Title: Silence: The Whispered World 2
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Genre: Point-Click Adventure
Official Site: Silence on Steam
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Where To Buy: PSN Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, Steam
It seems that the trend in games today is to move towards faster gameplay, more intensive graphics, and innovative ways to take on multiplayer. Some, like those from the Telltale series, aim to focus more on player’s choice. But other than a select few like the renewed King’s Quest series, many have ventured far away from the days of point-and-click adventures. Silence: The Whispered World 2 chooses to make this its focus instead.
Silence: The Whispered World 2 is the second game in the series created by Daedalic Entertainment. You play as Noah, a teenager, and his little sister, Renie, who run for a bunker when an airstrike is called upon their city. To console his sister, Noah recounts the tale of a land called Silence and the adventures of Sadwick the clown as he ventured to destroy the magical mirror and restore the land. As he does this, the bombing strikes their bunker, destroying it and causing a rift that transports the two of them into the land of Silence from the story.
Upon finding yourself in the world, you and Renie must use your environment to find solutions to varies puzzles and obstacles that stand before them. Generally, this involves picking the right order of things in order to cause this environment to interact the way you need it to. One of the major helpers in doing this is the adorable morphing caterpillar figure named Spot, who can slim himself down, make himself fat, and lick up different substances that give him new temporary abilities.
One of the best parts about this game is the different personalities of the characters, especially Renie and Spot. Midway through the game, a revelation happens about who the real main character is, and quickly Sadwick makes a reentry into the story as a sad, miserable clown with a sarcastic sense of humor. Renie is an adorable little girl who still has the bright positive outlook on the world, as well as a fearless nature to fight anyone who seeks to harm her friends. Spot may be small but is ripe with either intense joy or fear depending on the circumstances. Each of these working together makes the story being told come to life.
This is, in fact, the second great thing in this game, though it comes with a set of flaws. The story in Silence: The Whispered World 2 feels like a mix of the old-school adventure tales mixed with the harshness of the real world. The Seekers sent by the False Queen, the unseen antagonist of the game, are fairly terrifyingly dark towering creatures that perfectly clash with the bright, vibrant landscapes presented in the art style of the world. In fact, the end of the game has an extremely dark choice where both options leave you with an allegory for real life that is extremely sad.
The struggle I have with the story is twofold. First, for those (like myself) who hadn’t played the first game, there’s really no recap other than the brief retelling of the story through Noah’s perspective to Renie at the beginning and a collection of what I assume were references to the previous game through the story. Because of this, while I enjoyed the story I was being told, I felt like I was missing a lot of context from the previous entry into the series. The second problem I have is who the real audience is. The overall storytelling and art style make it feel like it could be applicable for a younger audience, but the darker undertones and the true meaning of the ending make it feel primarily for a more mature audience. I couldn’t put a finger on exactly who this was better directed towards.
The other things to note are the soundtrack and the general animations and voice acting. The soundtrack is phenomenal, and each area felt unique with the music playing in the background. The main theme, which comes back right at the end of the game, is an excellent end cap for this experience. The animations and voice acting can often feel a little lackluster. While the art is excellent, the movements of characters and their mouths are pretty dated and becomes noticeable in longer dialogue periods. Also, some of the voice acting can come across as pretty “phoned-in” or corny, and at times the lines can overlap one another which is jarring.
All of this aside, I really enjoyed my time in the world of Silence: The Whispered World 2. While the exterior seems like a cute return to the old point-and-click style of playing, the story that backs it up and the characters it introduces are excellent and kept me interested in continuing the whole way through. While it’s not a perfect experience, it is a surprise worth delving into if you’re looking for a something reminiscent of classic gaming with the innovations of modern gaming.
- Gameplay: Easy to use point-and-click style
- Graphics: Beautiful art, strange animations
- Sound: Remarkable soundtrack, lackluster voice direction
- Presentation: Some flaws, but an overall enjoyable experience
- Soundtrack is excellent
- Characters are charming
- Story is much deeper and darker than it looks
- Outdated animations
- Voice direction is lacking
- Hard for newcomers to the series to known the story