery-solving towards the player, and so, letting the immersive feeling build up the whole concept.
Visually, it’s the jump Urchin Games had to do to stay on par with the market, with a much improved visual fidelity and graphical enhancements. Although the engine is basically the same, the resolutions have improved, with a native 720p, making the upscale perfect for 1920x1080 screens. Widescreen Mode is still around, but this time re-adjusts the image to 16:9 users, which is extremely welcome. The base engine still runs the game with background PNG’s, and playing it a 1440p or 4K will eventually create way too much distortion. It’s not perfect, but it’s halfway there, with Vsync on by default, it should compare to any other major studio developing similar games.
Every Hidden Object Scene displays objects rendered in 3D, followed by pretty much the whole location in the game. Background renders are very detailed with the perfect vibe for this type of game. The whole structure looks good, and transpires the intended atmosphere, through the entire adventure. I personally still see some handmade design traces, which only adds to its quality. Cutscenes are full 3D CGI, that look really generic and bland, but it’s not terrible, considering it’s not the main focus of the game!
Hidden Object Scenes are considerably easy to complete, with a fantastic set of items to choose from, all very well organized and not super confusing as we have came across often with other games. It’s well known that some developers like to “hide” objects, but the team behind this first Greed chapter, does not rely on cheap tricks. Objects are placed smoothly across each area, still providing challenging moments. Each Hidden Object scene is unique, and one does not have to go through them multiple times.
Puzzles or Mini-Games however, may not be for the casual or beginner audience. Ranging from easy to medium difficulty, some puzzles may require attentive methods, and may prove a challenge for the less experienced player. Those who are used to putting themselves to the test, it’s a walk in the park. Mini-Games are short but usually repetitive, although always different, they all work in a similar method.
Three modes are available, Normal, Hard, and Detective. Normal is pretty much the standard easier alternative, while Hard is indeed hard, with the Detective mode being the extra hard, where the biggest difference is the unskippable Hidden Object Scenes, and the Hint option is extremely slow to recharge after being used. But if that’s not a challenge enough, there’s also two sets of collectibles scattered around the levels. It’s an interesting concept that has been seen countless times before, but a nice addition nonetheless!
Greed: The Mad Scientist has a very interesting sound choice, giving away massive vibes of horror, but the overall game does not follow such line of environment. Sure, there’s an eerie feeling of mystery, but not entirely horror. The background music is minimalist, melodic but in a simple way, something one would find in a Resident Evil game. It’s definitely a surprise, but it’s far from a large or completed soundtrack, it’s actually just a composure of sounds that came out really well, especially when mixed with effects such as steps, environmental ambiance, or any sound effect.
A fun 3 to 4 hour game, with amazing environments, great atmosphere, and a decent gameplay flow, delivering a small exploration, but filling each area with detailed and personality. A great example of quality over quantity, one that we can never have too much of. The most impressive game Urchin Games produced up till its original release date, and the first from a recommended trilogy!