I don’t know what it is about Body of Evidence that piqued my interest; the graphics didn’t look the best, the gameplay didn’t seem too interesting, for whatever reason, I wanted to play this game. When I had the opportunity to check this out on Nintendo Switch, I was excited; I had never played a game like this before. Inspired by the movies of Quentin Tarantino, it wears its inspiration on its sleeve and, in doing so, creates a very interesting aesthetic.
Story – What Is Going On Here
You play as Mark, a ‘cleaner’ of sorts. By cleaner, I mean a disposer of bodies. For the most part, Body of Evidence is light on the story, you get bits and pieces here and there, and it takes quite a strange turn near the end, but you will have to find out what that is for yourself. When the story is pushed, it is so convoluted that I’m glad it’s not too heavily relied upon.
Gameplay – A groundskeeper Willie Simulator
The game is broken up into 30 levels, each with very similar objectives. You either have to dump a body, find a murder weapon, or clean up a mess. When you enter a level, you have a time limit that is usually pretty generous, and you have a few tools at your disposal to clean up the crime scene. How you do these basic tasks is also quite basic, you have a few tools at your disposal to clean up the murder scenes; a sponge to clean up blood, a brush to sweep up debris, a paint scraper to fill in bullet holes, you get the picture. There are a few things for the completionists out there; some levels have collectibles to find, but I was never compelled to find them and each level has a 100% completion rate.
The main draw to the levels is the plethora of references to pop culture. From an underground chemistry lab to a random NPC who keeps saying ‘Oh hi, Mark’ from The Room, so there’s a reference here for most people. Body of Evidence knows exactly what it is and doesn’t demand too much of your brain or time, and I have to praise it for that. Too often, I play a game that is a great two-hour experience that is dragged out across five or six hours.
I had two minor gripes with the gameplay. Every time you dispose of a body in a level, it went into the back of your van, which had a capacity of 10. The problem with this was when it was at full capacity; you had to go to a lake and dispose of each one individually, which took about 10 minutes. This killed the otherwise great pacing of the game. Another issue I ran into was the lack of a reticle on the screen. On some levels, you have to pick up bullet tiny bullet casings, and the lack of an aiming reticle had me fumbling around trying to pick them up.
Graphics & Audio – A Clean Style
Body of Evidence has a clean, dull aesthetic. Everything in the game is either brown, grey, black, or white. But it works so well. The reason for this is that the blood that is splattered throughout the levels sticks out like a sore thumb. In docked mode on Nintendo Switch, the lines are a bit rough, and water has this really weird, almost polygonal effect. Either way, it looks rough around the edges. When there are any more than two character models on screen, the framerate starts to drop. It’s most apparent in the opening section on the train. It wasn’t a great first impression, but the game runs at a stable framerate for my time with the game.
I think the game shines when playing in handheld mode, where the jagged lines and weird graphical effects aren’t as noticeable. This seems to be the case for many games on the Switch. It’s in the handheld mode, where you can really see the aesthetic style of the game shine. And speaking of shining; the music is fantastic. It gives off the same vibes as L.A Noire, the individual tracks aren’t all too memorable, but they fit the style this game is going for so well. Apart from the weird effects on water, the overall presentation is the biggest stand out from my short two hours with Body of Evidence.
Body of Evidence was reviewed on Nintendo Switch, a review code was provided by the No Gravity Games.