Chaos on Deponia Review

by

I’ve never… I’ve never hated a game before. This is new for me.

Chaos on Deponia is a sequel to Deponia, a game about a poor tinkerer named Rufus, who, in an attempt to escape the trash planet of Deponia for the floating city of Elysium, accidentally knocks a rich girl named Goal to his garbage planet. The second games picks up after the events of the first, with Rufus lodged in the side some kind of Elysium elevator/gondola thing trying to either rescue Goal or get her to love him or something, it’s not really made clear.

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This may have something to do with it. Thanks Google.

After a series of long-winded dialogue, Goal and Rufus eventually end up on Deponia. Goal’s brain is severely damaged, and due to Rufus being self-absorbed beyond the point of common sense, Goal’s repaired brain divides her personality into three parts. The game then dances between fixing Goal, whose personalities are completely adverse to repairing herself, and SAVING THE PLANET WHY ISN’T THAT IMPORTANT TO ANYONE ELSE?

I have never encountered a game that made me so completely frustrated. Everyone in this game is an idiot. No character is sympathetic. The big joke about Rufus is that he’s self-absorbed and everyone hates him, well, good job because I also hate him. I hate everything he does, from his stupid face to his obnoxious attempts at humor.

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Seen here, as bored as I am.

I know point-and-click adventure games are supposed to have humor that’s so bad it’s good, or knowingly lame, but this game’s humor is just unbearable. The dialogue is this slow, trudging attempt at human communication, and each supposed punch line is followed by three or four more baseless, sad attempts at comedy, which, of course, you have to listen to in case they contain important puzzle-related information. It’s like the game actively doesn’t want you to know how to beat it, like it’s alive and fighting back by being horrible and unplayable.

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This man’s window is a functioning guillotine, which is certainly a cry for help.

In fact, everything about this game feels like it was designed to steal away as much of your Earthly time as it can get away with. Each line of rambling, poorly acted dialogue is preceded by a one second delay as though each line has to be loaded individually. Why? Why do you do this, game?! I didn’t buy you on a floppy disk.

And why do I have to watch Rufus slowly walk around literally anywhere he goes? Can’t he jog at least once? Please?

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See that bridge in the background? Every time he walks across it you’re ten full seconds closer to death.

How about facial expressions? Even he looks bored out of his mind. Can’t he be even slightly uplifting?

No, no he can’t, because I’m certain he was designed by a malevolent, non-human entity. This is the main character: the man whose mistakes you have to spend the whole game cleaning up. Fixing Goal’s brain is the majority of gameplay, which means the overall plot doesn’t advance, you’re just fixing one unlikeable man’s mistakes for several hours, or until the insanity sets in.

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It’s disturbingly close to a visual novel.

The worst part is the puzzles.  The damn puzzles. The puzzles in this game make zero sense. I’m not saying that they’re difficult, mind you. I’m saying that the completion of any single objective involves a complex rube-goldberg machine of working parts over several off-screen areas. The pieces of each part need to be assembled as well, but there’s no direction or indication of what goes where and in what order, which means you have no idea what you’re doing, ever. The only way you advance is through a mind-numbing process of elimination, and that’s not fun, that’s flailing hopelessly until the game’s inane rules allow you to advance.

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This part made me smile.

So, anger aside, I will admit that the backgrounds are pretty. Of course, that’s not even a silver lining at this point for the same reason that if you were shot in the stomach you wouldn’t be glad that you didn’t get blood on your hat.

Final word: this game is so bad I’m suspicious it was made in order to absorb human life. Only buy this game for yourself if you’re trying to get into the mood for a dazzling round of seppuku. Only buy this game for a friend if you want to give them something that can sit in their steam library reminding them not to talk to you.

Do anything else. May God protect us from this darkness.