Alawar Studios brings us a sequel to their 2016 hit ‘Beholder‘ with the new ‘Beholder 2‘. We here at Brutalgamer wanted to dive in and have a go at the new release. While last time you were the landlord, this time you are a government employee. Here is our review of the original Beholder, Let’s take a look at Beholder 2.
Welcome to the life of a lowly government intern. At first thought, you may think ‘intern’: collecting coffee for the superiors. Not so much. As an intern, your job is to collect stray documents and snitch on your coworkers, if you choose to. Yeah, that’s right. Being a tattle-tale in the Beholder games can sometimes be a good thing for your career. These titles cause to you stay on your toes, as you consider whether or not you want to risk the health or well-being of those around you, in order to excel yourself.
The first time around, you had the luxury of starting at the top: being hired in as the new landlord of an apartment complex. Guy with all the keys, who can go anywhere and watch everyone. This time around, you have to do the legwork if you want to get to the top. You have a connection to someone who was at the top, but you learn more about that as you go.
Long Road To The Top
Now, you recieve a small apartment that goes along with your position in the government. Nothing fancy, a modest 3rd floor walk-up. As you get into things, you are presented with the choices of how to surpass your coworkers for a promotion: will you play nice, and be the harder worker, or will you help your compatriots disqualify themselves? Some of these comrades are deserving of some shady dealings, while others are simply good, honest folks trying to make it through the day.
Collect notes and diary pages to learn more about what happened to your connection at the top, while keeping the guards and your government overlookers from learning too much about what you are up to. If you get caught, there’s no do-over. There’s a good amount of tasks to keep you running. This is what seems to be the ‘beginning chapter’ of Beholder, and sadly, I did not get much further than this.
The gameplay here is nothing too complicated, and that’s alright. Essentially, Beholder 2 is a side-scroller with a slight modification for walking away from the camera to interact with devices. It takes a little getting used to, since you don’t realize it at first that the left joystick moves your character, while the right joystick directs your view for these interactions.
*Note* If you are the type of person that has visual sensitivities, be aware that the back and forth action, combined with some of the background visuals may cause you some discomfort.
Things unfortunately can become easily monotonous when you are running from your apartment, to your desk, to the bakery cart, back to your desk, multiple times in a day, only to run back to your apartment. While I enjoy the style that the Beholder games utilize, I kind of feel like it was a mistake making Beholder 2 as large as they have. This was one of the things that I enjoyed about the first game: a smaller, contained environment in which you can dominate. Beholder 2 has so much back and forth that when I finally did make a mistake and died, i had no desire to start back at the beginning.
Alawar Studios and their design of the Beholder games is wonderful. A cartoon-like black and white character design, while using shades of greys and browns for the environment bring a wonderful detail to the world around you, while maintaining the oppressive world that is represented within.