Think Ten Media Group’s upcoming VR FMV/Hybrid detective game, Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams, is set to release soon but we got to spend several hours playing through the final build on our Oculus Quest 2. Is the game worth your time, or should you leave this one unsolved?
Read on to find out
Detective style games have come a long ways from simple point and click adventures, and some now include full motion videos, with interactive, choice driven story lines that can arc in several different directions. Couple that with VR, and you may find yourself fully immersed into an active police investigation.
Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams VR Review – The Storyline
The story for Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams follows a 62 year old woman who was suffering miserably from Pancreatic Cancer. She was bed ridden and 100% reliant on other people for all things. She was found dead from an Oxycontin overdose, and there were only two people in the house that could have given her a lethal dose of Oxy: Her adult daughter and the husband of that daughter. You are the lead detective on the case, and it’s up to you to direct your partner’s interrogations of both suspects.
Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams VR Review – Pay Attention to Details
Gameplay consists of you sitting at your desk in your office and observing the interrogations by your partner. You have plenty of paperwork at your fingertips outlining the evidence for motive, but it’s the suspects themselves that will either make or break this case. After an initial interview of each suspect, your partner will wait for your guidance as to how to proceed. Your decisions create several different story arcs and you’ll need multiple playthroughs if you want to see how each direction plays out. While this isn’t a new concept, we found ourselves intentionally getting things wrong just to see the effects on the storyline. The game resets once you’ve made your final decision, so starting over again is pretty simple. Videos you’ve already seen can be skipped, but you may have missed something the first time through so you may want to watch them again. You can fast forward and rewind when watching an interview back.
The actors did a great job, and while watching the suspects during the interviews it’s really easy to forget they are actors. The subtleties and nuances of deceit and/or grief are played out well by both suspects and adds a layer of gameplay we weren’t expecting. The game touches on the concept of mortality and mercy in end stage cancer, and the writers did a really nice job covering all aspects of the case, if you take several of the story arcs via multiple playthroughs. If you happen to nail every answer correctly on your first playthrough, the game could end up being very short, but if you intentionally take every possible path, expect to spend at least a couple of hours with the game.
Case Files: The Death of Paulette Williams VR Review – Conclusion
Developer Think Ten Media Group did a great job casting for this title, and that really is the key to success for any FMV title. The actors are believable and the story is well written. While this is a short game to playthrough, we hope it sets the stage for many more Case Files to come as it was an enjoyable VR experience.