Mystery television show meets video game. That is Contradiction in a nutshell. In this video game where everything is a live-action video, you take on the role of Inspector Jenks who has been given seven hours to determine whether a young woman named Kate Vines really committed suicide or if something more sinister is afoot.
The gameplay is relatively simple. You navigate around town, collect a few pieces of evidence, question suspects, and call them out on any contradictions in their stories. Pointing out certain contradictions will cause an hour in-game to pass, and new witnesses will become available or story events will trigger. If you ever get stuck, you can call up the chief and get a tip that will nudge you in the right direction.
It’s really a unique game style, and that in itself is enough to keep you entertained during the roughly six to seven hours of gameplay. But the story slowly sucks you in as well as new layers unfold, and by the end you have a nicely tangled mystery with suspects and red herrings all around you.
While it is a lot of fun to go through every suspect’s testimony and look for things that don’t add up, occasionally the gameplay does become frustrating, as you revisit witnesses for the umpteenth time to ask about some new little bit of information and try to find that one last contradiction that will advance the story. Sometimes the game will also bug out a bit and not let you select pieces of a character’s statements in order to accuse them of the contradiction, and I found myself having to exit the interrogation and reenter it on several occasions, in order to fix this problem.
You can’t really talk about the game without also mentioning the acting. It’s a delight to watch. It’s over the top sometimes and cheesy, but it’s supposed to be. It feels like a melodrama, with villains you love to hate and a lead actor who seems to be channeling his inner David Tennant in the best possible way.
While the mystery does reach a conclusion, several plot threads are left hanging, and whether we’ll ever get a sequel is dependent on whether or not the creator will get funding for it. But any ambiguities by the end actually makes perfect sense from a storytelling point of view, given that Jenks is only given seven hours to determine the cause of death.
Even if there’s never a Contradiction 2, this game is worth playing in its own right.
Upshot: Fun mystery, incredibly entertaining acting, and unique gameplay make up this video game that could become a delightful series
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