A title that briefly slipped by me, but not through amnesia as G String has been on my to-do list since I wrote the news piece. I seldom get so hyped for a game as I don’t get time – there’s always something new to play.
With G String, a game by Eyaura and published through LunchHouse Software, it felt like a title for me, one that I would indulge in at my pace rather than binging to get a review done in time for release.
The production values are fantastic, and I couldn’t help but repeat in my head: this is a solo project?! No doubt there has been an increase to the headcount at points, but this a decade’s worth by a solo developer.
G String Review
Slowing down the pace a tad in fear of sounding like a fanboy, this game exudes a sort of intrigue, ambiguity and future that makes me want to forget the world and exist in this one – if only briefly as the environments are bleak.
You play Myo Hyori, a gifted Korean teenager, who is essentially a test subject. When shit goes down, you have to escape, equipped in a biosuit that acts as your nanny, monitoring your vitals, shifting to the life support options as and when required.
Best of all is your pyromancer, and telekinetic skills as you conjure up a ball of flame then throw it in the face of whatever’s in your way, or to pull apart the environments you encounter.
Graffiti Is Art
But pyromancy isn’t that…spectacular. The flame will fall on the ground, and you use telekinetic powers to launch it forward. Depending on your graphic settings, it’s quite tricky to be accurate as the crosshair was tiny.
It’s common knowledge that this builds upon a Half-Life 2 mod, but it’s a standalone. The atmosphere in this game is fantastic. G String won’t have you walking with a spring in your step as Myo traverses a hideous world.
It’s a more morbid approach to the cyberpunk genre. All the hallmarks are there, but it’s a depressing one. Well, it depends on your mindset. I don’t like to trigger any form of melancholy or feel down when playing a game, and G String didn’t make me feel that way.
One thing you can expect to feel is claustrophobic and alone. G String is about the ambience and story than running through a level blasting grunts. It’s like Mirror’s Edge but descending, as Myo will encounter plenty of sewers, apartments left in disrepair and more mannequins than a footballers wives convention.
Though the game is classed as an FPS and has those mechanics, it’s somewhat more of a low-key parkour experience as you crawl through spaces, balancing on rotting boards, avoiding the perils, and these environmental threats are the most significant.
The ‘platforming’ sections were challenging with the keyboard while avoiding a sentry or falling to your doom again and again. Death happens frequently, but load times are quick. While on loading times, there is the odd loading stutter when entering a new area which is a bit of a pig, but trivial more than anything.
Myo’s skills did feel underused somewhat, and the combat wasn’t as common as expected. G String is more about escaping the environmental hazards and working out where to go next without dying.
The biggest criticism of the game would be where do I go next. It might be a personal thing, but one of the worst parts of FPS titles. From the original Half-Life, Duke Nukem 3D and Quake, they were always frustrating when you wander up and down looking for an escape plan.
With G String, items can be overlooked, such as a valve part that needs to be picked up with your telekinetic skills so you can flood a room. It’s not apparent that this is what you have to do, let alone, you’re unlikely to notice the object as there’re many assets in this game.
In that respect, it feels a lot longer than anticipated, and that boils down to that not knowing where to go. It was either that or having minimal health and having a save point that’s was a bit risky.
However, this lack of handholding works in its favour, and the ambiguity is part of the appeal. You’ll get some voice-acted comms that help with the story’s development through progression, and these were a useful feature.
While the game atmosphere was one of the strongest points for, it was also the level design. Though bleak, the areas felt lived in, even if they were uninhabitable slums. The attention to detail with the varying textures and graffiti were beautiful, in a somewhat sinister assessment.
If I rate Ion Fury highly, why not G String? It’s a passion project, and that’s part of the sell. Still, the gameplay and story are great, albeit, pretty damn hard. As for the soundtrack, I can honestly say it’s one of the best scores I’ve ever heard. I’m not talking exclusively about games but as a medium.
Though it had the synths we expect from cyberpunk, there were avant-garde moments in there too and reminded me a lot of Merzbow. Anyway, that’s a different story. It’s insanely good and something I listen to when putting these reviews together.
G String Review Summary
G String was well worth the wait. While the gameplay can be quite ominous, challenging and equally frustrating with finding bearings and underused abilities, the environments are brilliant, the story intriguing, and an overall compelling, if bleak, experience.