STAFF REVIEW of Bradwell Conspiracy, The (Xbox One)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
by Kirsten Naughton

Bradwell Conspiracy, The Box art When I saw Bradwell Conspiracy's trailer for the first time, I was instantly interested. I love narrative games, I like a good puzzle or two and I enjoy a relaxing adventure. Bossa Studios is the developers behind TThe Bradwell Conspiracy, and right off the bat it was a decent experience when I began. As the game progressed, I began experiencing some game-breaking glitches that made one puzzle extremely frustrating and another was a game-breaker, as I could not complete the task I was tasked with. As I struggled with the glitches, I started to get very concerned that I would not be able to finish Bradwell Conspiracy.

The story begins as you wake up from being thrown to the ground by an earthquake. Your “guide”, who is essentially the narrative of the entire gameplay, takes you through a simple tutorial about how the movement mechanics work in TYhe Bradwell Conspiracy. You unfortunately cannot talk due to smoke inhalation though. You have smart glasses on that is your sole communication with your guide, your companion Amber and to take pictures. Amber is another survivor in the museum that acts as a second pair of eyes. You do not see her, as the idea is she's in another part of the museum and you're trying to find and get to her. The core gameplay involves you wandering around travelling location to location following the directions of your guide. This is one of the two things you'll mainly be doing while playing The Bradwell Conspiracy. The other main objective is completing puzzles. Some are very simple and others... well, I'll get into that in a bit.

I feel like Bossa Studios took a big risk in creating The Bradwell Conspiracy. The visuals are by far the best thing Bradwell Conspiracy has going for it. It's nothing phenomenal, but it's notable that they impressed me just enough. Another area where I feel Bossa Studios excelled was the background audio, even if there wasn't much of it. However, the background sound as you moved around the areas was realistic as to what I would imagine being in a building that was about to crash down on top of me would be like.

If I had to choose between the guide and your companion Amber, I would rather have no guide whatsoever and just have Amber talking to me. I feel like the guide's voice is too repetitive and it's as if he is constantly talking, making it very hard to concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Amber's voice comes in, and although her voice chimes in quite a bit, her voice doesn't feel so irritating and ear piercing. This is obviously a personal preference, but one that I have to note.

There is a serious problem with the movement mechanics that didn't appear to be a big issue until I progressed a little further into gameplay. While I'm playing, I noticed that my character all of a sudden would be moving to the right until I stopped at the wall. I would correct it by moving to the left and I would go right back to the right again. It's a very gradual movement, so if you're not paying attention or trying to stand in one spot to interact with something, you may miss it. But trust me, you'll run into this glitch sooner or later, as I was unable to escape it. It's a real let down because in puzzles, your movement could be the difference between you failing the puzzle repeatidly or completing the puzzle.

I usually enjoy a good puzzle or two, even if it's difficult. I love figuring out the solution. The Bradwell Conspiracy's biggest puzzle is how are you supposed to complete them? I am very aware that the idea of a puzzle is to figure it out, but what happens when you CAN'T figure it out? There are two puzzles that I had referenced above; One is where you have to print three cats and three dogs on five different platforms. Now, before I give you too much detail or confuse you, there's a device that is something like a '3D printer'. You place the items stored in your device as blueprints so you can print them at your command. So, long story short, the three cats and three dogs puzzle doesn't really have the appropriate execution for it to make sense. You'd think that you can just put three cats and three dogs on separate platforms and call it a day right? No. I tried putting one cat and one dog on each of the platforms and that didn't work. Finally, after about 20 minutes, the puzzle allowed me to put three cats and three dogs on two platforms. It's almost like it glitched out and I sat there on my bed wondering what I did wrong. Before, I couldn't put multiple cats or dogs together and randomly, then boom, I could. Talk about frustrating.

The second puzzle that was the ultimate game breaker was the puzzle where there was a lava floor. You had to create flooring planks from your gun and walk across to the other side. I thought to myself 'this is going to be a piece of cake. I've got this'. Well, I hit a huge road block with no solution. I was able to create two flooring planks and then repeatedly was unable to create more for some unknown reason. During puzzles, sometimes Amber helps, but if you're at this puzzle she's suddenly quiet.

It saddens me when I see a game is very good graphically have so many glitches and issues with the gameplay. I feel like if more time was spent focusing on the puzzle experience, The Bradwell Conspiracy would be a fantastic experience for those who are veterans and newcomers to a narrative first person game. Right now, as it stands, I cannot score Bradwell Conspiracy any higher than where it is right now due to the problems that blocked my completion. I can see the idea and concept Bossa Games was going for and unfortunately this won't be a conspiracy I'll be recommending you delve into.

Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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