It just so happened that the laws of nature do not have their own plots and personalities. Scientific postulates are just dry equations, as far from fiction as poetry is far from logarithms. But what if we represent Newton’s law of universal gravitation not as a physical formula, but as a romantic comedy? What if you put Darwin’s theory of evolution, say, in the form of a Western?
As strange as it may sound, the authors of Genesis Noir decided to implement a similar idea, and they got it, at least, very curious.
Universe on vinyl record
The protagonist of Genesis Noir is a black and white and 2D watch seller painted with neon ribbon. Returning one day to his beloved, he finds her in a rather difficult situation: some stranger shot her right at the moment the door opened. But instead of a bullet and a flash of flame from the barrel of a pistol, a newborn universe flew out, which tore space and stopped the passage of time. Fortunately, the watchmaker is not afraid of such an anomaly. In the hope of preventing a murder that has not yet been committed, he decides to turn the tragedy back and jumps straight into the abyss spreading across the bedroom.
Time froze around, but the universe is inexorably moving towards the victim
Genesis Noir tells about the attempt to destroy this new world: while investigating a future crime, the hero simultaneously observes different stages of the development of the universe. Each chapter of the plot is devoted to a certain time period – the Big Bang, the emergence of life, the exit of mankind into space. But it will not work for a long time to remain an indifferent observer, because our presence does not go unnoticed; in addition, the potential killer does not sleep and also enters the world he has created. As a result, an attempt to cause an apocalypse quickly turns into a tense pursuit of a criminal, where accidental interference in the development of the universe will not only affect the fate of the whole world, but also link it with the story of the protagonist. In an attempt to save the love of all life, we accidentally create light and darkness, change the course of evolution and help scientists make great discoveries.
Plus the presentation and visuals are really amazing here. Genesis Noir is a kaleidoscope of surreal visual moves, ever-changing styles and effects. It begins as a traditional noir, but as soon as you start to get tired of the color scheme, the authors immediately find a way to visually diversify the setting. The green of a prehistoric forest bursts into the black and white space, or the ancient ocean saturates the picture with reflections and depth. Giant explosions of stars, dives to the seabed, bustle and dynamics of futuristic cities: the staged moments are short, but insanely beautiful. Remaining mostly two-tone, Genesis Noir is remembered for its bright, catchy colors – not at all expected from noir, which, it seems, should be dark and depressing.
Although bright colors rarely appear in the environment, the visuals came out varied and memorable.
The richness of the visual component well emphasizes the dynamics of events: the game rapidly changes locations and situations. Already in the first couple of hours, you will have a chance to go for a walk between the stars, drink tea with samurai and take part in a primitive hunt. The absurd mood of the story allows you to change entire eras on the fly, and Genesis Noir takes this chance to the fullest. It is not always possible to understand what exactly is happening on the screen in terms of the plot, but the visual design turned out to be so successful that you cannot take your eyes off, as if you are falling into a hypnotic trance.
At least until the gameplay intervenes.
Before each new chapter, the authors give a small scientific background. Sometimes dry and overly accurate, but it resonates well with the madness of the rest of the game.
No longer dust, but not yet a star
Have you watched the cartoon about ” Dasha the Traveler “ as an adult? If so, then you probably noticed how strange the moments feel when Dasha asks the audience to tell her the way or answer a sudden question. The narrative stops absurdly at such moments, and the heroine silently stares at the screen for several seconds, expecting the viewer to respond. Oddly enough, but the gameplay of Genesis Noir evokes very similar associations in me.
What’s noir without a flask of alcohol?
Most of the game is one long, almost non-interactive cutscene. By itself, of course, it is beautiful, and it is interesting to follow the narrative – but suddenly everything suddenly stops. The action freezes, the music becomes quieter. This means that Genesis Noir decided to check if the player has fallen asleep in front of the monitor, and urgently demands to click on something with the cursor. You don’t need to aim or think too much: you just have to poke around random objects a couple of times, and all the puzzles will solve themselves. The action will return, the music will become louder again – you can continue to admire the cosmic beauties.
The main problem of the game is that it is not a point-and-click, and certainly not a puzzle, but a clicker. Simple, unhurried clicker with very rare gameplay. There are almost no real mysteries here, there are no minimum serious mechanics either. If we do something ourselves, then, as a rule, we do not understand at all why, why and for what purpose. To open one of the first doors, cut off the petals of the flower, and then use the cursor to turn its surface into a kind of disco ball. Visually, it looks great, but the player is engaged in the process, guided not by logic, but simply because the flower is the only interactive object on the screen.
From the outside, it looks like a puzzle, but in reality, a few random clicks are enough. However, as always
And so it continues until the end credits. Occasionally click on what is being clicked and, if possible, do not ask unnecessary questions. The player’s indifference does not have a good effect on the pace of the narrative: prolonged inactivity begins to catch up with boredom, and the gameplay emptiness is quite capable of knocking out of the atmosphere. Genesis Noir’s great visuals seem to want to be separate from everything else, which often makes the gameplay seem out of place.
Occasionally, developers still offer some kind of interactive, but it never affects anything and performs exclusively decorative functions. For example, when we participate in the origin of life on Earth, the game allows us to personally construct a couple of new species. And towards the end, we brightly paint the majestic cosmic canvas depicting the fate of the hero and the newborn universe to the accompaniment of a real musical number. These scenes are absolutely amazing to feel and look, but are completely unnecessary for either the plot or the gameplay. It’s a pity – the moments when Genesis Noir allows the player to become a co-author of himself were the best. If this kind of art therapy were the centerpiece of the game, and not a passing attraction for a couple of times, Genesis Noir would be truly original in everything.
Genesis Noir has truly cosmic potential hidden in it, and everything that it has managed to achieve will leave a long aftertaste. The only disappointing thing is that she seems to be stuck in a transitional state between an animated film and a video game. For the former, there is too much gameplay in it, and for the latter, on the contrary, it is unforgivably little. But if you are ready for the fact that Genesis Noir needs to be unpaused from time to time by clicking the cursor on the screen, then it will give an incomparable experience. After all, not every day is lucky to see how the universe is born from cigar ash and jazz music.
- impressive visuals;
- original approach to the plot and its presentation;
- many memorable moments;
- great music.
- empty gameplay;
- many small bugs;
- some episodes towards the end feel very prolonged.
How we played
What: the key was bought on Steam.
How much: about 5 hours.
Achievement of the editorial office
“And you said that there is no benefit from games”
Use Genesis Noir to prepare for your quantum physics exam.
Subtitles are fully translated into Russian.
Genesis Noir transforms cosmological theory into a spectacular detective that sorely lacks good gameplay.