You play as private detective Arthur Christie in Artifex Mundi’s latest point-and-click adventure, Ghost Files 2: Memory of a Crime. Arthur lost his memory and woke up next to a dead guy. You take control of Arthur at this unfortunate time in his life. The Executioner is on the loose, and it’s your job to bring this killer to justice.
You wake up with amnesia. And there’s a dead guy. Your first task is to escape the dead guy’s house. The game offers tutorial after tutorial before you actually play detective on your own. Even then, the game unfortunately never stops holding your hand.
There are plenty of scenes loaded with different puzzles and mini-games to explore. Expect a lot of backtracking. The story, however convoluted, ain’t half-bad either. The devs even threw in some collectibles. Hidden throughout each map are floppy disks (circa 1985), various hats, and tobacco pipes à la Sherlock Holmes.
Do You Even Game, Bro?
The game packs puzzles and mini-games generously throughout. Occasionally I found myself stumped, and the game said tough cookie, but more often than not it saved me before I needed saving. The base game leads you to investigate specific areas of interest, but if you don’t move fast enough, it seems to take offense.
You’ll pinpoint the killer by collecting hidden objects, piecing together fragments of objects you’ve found, and utilizing your forensics kit. There is also the occasional fisticuffs. Buttons appear representing your left and right fists, and then they light up in a sequence you’re meant to repeat. While not difficult to execute in theory, the input registration is often faulty, which usually means lights out.
Free to Play! No, Wait, No it’s Not.
Ghost Files 2: Memory of a Crime is free to download. Once you’ve made it about a quarter of the way through, however, you get slapped with the ol’ “pay to find out what happens next.”
And it’s not your run-of-the-mill fork-your-cash-over request either. Artifex Mundi wants you to pony up a monthly subscription fee for a game that you’ll probably finish in the next three hours. Worry not. They promise one free game each month for that $4.99. Yet they also demand the same amount for each additional game on top of your “subscription.”
Ghost Files 2: Memory of a Crime would be worth the $4.99 price tag if it was a one-time deal. Artifex Mundi basically forces you into something masquerading as a subscription service that is blatantly not a subscription service. Ghost Files 2 is fun, but not raid-my-wallet-on-a-monthly-basis fun.
The voice acting ranks right below inspired. The characters are stereotypes beaten with hammers to resemble people. The game constantly assumes you’re not smart enough to play it. Yet it’s still a fairly fun experience.
If Artifex Mundi demanded payment before the initial download, Ghost Files 2 would be far better. A legitimate subscription service wouldn’t hurt their case either. The devs put some hard work into this game. It shows. The forced transaction, however, left me feeling icky.
Is it Hardcore?
Meh. Although an enjoyable title, Ghost Files 2 sucker punches you with a forced subscription about a quarter of the way through. The subscription “service” ensures you buy at least one of their titles each month, while additional games are only unlocked with additional cash. Basically, it’s like Netflix charging you for every show you want to watch. No Bueno.