Wales Interactive have been a favourite Studio of mine since I played The Bunker. What they bring to FMV games is a world apart from what we had with Night Trap (although I still love that game a little too much) and show what can be done with some innovation. So when I was thrown The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, I was eager to see what they had come up with this time, and what they gave me was a game that takes from H.P Lovecraft and gives you a journey like no other game I have ever played.
You take on the role of a psychologist who has been brought in to deal with the murdered Doctor Dekker’s patients, questioning them on their lives, problems and also questioning them around the circumstances of Doctor Dekker’s death. This can be done in two ways either by selecting one of the pre-composed questions or entering a response yourself by free typing them. And yes I did ask some inappropriate questions and got some amazing responses so you should totally try it, but the expressive freedom mechanic is an excellent addition to the game and even though it does have its own limitations it makes you feel more in control of where you want the conversation to go, than in TellTale Games when you have only the few choices they give you.
After a brief introduction with the patients you get down to the nitty gritty of questioning them all individually and this is where the Lovecraft theme comes out in force with psychological and supernatural events come to the forefront of the characters conversations.
The game play works well for the majority of the game, but there is always some frustration with how characters can react if you ask the wrong question or the conversation seems to repeat itself, but this is generally down to how you are constructing your questions and not a flaw in the game. Where some FMV games fail is the lack of depth in the characters themselves, but the cast assembled for this game are fantastic, and have you engrossed in their stories from the start. From how they are friendly, angry, upset you can never take your eyes off them and want to keep finding more out about them. Kudos to the devs for such a brilliant script for the game which if it doesn’t receive some sort of acknowledgement when awards are been handed out, then it is a bigger injustice since Greedo shot first.
With games like this though you always worry about if you would want to replay it over and over again, but yet again the game steps up to provide you with a randomly selected killer at the start of each game. This seems so simple but is overlooked so many times but this is why Doctor Dekker stands out from the crowd. It is hard to write this review without giving away spoilers but trust me when I say even after you have played the game, which runs at a very impressive eight to ten hours, you will find yourself thinking about the characters and if you could have done something differently. This is what every game wants to give you but few actually do, and to get this from a game that isn’t AAA is a magnificent feat and should be the standard bearer for all FMV games to come.
In short The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is an immersive masterpiece with a stellar cast and a brilliant script which deserves to be lauded for all the right reasons. With the replay value and the ridiculous cheap price for how great the game is you would need a good reason to not buy this game. And when you do you will sit back in awe of how good games can be.
Now if you will excuse me, I have patients to see.
Developer: D’Avekki Studios
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review we were provided with a review code from the publisher. For our full review policy, please go here.