When most people hear the name Orwell one thing comes to mind. George Orwell was the author of the classic dystopian novel, 1984. It’s only fitting then that the game of the same name basically puts you in the position of Big Brother.
Orwell is a modern day detective game that entrusts you with finding the perpetrator of a bombing at a small park. The game begins by telling you that you’ve been recruited to serve as an investigator within a program called Orwell.You start off with a suspect. Then you’re tasked with gathering evidence about the suspect, enough of which can make a case against that suspect. You look through personal websites, new sites, chat logs, and more to collect information. Once you find something that you think is relevant to the case, you drag that info into the program, where it’s documented for you to read later.
In my approximately 20 minutes with the game, I was able search a number of things to collect information. Watching the chat log happen “in real time” gave the experience of what I imagine to be an FBI agent. I’m probably entirely wrong in that assessment, but it was cool all the same.
One of my concerns out of the gate was that there was a large amount of hand-holding. The relevant bits of text from news stories and other sources were always highlighted, negating the need to really dig into everything and find information for yourself. As noted though, I only spent about 20 minutes with the game, which could have in theory just been the tutorial. That time was also focused on one suspect. The person leading the demo said that while everything starts with that specific incident and this one suspect, but you will quickly find that things aren’t quite what they seem.
There’s the potential for a lot of depth here, but there’s also the potential for a lack of depth as well. I’m hoping for the former because the game stands out in a world of shooters and RPGs. Orwell is slated for release later this year.