Pedestrian gameplay and basic puzzles await you in the Depths
In Depths of Betrayal, the quest for perfect artificial intelligence goes horribly wrong as your friend’s creation, a mechanical Golem, turns on its master and begins kidnapping everyone associated with its creation. You’ll need to travel through this now-frightened land to set things right while collecting random items without many of the usual hidden object game mechanics.
Depths of Betrayal can technically be called a hidden object game, but you won’t spend your time hunting for items on any traditional lists. Rather, you’ll be able to click on random items in each of the game’s locations (all of which are junk-piles in their own right) only to trigger the appearance of an item collection spot. Similar to a fragmented object scene, these instances usually ask for four or more individual items to be placed into their silhouettes in order to unlock a chest, open a door or simply pick something up. Most of these items can be found readily in that same location, while others are broken or otherwise require a missing part before they can be placed.
These broken pieces bring a major element of backtracking to the game, which is disappointing. While each chapter of the game (if you will) may only contain a limited number of locations, you may still be forced to travel back and forth through all of them multiple times, just to find that one item that you knew you needed 10 minutes ago, but couldn’t pick up. Gameplay is fairly linear for the most part, as you’ll only be able to complete a single task at a time (that is, one key item may be needed to pick up the next key item, and so on), and the hint system is thankfully useful, pointing out the exact location to travel to (along with the next item you should collect) even without the use of a map.
There are a few puzzles scattered throughout the game, but they’re incredibly simple. Even games like tile sliding or rotation puzzles may come partially complete, leaving you with less to figure out on your own to actually move on. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t more challenge in these puzzles, as the rest of the game is also lacking in difficulty. That is, while you may have a dozen steps to complete before leaving your current location, item locations are fairly obvious and the game’s hint system simply won’t let you remain stuck for too long. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on how much challenge you expect from these types of games, and there is an expert difficulty mode if you really want to stack the odds against you.
Technically, Depths of Betrayal performs well, with mostly crisp graphics and decent sound effects. The game’s cutscenes contain nice voice acting, especially from our hero, but some of the secondary character voices are over the top and therefore unbelievable. However, like the rest of the gameplay, there’s nothing truly extraordinary here that makes the game stand out.
Depths of Betrayal is an adequate hidden object game, but its incredibly repetitive gameplay and an overdose of backtracking do little to help draw the player in. There are some nice scare-tactics thrown in for effect, as Golem stalks you on your journey, but you’ll spend a bit too much time investigating seemingly pointless locations that feel to have been added for length. Overall, this one is simply an average outing that can quickly be finished in a day and just as easily forgotten.