This one is a bit of a corker. The first all live action video game murder mystery, this could have been awful, and is taking so many more risks than either a TV murder mystery or a traditional video game, as there were so many things that could have gone wrong.
It needed to play well and feel interactive, that the player was actually playing a part in proceeding and figuring things out, and the script, usually a secondary function in many games, needed to be spot on. The developer (and film crew) deserves rich plaudits for what they have achieved here, as they have manged to combine the two halves to form a very good piece of interactive entertainment.
The script is clever and laced with intrigue as you find out more and more about the characters, and would not feel out-of-place as an episode in a TV series. The acting, usually woeful in this sort of live action/videogame crossover, is superb with very good actors creating believable and layered characters. I won’t go into the characters too much, as I really don’t want to give anything away, as the element of surprise is important for the development of one or two characters in particular.
Here, straight from the developer, are the app’s best features:
Contradiction is the first fully interactive, all-video murder mystery adventure game. Everything you see is live-action video, with real actors in atmospheric locations. You decide where to go, where to investigate, who to speak to and what to ask. As the story unfolds you’ll meet new people, witness new events and discover new places.
The game itself is all about finding the contradictions in what the characters say and do, which helps progress the story, fill plot holes and get you ever closer to finding the truth. In reality, there are shades of Phoenix Wright in the way some of it is framed, but the contradiction function itself works well. You are free to talk with whichever character you want to and investigate any currently unlocked area. There are quite a few question options, although a few more per character would have been nice.
The game is fairly expensive, but I feel it is worth it as you are getting something truly unique here. An interactive TV show that works, has a good script, decent characters that are brought to life by good actors and an intriguing gameplay element that is far more than a menu or two.
If you like your murder mysteries, either on TV or in videogames, then you will absolutely love this.