Trouble With Time Travel
Deponia Doomsday is the fourth and final installment in the Point and Click franchise, Deponia. The developer, Daedalic Entertainment, originally released a trilogy of games in the series that ended on a surprising, unexpected note that did not resonate well with some of the fans. What is even more surprising is that Daedalic announced a fourth game in the series that seemingly undoes the ending created in the third, in exchange for an alternate reality version of the story with a different form of closure. While the alternate reality and time travel infested return to the franchise may not be the preferred method, Deponia Doomsday does offer fans another chance to spend more time with characters that they love and have gotten to know over previous games.
In Deponia Doomsday, you once again control the (supposedly?) lovable character Rufus, but this time back at the beginning of his story. After waking up from a dream (which apparently was the entire last three games plus an quick intro featuring the one-and-only David Hayter), Rufus begins his day with the intention of leaving the trash city of Deponia with his reluctant girlfriend Toni. Everything is going to plan until, out of nowhere, Rufus has his course changed by a time-traveler named Angus McChronicle. Because of this interaction, and the fact that he has a time machine, Rufus’ entire story deviates from what it was supposed to be.
Doomsday’s charm comes from its unique and eccentric cast.
The story of Deponia Doomsday, about which I won’t say much more for the sake of spoilers, is overall pretty good. I, personally, really don’t like the idea of time-travel entering a storyline, especially in a way that retcons the entire previous history established. I was able to forgive a lot of my issues caused by this because of the silly tone and interesting ideas, but the end became so convoluted with time-travel that it became hard to follow what was going on anymore. Up until the end, however, the use of the time-travel works pretty well and presents a bit of a “greatest hits of Deponia” kind of vibe and allows for more fan-favorite characters to be re-introduced and re-explored.
Speaking of characters, most of Deponia Doomsday’s charm comes from its unique and eccentric cast. I loved so many of the characters, particularly Toni and Goal, and the random side characters are often absolutely hilarious. Rufus, however, was someone that I really didn’t enjoy. I found him to be annoying, immature, oblivious, and self-centered – all aspects found in people that bother me in real life. This, unfortunately, led me to read his dialogue as fast as I could so that I would be able to skip it and get it over with quickly. Thankfully, as I said before, the other characters’ charm and writing greatly overshadow Rufus’ faults. (I do want to quickly mention that there are a couple of jokes made at certain characters that left me uncomfortable, particularly a couple instances of sexual objectification of Goal and an extended “gag” about a man deciding he should become a woman after getting beat up by Toni).
… puzzles are often based on trial and error …
Other than the story and characters, the most important thing about Point and click games is the puzzles and interaction with the world. While I love these types of games a great deal, the puzzles are often based on trial and error and can have some absolutely nonsensical solutions. Deponia Doomsday falls into this trap probably more often than it should. While I wasn’t stumped every second like I was with older games like Grim Fandango or Day of the Tentacle, I did have the classic “now how on earth would I EVER have thought of that??” response happen more times than I would have liked. But, overall, there weren’t enough of them to ruin the experience, and I had a couple of “AHA!” moments that made me feel pretty smart because things behaved like I expected them to!
I have never played a Point n’ Click game on anything other than a PC, so I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to play this on the PS4 with a controller. Rather than being forced to click everywhere trying to find what you can interact with, a simple button press highlights everything interactable on the screen. Also, instead of having to control a cursor like you would on PC, you simply move Rufus with a thumbstick near the object of choice and can interact with a simple button press. All this is to say, regardless of what platform you choose to play on, the experience will be just the same!
A quality Point and Click adventure game.
My favorite part of Deponia Doomsday, other than the great side characters, is the visual design. Each area, whether it be a junkyard town, a beautiful utopia city, or an abandoned carnival, is beautifully detailed, unique, and a joy to look at. I loved exploring all the hand drawn environments and wanted to explore each area more than I was allowed to! Similarly, the character design is just as high quality. Characters have so much personality in their appearance, and you will never mix up one character with another.
In conclusion, Deponia Doomsday, despite its faults, is a quality Point and Click adventure game. The storyline, though it does get bogged down in time-travel, is an enjoyable experience. Because of the decision to wipe out previous games’ stories at the start, you don’t have to be an established fan of the previous games to follow and enjoy the story, but it would probably be better if you did. On top of that, the humor is consistently funny throughout, minus the couple instances of tactlessness. And as far as actual gameplay goes, Doomsday inherits all of the pros and cons from the genre, which could either be a deal-sealer or deal-breaker for certain players. Overall, while it probably did not need to exist and certainly isn’t perfect, fans of the Deponia franchise or of other Point and Click games will find a lot to love.
Yes, if you:
- Love Point and Click games (especially the previous Deponia games)
- Like games filled with ridiculous, off-the-wall humor
- Are a fan of plots with time-travel
- Enjoy cartoony, colorful, hand drawn visuals
No, if you:
- Do not enjoy Point and Click games (kind of obvious, but still important)
- Can’t stand annoying characters
- Need a game with puzzles that always make logical sense
Deponia Doomsday is available on PC (released March 1st, 2016) and later on PS4 (reviewed) and Xbox One (released February 27th, 2019) at MSRP of $19.99.
Note: Cannonicity received a copy of Deponia Doomsday in exchange for a fair and honest review.