First Impressions: The Low Road

First Impressions: The Low Road

So charming the first few seconds reeled me in.

Steam: Press Demo (First two chapters)
Developer: XGen Studios
Publisher: XGen Studios
Genre: Point and Click Adventure
Type: Single Player
Release date: July 26, 2017

When I first saw The Low Road show up on Steam, it automatically hit me as interesting with both its premise and art style. Of course, this can easily turn into a bad game, as there are more to games than the premise, promising or not. So when I started up a playthrough, it immediately hooked me in.

In the year of 1976 Noomi Kovacs just graduated from LeCarre Institute for Exceptional Spies, or L.I.E.S., to land her dream job at none other than Penderbrook Motors’ Division of Outside Intelligence. Leaning towards preferring field work, Noomi is instead confined to being an assistant to another agent, Turn. The only way to get out in the field is if everyone in the building suddenly becomes sick all at the same time or quit their jobs. Determined as ever, Noomi tries to do just this.

The characters here are unique in their own special way, stemming from their past, their line of work, or just how they are. Their voices are also well done as I do see them talking appropriately to their age and how they dress. Turn is your boss who is trying to keep his past from sneaking up on him. An old man named Hab works with gadgets, but as field work barely happens he turned to rhyming his sentences to keep the day exciting. Lastly is  Thornton, who is somewhat of a prep boy who does not hesitate to sass talk you. I also like how there is a sort of dynamic between the old guys and the new girl fresh out of school. You can tell how Noomi is different from the others and the others can also tell by how she holds herself and how outspoken she is.

They did really well with transitioning the player to another character in the second chapter. While it is not surprising that Noomi does get to go out on the field, she is supervised by Turn so he won’t be alone. With him not trusting her, she is given the task to watch their only escape route. In the process, this actually puts you in control of Turn for most of this chapter so you do not need to just sit there and watch what he did before Noomi is put into control by a simple walkie talking transition.

The minigames are simple, with only one or two that are difficult, with most of them are tied to the puzzles directly. To get a flier past Thornton, who is in charge of the mail slots, you not only need to figure out how to trick him but also how to get access to the copier. Though, you do not need to worry about needing to find the necessary items as it is set up in a way that you pass what you will pass when needed, eventually leading you to pickpocket a coworker.

The best minigame is the first one you are greeted with as it is easily more interesting than the others. Almost immediately after you start and talk to Turn, you get a chance at calling this woman to get some information out of her. With a few pieces of information available, you need to manipulate her so she will believe that you are someone that she knew in the past. This can easily go south, like it did for me, if you say the wrong thing  and she catchs on. It feels similar to how Papers, Please focuses on looking through someone’s paperwork to determine if they can pass and adding in their own reason to pass to make it a dilemma (should you let them pass to risk getting yourself a ticket?) this minigame can easily become its own game.

I’m not necessarily a big music buff, so I can’t say whether or not the music would align to the music playing during the 1970s. Either way, they did a great job so far. From the loading screens for the chapter to how the background music changes based on the current situation.

The only thing that upsets me is how much it pulled me in before the demo ended. This is a really promising game so far and if the next chapters are just as good as the first two chapters, this will turn out to be a great game. With the story just kicking up, I truly can not wait for this to be released.

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