If I had to put it bluntly, I could probably write a whole song and dance routine about my love for point and click adventures. I may have mentioned a few times over the past year that this specific genre was one of my first gateways into this incredible industry (along with MSDOS classics like Supaplex and Dangerous Dave OH IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOU SHOULD!), it was my happy medium between the ever growing presence of computer technology in the 90’s and the wonderfully cartoonish, which was mostly evident in the LucasArts classics and surely I’m not the only one that thinks that, as it’s influence can be seen in the more recent entries into the point and click genre and this speaks absolute volumes when it come to the Deponia series, and it’s sophomore effort, Chaos on Deponia.
Released back in 2012 Chaos on Deponia along with its predecessor ‘Deponia’ have been making their way from PC exclusives and onto consoles. Seemingly taking inspiration from those that have come before Chaos on Deponia captures the surreal, fourth wall breaking humour of Monkey Island and Sam and Max with the rich, vivid art style of Full Throttle and the early Broken Sword games. And it with it being developed and published by Daedelic, the same people that made my dark horse of 2017 ‘Pillars of the Earth’ my hopes were high for this title.
Chaos on Deponia begins with us re-joining our hero Rufus breaking the fourth wall, saying out loud what we’ve all been thinking about tutorials for years. And for those of you that missed the first part of the franchise (myself included) we are treated to a hilariously low budget recap of the events of the previous tale, followed by us continuing Rufus’ plight to stop the villainous Organons from destroying his home planet of Deponia, rescue and protect Goal, the girl of his affections and hopefully leave the trash planet he calls home and get to Elysium. The creators really hit the nail on the head here with with a simple yet cever narrative and an awesome cast of characters that all meld together well. A game about sentient life on other planets is complimented well as the characters themselves incredibly sentient and self-aware that they are in a game throwing back to those wonderful LucasArt games to a tee, however it just doesn’t seem as natural and as fluid as those games. Our main protagonist Rufus is somewhat of an oxymoron, a stupid genius and between this and his save the world, get the girl mantra can actually be kind of a dick (with deep seeded daddy issues and the occasional soft spot), his overall approach and appearance seem rather familiar and personally I wouldn’t be surprised that there is a fan theory out there somewhere that he is a descendant of Guybrush Threepwood and much like him the supporting characters give him support through his shenanigans whilst looking on at him disapprovingly.
The developers have done a cracking job of bringing vibrancy and colour to a world quite literally made out of garbage, and with a number of different landmarks and different sections gives this small world a sense of diversity, from bustling marketplace, the dank and poorly lit tavern, the scrap metal being the foundation of the buildings, Little Venice and the sky high Bellevue makes each section you walk into interesting and gave me an appreciation for the world of Deponia that the inhabitants just don’t have Daedelic truly have done their hardest to me something out such a small surrounding and here I must give credit where credit is due. However, even though the character models are well though out, unique in design and much like the surroundings are represented bold and crystal clear and the comical, jerky movements they make the slapstick stand out to a brilliantly cartoon like degree but the hit and miss voice acting, robotic lack of movement and Bruce Lee level lip syncing lets the experience down artistically. Chaos on Deponia also eatures a soundtrack full of charm, wonder and range, it may lack grandeur, but this kind of title doesn’t really call for it, less is more in this particular situation. Also, the singing minstrel that appears throughout delivers the wit to a Monty Python like degree.
Being a point and click adventure, Chaos on Deponia does pretty much does what it says on the tin. Though this game only comprises of 3 chapters you will still spend hours of your time exploring every corner, snatching everything you can add to your inventory along the way and figuring out the weird and wonderful ways in which they can be applied, this provokes some serious out of the box thinking which is truly the essence of point and click, and the mini games spread throughout bring a light hearted feel, especially the intense game of rock, paper,scissors also my advice? You may need a walkthrough (who know a makeshift catapult could hatch a platypus egg?). BUT! And this is a big but! The already constant to-ing and thro-ing is made painful by the sheer slug’s pace that Rufus moves at, saving the day is indeed tricky business when your playable character moves so slow.