Retrospective: Gemini Rue

Gemini Rue Image 0

A hidden gem, this one.

Released February 2011 for PC, Gemini Rue was well received by critics. Developed by Joshua Nuernberger over a period of two years and published by Wadjet Eye Games, Gemini Rue is a point-and-click adventure game which takes place in a neo-noir future.

Gemini Rue tells the tale of two tortured souls whose paths are destined to cross: Azriel Odin (an ex-assassin turned cop), convinced his former employers have kidnapped his brother, travels to the dark city of Pittsburg on the planet Barracus. Meanwhile, across the galaxy: Delta-Six, a patient of the mysterious rehab facility “Center 7”, has his memory wiped and, with no-one to trust, plans his escape.

I’m not a big fan of the point-and-click genre, so launching Gemini Rue for the first time, I expected to be back at the desktop moments later with Gemini Rue sitting inside my PC’s recycle bin. This did not happen. Instead, I found myself happily clicking away until the early hours of the morning, completely immersed in its simplistic, yet beautiful world. The world, although extremely dark and gritty, has a special warmth to it. There’s a real feeling of depth to the locations, too. In the background, while walking along some areas, you can see entire alleyways and roads stretching out into the darkness. It’s an impressive sight.

One thing I disliked about Gemini Rue, is that there’s no option for widescreen, this won’t bother many people, I’m sure, but I personally would’ve liked to have been able to see more on screen at once, seeing as the locations are so stunning. Another issue is the difficulty, there are a total of five gunfights throughout Gemini Rue, none of which need even the smallest bit of effort to complete. So if you’re looking for a challenge, don’t expect to find one here. This is a game very much focused on telling a story, it has been designed in a way that, no matter how unskilled you are, you will still reach the end credits. Is that a good or bad thing? I’ll leave that up to you.

Many people will have different feelings towards Gemini Rue when it comes to visuals. Firstly, it’s completely old-school in the graphics department – which I think adds something special to the game. But the thing that really stood out for me, and could put many people off playing, is the color palette. Like most games these days Gemini Rue‘s color palette is just different shades of brown. Unlike most games, however, this really does add something to the world, especially in the city of Pittsburgh, where locations feel abandoned and bleak.

Gemini Rue‘s biggest problem, would have to be its re-playability. Although there are many exciting points throughout the course of the game, there’s really no reason to come back to Gemini Rue after completion. There is a developer commentary included however, for those who want to get just that little bit extra out of the whole experience, but that’s as good as it gets on the re-playability side of things.

Verdict: At just under 8 hours long, Gemini Rue is a massively entertaining experience, the characters, locations, story and soundtrack all combine to create an extraordinary adventure. If you enjoy exploring and adore story in games, this one’s for you. If you’re into spectacular graphics and huge guns however, run away screaming and don’t look back.

– Bill Boreham

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