CAYNE

Developer: The Brotherhood | Released: 2017 | Genre: Adventure, Isometric

This was a free expansion to STASIS, or a standalone DLC if you like. It took place in the same universe and had much of the same gameplay, graphics, atmosphere and mechanics. It too had static isometric screens that flipped to the next by the exits. A lot of PDA diaries, a quantum inventory, mostly on my own…

A lot of it was indeed more of the same.

This time I was in control of Hadley, a young woman pregnant in her ninth month, as she woke up in a sinister laboratory. Like in STASIS, I had to find my way around the dilapidated facility with almost no one around. This time I did meet a couple of humans on my way, but mostly I was on my own – except for a dark voice in my head. It didn’t take much pondering to figure out where that voice came from.

While the atmosphere and the story was still good and most of the puzzles were logical, I must say that I didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as STASIS. It had a big font that looked uninspired, as if it had merely been slapped on in a hurry. A few puzzles also crossed logical boundaries that STASIS for the most part honored. Especially a blueprint puzzle by a locked door was quite the stretch.

The voice acting was once again excellent. Hadley was sometimes sarcastic, but I wasn’t always fond of her comments when I was trying to combine inventory items. Some of them sounded like she was scolding me, like she wanted me to cut that shit out. I liked the ones in STASIS a lot better.

STASIS had an excellent tradition of splitting up its sections into just a few rooms at a time. CAYNE didn’t repeat that. Instead, it gave me a central hub where Hadley was tinier, and it took longer to navigate as the force fields for additional sections came down, one by one – adding more and more rooms.

Spoiler: Details

  • That legless guy screaming in pain had me muting the volume after a while.
  • Using powder on a card to produce a blueprint template for a door lock – I’m glad I got lucky by brute forcing that one. I imagine a lot of players got stuck on this puzzle.
  • Loved Sharon’s awkward portrait photo. She reminded me of a pest in primary school.
  • Some rooms had excessive gore and goo. Good thing I’m not squeamish.
  • Like in STASIS I had to pay attention to tips in PDA diaries – I expected it and was prepared to do so.
  • A shame we didn’t get to kill that creepy guy behind a force field.
  • As far as I could tell, there was only one death moment – meeting Samantha at the open gate.
  • I loved the way Hadley killed Samantha – a creature STASIS only ever mentioned by name.
  • She had to give birth in the final elevator? Damn it, developers – I just knew you would do that.
  • Took me more than 4 hours to complete it – guess I was a slowpoke this time around.
  • A little disappointed about no crossover cameos or mentions from STASIS.

Pros

  • Again excellent static graphics, atmosphere and background sounds.
  • Better support of widescreen monitors – 4K screen resolution was no longer a problem.
  • Most of the time relaxed adventure-point-and-click with plenty of time on my hands.
  • Good voice acting all around.
  • A few epic cutscene moments you wouldn’t expect in a free game.

Cons

  • Again a bit too many PDA’s, each with a lot of diary sessions to read.
  • A few odd exceptions in a sea of good puzzles that really tries your patience.
  • That one room with constant screaming – you’ll know which one when you get to it.
  • A central hub with more rooms opening up instead of sections like in STASIS.
  • Hadley being a bit too angry when combining inventory items.
  • An ending you can see coming a mile away.

7/10

Leave a Reply