I quite enjoyed the original Beholder, it was really interesting and this sequel is honestly very surprising. It takes the series in an entirely different direction in terms of gameplay, while keeping the same themes and overall feeling of the first title. Initially I was a bit shocked by the change, but I quickly found a high level of appreciation for the switch as it leaves room for an interesting and perhaps more intimate type of story.
There’s a lot of freedom, and choice here which is ironic considering the fact that this is a seriously controlling government that you’re a part of. It leans into the Orwellian and Soviet-era concepts very well, making this one unique sort of experience. You’re essentially looking into the very public death of your father, while trying to just make it within the ministry to provide for your family.
While performing a mundane job where you make money based on accuracy, you’ll be completing missions and dealing with mounting problems from others. There’s a lot of secrecy going around, and hidden secrets to uncover along the way. There are many interesting dynamics at play here, various goals and other issues that create a unique system where your path may end in various ways. Will you get the upper hand on others, or will you be too slow and end up in the same hole as your old man?
This is a very different sort of game to play, it’s basically a 2D moving experience that’s matched with 3D elements. You move along a set path throughout work and your home. Along this path you can talk to people, interact with items and then of course do your regular job. I did find it a bit hard to initially understand control wise and I felt it could have done a better job there. You’re basically using the right stick to interact with individuals or items, which was confusing initially since this was played on Xbox One.
There’s also a certain aspect of required exploration as you’re not hand held, could have used a bit more guidance at least towards the start. Once you get rolling it’s fairly easy to understand what you’re doing, I’m just expecting some to have problems getting started in this one. The aesthetics of the game are very interesting with silhouette individual figures, and a grim feeling world. Its damn dark, not only in terms of the look but also the themes that are present.
I liked the level of interaction available, and the amount of depth presented. It was also neat how time played into this as you needed to decide how you would spend your day. Would you work, gain new skills or deal with line-ups. Those are choices you had to constantly make, while dealing with the growing pressure of making enough money to keep on living another day. It’s certainly different from its predecessor and that in itself is truly surprising.
Beholder 2 is a bold shift in direction from the original game, and that works well for creating a fresh environment to explore. I would have never anticipated this type of change-up from the first title, and that’s special in that they were able to create something just as enticing.
It’s also perhaps more in-depth in terms of how you complete your mission, and the dynamics at play. I also found it to be humorous in regards to some of the strange side jokes they had, or the moves you could make. If you have the respect or cash, you might find yourself in a storage room.
You might also make that choice, and then find yourself arrested or even worst thrown out a window. It’s a dangerous time, and almost thrilling despite being placed around a rather mundane job setup. This will definitely surprise, and perhaps delight with its grim aesthetic.
Read our Hotline Miami Collection Review
View our Beholder Hub
Beholder 2 Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Plan of Attack