The VII Enigma is a sci-fi mystery visual novel developed by studio Spire Games that features English text with animated backgrounds and multiple choices and endings. Currently, there is no voice acting. The game provides a medium gameplay length of around 20 hours but can be stretched to more if you want to read carefully and check all the files, which are very interesting and detailed.
The game is set in a future in which the company is victim of the BOSC (Bureau of Safety Control), a ghost government that has acquired absolute control through a series of devices that can be summarized as the Tempus System. There is, however, a group of people who intend to overthrow the aforementioned government with the help of a mysterious entity called The Founder.
The themes within this visual novel are very dark. Even in moments of tranquility and joy, the melancholy and feeling that everything could go for the worst never leave you. I really enjoyed this style as it makes the story very captivating and ensures that there are never any dull moments.
Every character is well-developed in terms of personality and backstory, you will be able to understand them better the further you progress through the game. They are very complex and listening to their stories and thoughts will have you sympathizing with them.
We will see the points of view from both the sides of the game, The BOSC and the Anti-BOSC, respectively from two characters in particular: Agent Beckett, a cynical and ambitious man who will do everything in the name of power, and Elijah Shawn, a man who lost his memory and was saved by the activists to free the society from control for a better future.
This visual novel has a very interesting OST, very pleasant to listen to since it manages to give you exactly the vibe that suits each moment perfectly, from relaxed situations to thrilling.
A persistent theme present in the OST is a certain cyberpunk element, accentuated from the usage of an electronic music base combined with other kinds of music. Personally, my favorite one is the Main Menu Theme, it has such an epic sound that I fell in love with this track the moment I first heard it. I would be really happy to buy a DLC with the full OST, if it were to be released in future.
Graphic Style & Animations:
One aspect that immediately drew my attention is the graphical style the studio decided to use.
It is a very pleasant hand-drawn style, which reminds me of Tex comics books. The colors used play an important role in it, neither too bright nor too dull.
This particular style works well with this game, it’s a rare combination that gives it an old-fashioned feeling. It furthermore combines pretty well with the backgrounds, which are also animated on some occasions, such as rain fall. Every character’s sprite also reflects their feelings, so we can have a dynamic effect during the dialogues.
On a side note, animations work pretty well, because they can make a static background or scene “dynamic”, and together with some spectacular shots, like the snow part, they truly are breath taking for how evocative they are.
The menu has a section with every file you have unlocked in the game, which consists in summaries of the chapters played, endings unlocked, and lastly all the characters and special terms with detailed explanations for each.
The VII Enigma truly impressed me, and I honestly can’t wait for the sequel, which I hope I’ll be lucky enough to be able to play! Definitely a visual novel to try if you are looking for something different, gloomier, and together with the OST and the thrilling plot it can truly give you a great experience full of tension and have you feeling always on the edge!