Get Even is a first-person psychological horror game that showed quite a bit of promise pre-release, but the final version fails to capitalise on what it does differently and, in amalgamation with a number of other flaws, none of its potential is anywhere near realised. The title attempts to blend your typical shooter with a detective tale that tasks you with searching for clues, à la Condemned 2, but neither concept complements the other in this case, which is then worsened by the fact that both feel a little unfinished. This culminates in an experience that we think even the most devoted of horror fanatics should stay far away from.
You step into the shoes of Cole Black, a man who has woken up inside an abandoned asylum with the latest dose of video game amnesia. A slightly more original idea is that Black has a sort of virtual reality headset strapped to his face which allows him to read and replay human memories, and he must use this to work out what happened during the opening scene of the game. The introduction in question climaxes with Black attempting to rescue a teenage girl who had a bomb wrapped to her chest, and so our protagonist attempts to find out who the female was and why he was there.
The opener immediately pulls you in and will have you questioning what on Earth is going on, and this results in one of the very few decent things about the game. The plot explores a number of surprising themes, changes up its tone consistently, and keeps you on the edge of your seat at every major plot point. Pacing issues and an ending that slightly overstays its welcome aside, Get Even’s storyline manages to lift the title out of complete atrocity.
Despite having some narrative intrigue, the majority of your time will be spent exploring incredibly dull and samey environments, all while taking out enemies and conducting investigations. Cole Black’s phone is your main tool for analysis as it contains five apps that aid you in your search, those being a map for navigation and a text inbox to receive messages from your comrades, a scanner which highlights important objects, a heat sensitive camera for following tracks, and a UV light for revealing clues. The phone is easy to use and simple to navigate as you can instantly swipe through apps using the D-Pad, or bring up a home screen by holding the R1 button.
However, this mechanic completely contrasts with the combat, which is downright terrible. You’ll be equipped with the typical assault rifles and handguns, but it can feel almost impossible to line up shots with them thanks to the clunky controls and awful camera. It’s a very rough experience that, when combined with some poor enemy AI, makes encounters feel like they’re in an unfinished state.
To bring even the slightest bit of originality to combat, Get Even gives you hands-on time with a weapon called the CornerShot. You aim through a camera attached to the gun, and it allows you to shoot around corners without an enemy ever laying their eyes on you. It’s a neat idea that sets itself apart from other shooters, but again the execution of the mechanic leaves so much to be desired. Every flaw that hinders the use of other guns in the game plagues the CornerShot too.
Another flaw present in Get Even is its presentation, as the title looks like a mid-gen PlayStation 3 game. A dreary colour palette, poor texture work, and an overall crummy graphical appearance means the game plays badly and looks even worse. To make matters worse still, we experienced numerous cases of screen tearing, and texture pop-in is a common occurrence even on a PS4 Pro.
The soundtrack is another area where it’s clear that some thought was spent, but to the point where the audio can actually become overwhelming. It does a good job of creating tension and a foreboding atmosphere, but all too often it actually takes things too far and bleeds too many sounds into an auditory mess.
Get Even had a good base of neat ideas, but the execution of the overall product is so poor that many areas feel unfinished. Combat is quite simply a disaster, the graphics look like they’ve been taken from a 2008 PS3 game, and the soundtrack crushes your enjoyment far too often. The plot may well grab your attention, but the act of actually playing Get Even is nothing but a chore.