Do you keep seeing titles pop up on the Nintendo eShop (or the PlayStation Store for that matter) that pique your interest, you add to your wishlist, and subsequently forget about them? Of course, you do. Perseverance in once such game.
For months now, Perseverance has been in my wishlist, but I’ve never considered it a priority – a must-have title, but at the same time, I’m sure that once I got around to it, I would have regretted not playing it sooner. Well, when I grabbed Perseverance it was free, but gone back up in price.
This time, however, I played it soon after it was ready; otherwise, I’d never get to it. But what’s it all about, and is it worthy of your time? Well, let me tell you what it is, and also what it perhaps isn’t.
Stick With It
You play Jack, a pony-tail sporting hunter type who’s married to Natalie, or Nat, and together they have a daughter named Hope. They live in a town where nothing happens, but as we’ve seen with titles such as Stranger Things, not everything is what it seems, and there appears to be some shady stuff going on behind closed doors. Or military-style fencing.
Jack and Nat are going through a stage in their relationship where there’s a bit of a strain, and they’re both going in different directions, but still love each other and want to work things out. Of course, there’s a bit of a communication breakdown, and the dialogue exchanges between the two are a bit tense.
After a few exchanges, the story kicks off with the idea that Jack will take Hope with him to go hunting, but she’s not interested. Jack and Nat have a bit of an argument, and Jack decides to clear his head by venturing off into the wilderness, like he tends to do, while Nat goes to work as a nurse.
The Chatty Dead
Without giving anything away, the narrative takes a bit of a dip, and the plot inevitably gets a bit hairy in a good way. My initial interest in the game was from the promotional material that made this look like a Telltale game – notably, The Walking Dead. To a degree, the story is on par with the latter, but it doesn’t have the same polish or urgency.
Your role as the player is mostly passive; watching the story as it unfolds with only a few dialogue choices that could impact the game, albeit, not that much. That was quite disappointing as the game is a visual novel, but it lacks the finesse of its peers with there being numerous grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Usually forgivable, but when the game replies on text, some of the mishaps stood out like a sore thumb.
The art style is an interesting one, if slightly inconsistent. In a handful of scenes, Jack looked somewhat different – the cutscenes and dialogue sequences in comparison made are clear who everyone one, but the style very slightly differed in places and in some ways, appeared a bit rushed.
Like an episode of The Walking Dead though, Perseverance grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go. With the slight monotony in places and the spelling mistakes, there were moments where I wanted to quit the game and come back to it later, though I knew that was unlikely. I persevered (boom boom!) and stuck it out though as I became hooked. Sure the characters are a little wooden in places, and the story has been covered so many times before, but then something was luring me in.
The continuous score was excellent and offered an emotional, often dramatic backing that kept the tempo going and created a mood that didn’t have me on the edge of my seat but invested enough in the conclusion. And what a conclusion it was.
Perseverance is episodic, this being the first and only episode.
To say I was annoyed was an understatement. There was no indication that this was a series via the eShop or through any promotional material, but looking at the Steam page, it’s depicted as part one. Not that there’s anything wrong with an episodic title, but it would be nice to be prepared for what would be a very unsatisfying cliffhanger with no indication when the next instalment is out. Hovering back over the title screen doesn’t give any hints when the next game is out, and that’s very disappointing.
If visual novels aren’t your thing, Perseverance isn’t going to persuade you otherwise, but for those who like this genre, or for those with similar interests to mine, i.e. a decent story and characters, Perseverance shows promise.
The graphics weren’t great in places and the dialogue a little janky in areas and of course, peppered with unfortunate grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Not enough to ruin the experience, but frequent enough that it becomes glaringly apparent when something is spelt wrong. As it’s so common, it’s quite surprising that these multiple mistakes weren’t picked up before release.
Additionally, this whole letting you know it’s part one at the end of the game is a bit sneaky. While I’m up-to-speed on the latest titles and review an enormous amount throughout the year, I’m not going to know the ins and outs of every title unless it’s in the supporting documentation/press material.
As one of the few gamers on the interwebs who don’t have Steam, I shouldn’t have to find out that the game is in parts by looking into another platform. However, it all boils down to value, and currently, Perseverance is free to download and play. Even the full price tag means it is worth the admission fee, but there should be a prominent message confirmation this is part one, to avoid any disappointment or frustration.
As touched upon before, Perseverance shows promise, and in without judging it unfairly by comparing to the Telltale series, its flaws are the result of quality control and cutting short a story that was just gaining momentum. Still, it’s free and worthy of your time, but it might be worth waiting for the next instalment, so you at least have a follow up to the very abrupt ending in part one.
- Replay Value