I will admit I haven’t played many visual novels. After playing Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny, my gaming habits may just change. From the start, I was transported back to the 1920s and thrown into a mystery like no other. This isn’t just a case of solving a murder; this is a case of stopping it before it happens. Through the psychic protagonist, players must decipher the clues, solve mysteries, and find the new earl before disaster strikes. Each chapter takes us through the rocky history of the Roquiford family, leading to many shocking discoveries. Everybody has a motive, everybody has the means. But who is behind the attempted murders?
Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny is available on PC (Steam), Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
Story- A Trip Back in Time
England. The Roaring Twenties. Times were changing quick, from fashion to dance styles, but the English aristocracy clung to the past.
The story begins following the death of Mr Oliver, head of the Roquiford family. Our heroine, new housemaid Ellie, wakes after a frightening dream involving the demise of the deceased lord’s heir, Mr Irving. Her day begins normally, but matters soon take a turn when a séance is arranged to contact Mr Oliver’s spirit. As the guests arrive, Ellie meets five important people: Mr William, the deceased lord’s enigmatic brother, rolling in debt; Mrs Grace, sister of Mr Oliver and Mr William, and her daughter, Miss Leila; Ms Maahi, a spiritual medium with a tie to the Roquiford family; and last of all, Ewen, a commoner and stranger who has no place at the house. With everybody assembled, the séance begins, but not everything is as it seems. After some shocking revelations concerning Mr Oliver’s final wishes, the family is thrown into a state of unease. With each passing day, a new attempt is made on Mr Irving’s life. Each character has something to gain from his death. The question is, who would resort to murder to get what they wanted?
Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny contains five chapters. The first four chapters begin with Ellie dreaming of Mr Irving’s demise, each time a different death. Along the way, there are many twists and turns as Ellie gathers fresh evidence that keeps the story engaging. The guests and staff are all suspects, and she must act quickly if she is to save Mr Irving’s life.
I really enjoyed the story behind Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny. While not completely historically accurate (not a bad thing in this case), there is plenty of intrigue to keep players hooked. The paranormal/supernatural elements also contribute brilliantly to the suspense and mystery. There are those tender moments between the action that paces it all wonderfully and enables the story to play out naturally. What I found equally great were the characters’ backgrounds too; these fit into the story perfectly, making me, just for a moment, contemplate whether they were capable of murder. Overall, the story was what stood out most and provided a solid mystery.
Gameplay- Take a Closer Look
Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny was made for controller use. The only buttons that appear on screen are those for a controller. Despite this, is it easy to play the game with just a mouse as it is a simple point-and-click game. There is no keyboard use throughout the game, making the controls a lot simpler on PC.
Since Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny is a murder mystery at heart, players must complete several puzzles to find the culprit. There are two main types of puzzles which feature in each chapter: searching and questioning. During the search, Ellie must look for items that can prove her assumptions. Sometimes this requires clicking on an item multiple times after discovering more evidence. For example, players may click on a cupboard, find it locked, and then locate the key to open it afterwards.
The searches are usually followed by questioning the prime suspect. During these puzzles, Ellie must present each of her findings in the right order to piece together what happened. But be warned: if she gets it wrong too many times, she will be fired. Some solutions aren’t always obvious and take a little bit of thought to get them right. I enjoyed this part in particular. It didn’t make the story predictable and kept me constantly thinking of a motive and a reason. Along with these lines of questioning, we can also ask other characters about certain items we find. This helps in the investigations and when presenting evidence in the right order.
There are also some other mini puzzles. In the rose garden, Ellie is given a hastily sketched map. This she must use to find Mr Irving before the killer strikes. There is also a puzzle in the final chapter where Ellie helps Mr Irving look for a particular apple on the wall. With a little thought, this part can be completed quickly without having to search all of them.
Additional Features and Alternate Endings
Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny contains a feature called the chart. This can be accessed through the menu and is a great feature that helps players track their progress and see which outcomes they’ve achieved. Through the chart you can also go back to play scenes again to get alternate bad endings. There are two endings to the main story, both depending on whether Ellie ends up romancing Mr Irving or Ewan.
I had quite a bit of fun with the gameplay aspect. There is the opportunity to explore different endings, and the puzzles aren’t entirely predictable. While the puzzles sometimes require a bit of thought, the ease of play allows the story to shine. As is expected with any visual novel, the story remains at the heart of the game.
Graphics and Audio- Like Jumping Into a Manga
The graphics in Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny are designed like a manga book. I absolutely love and appreciate the style for this game. The environments are all pleasantly detailed, and the artists have done well in portraying an early 20th century English manor. Each place Ellie visits has been designed with a particular feel in mind. Along with the locations, the characters also look great. The designs fit the roles of each individual character. Mr Irving looks like an upper class lord, and the uniforms of the staff fit their positions. The setting of the story and the art style mixes seamlessly to create a game that looks good and tells an interesting tale at the same time.
Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny has a charming soundtrack. Each track suits each situation, from building the tension of a suspenseful scene, to the delicate tones during romantic moments. Unfortunately, the music is quite inconsistent throughout, stopping randomly and triggering half-way through a scene. For me, this occasionally got annoying.
Along with the soundtrack, there are some other audio elements. There are footsteps when a character walks away, knocking on doors, and other general noises that accompany the story.
There is no voice acting for this game, and all lines are subtitled. While on the whole it is easy to read, there are some grammatical errors here and there.
Gothic Murder: Adventure That Changes Destiny was reviewed on PC via Steam.