About six months ago, Beholder had its premiere on the PC, and thanks to the Techland Publishing House, it is a bit louder about this title again, because from April 20 it can be purchased in Poland in a box. Previously, I did not have the opportunity to play a production from the Russian Warm Lamp Games, but this title cannot be missed, considering the very positive reviews it receives on Steam.
Beholder takes us to a state governed by totalitarian rule. Almost every aspect of citizens’ lives is under the constant scrutiny of the Ministry, which has a pair of eyes in the form of an overseer in every apartment building. Its task is to keep order and that the building brings income, and on the other hand, it must constantly silently infiltrate the inhabitants. Such a person is the character we control. Due to his insubordination, the previous supervisor lost his job, thanks to which our Stein family could move into a new, better equipped place, and at the same time more important for the ministry.
Initially, it may seem that our work will run almost smoothly, especially since our character is “enhanced” with special preparations. However, it is quite the opposite. The tutorial part of Beholder teaches us the basics, but what’s the most difficult in the game are the choices that have to be made all the time. Almost all tasks can be completed in several ways, and each of them has different results. I specifically played the game twice, the first time on normal difficulty and the second as an intern. The action changes significantly with different choices, and as for the level of difficulty of the trainee, it only makes the whole thing a little easier by reducing penalties and increasing earnings.
The mechanisms in the game are quite simple, but it is definitely not the easiest one. It requires constant observation of everything that is happening on the four floors of the building we supervise, as well as keeping an eye on money and family, because both can be easily lost. Obligations and requests like to pile up, although sometimes the performance of one may exclude the other. Most often, large amounts appear, but if we act properly, everything can be achieved amicably, without spending a lot of money. It is enough to think and take advantage of the fact that our multi-family building is inhabited by different people. There is a doctor, an always helpful housewife and a librarian. The right approach to everyone, as well as learning about their stories and interests, can bring many benefits.
Getting to any ending is not a problem. To die, it is enough for someone to get hard. Then we have to save the last save of the game. Worse when it comes to getting to the right end of the game. As mentioned before, it’s not easy, but it’s rewarding. Besides, in Beholder you can find a lot of references to other games, the most striking one for me was the one that reminded me of the way to the center of the galaxy in No Man’s Sky.
When it comes to the graphics, the first glance brings comparisons to Inside or Limbo. The figures are black shapes resembling human silhouettes but lacking detail. The house, however, contains many more of them and looks quite nice. It is worth adding that in Beholder there is chromatic aberration at the sides of the screen during the maximum magnification of the field of view. The field of our activity is not great and it is limited to the four floors of the apartment and the yard. Loading such a small location, the grass is too long for me.
The soundtrack fits the game, but it doesn’t sound like enough to keep coming back to it. It is also worth mentioning that Beholder has Polish subtitles in which I did not notice any errors, as well as the voice of a Polish narrator who only contributes to the opening cut-scene, introducing us to the game and the endings. Nothing special, but on the other hand it’s nice to have such an accessory.
Beholder is definitely worth taking, especially since the price you have to pay for the game in the box is not excessive. It is also not expensive on Steam – less than 10 euros, which translates into a little over 40 zlotys. This production from the Siberian studio has its small drawbacks, but what it offers, they do not really matter. Charging for a long time can endure, but the biggest problem for some may be the high level of difficulty. For players who like challenges, however, it will be an asset. In addition, DLC – Beholder: Blissful Sleep is to appear in May, introducing the former overseer to the group of residents of our apartment.