Act 2 of swamp noir adventure Knee Deep is out now, 15% off season ticket on Steam | PCGamesN

Act 2 of swamp noir adventure Knee Deep is out now, 15% off season ticket on Steam

Knee Deep

I don't often evangelise videogames - at least, not aggressively. It's your life, after all. What do I know about your personal tastes and peccadillos? I'm making a bit of an exception with Knee Deep though. I think you should play it. There's a really charming mix of Kentucky Route Zero, Deadly Premonition, Telltale adventure game and stage play within it that I really engaged with in act one, so I'm excited to hear that act two is out right now. 

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Let's unpack those lazy journalistic comparisons, starting with Kentucky Route Zero. It's a southern gothic piece, set in Cypress Knee, Florida, which follows the events set in motion by a washed-up actor's suicide. Like Cardboard Computer's three act game, when you're presented with dialogue choices you get the feeling that you're choosing from possible realities, rather than simply picking what that character thinks in a given moment.

Deadly Premonition? Well, production values are not high. In fact, the mannequin-like characters and slightly overcooked voice acting emits a sense of unease and dreamy atmosphere that conjures David Lynch movies - although Knee Deep doesn't lean on the director's material like a crutch, as Swery's game does in this writer's humble opinion.

As for Telltale adventure games, your interaction is largely limited to dialogue choices and while there's no fail state, it's possible to "lose friends, respect, and the moral high ground," as the game puts it.

The element I'm most drawn to, though, is that of the game's stage production-like sets. As a character reads texts on his phone, they show up on a billboard behind him. When someone gets in a car, a rolling landscape rattles between two reels behind it as they did in old movies. Scene transitions are frequently clever and inventive. It's all designed to look like a live stage play, and that makes for a really effective backdrop for the story.

Act Two is out now, and Knee Deep's season ticket is currently on sale on Steam for a discounted $12.74/£9.34 until 10 November.

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AnAuldWolf avatar
AnAuldWolf Avatar
2 Years ago

And I don't like being a sycophant, which is what I tend to feel like when I have too much admiration to share. Can I just say that I really like your approach to journalism? Same goes for a lot of the writers around here. I mean, I know it's twinged with British sarcasm (which I am all too acclimatised to having lived here my entire life) but I can usually tell when these things are playful and have a basis in truth or are ironically mocking.

This feels like the former. What I'm saying is that you're not actually telling me what I should like. A lot of sites have gone that way and it really ruins things, I think. It makes people not like games. I think that it hurt Undertale for some because instead of sites saying 'I like this,' they said 'you should like this.'

Well, I like Undertale, but it's not for everyone and even I can see that even if I do think it's a work of art. And there's a way to say that you're passionate about something without actually attempting to manipulate others to feel the same way. Which is what you've done here.

I just... dislike that manipulation??? It's not the greatest thing when the average person does it, but when you use a platform like this to force an opinion, I'm even less okay with it.

So, good job.

And that actually makes me much, much more inclined to check out this game you like.

I don't know how to feel when I'm actually surprised that someone with a podium to stand on (even a blogger) is willing to treat people with any amount of respect. Good, in this case, but holy crap broadly noticeable ethical decay otherwise???

Feel proud of yourself. That is a phrase I wish I could say very often!