Nothing really grabbed me about this title. It was just average all the way through and quite boring. It’s certainly overpriced but might be worth a go on sale.
Genre: Adventure, First-Person
Developer: RVL Games
Publisher: RVL Games
Release date: 08 April, 2021
Classified Stories is a first-person adventure game with light puzzle and shooter elements.
It is the first title in a series that follow the adventures of Jim Morrison, a private investigator living in Boston, Massachusetts.
Set in 1979, you are a self-employed private investigator called Jim Morrison.
One day a letter arrives from an old friend imploring you to visit him at his farm. You haven’t spoken in years but the letter seems genuine and you can feel the panic and anxiety in his writing.
You decide to visit him and see what the urgency is all about.
When you arrive, your friend is nowhere to be found, but there are signs of unnatural occurrences.
You set out to try and find your friend and unravel the mystery of his disappearance.
Using the keyboard and mouse search the house for clues in the disappearance of your friend. There aren’t many clues around, just the few letters you will find behind locked doors.
To open the doors, you’ll need to uncover various objects around the house by searching drawers, cabinets, book shelves and lockers.
Objects can be examined, but not opened or combined.
You have a 9mm gun which requires ammunition which you will need to shoot monsters who occasionally appear.
Later, you will acquire a tome which is used to highlight glyphs on the wall. Once these glyphs are collected you can learn them and will be able to open sealed doors that the glyphs are protecting.
The graphics successfully create a Lovecraftian atmosphere but they’re quite basic. There are no cut scenes.
The eerie grunting of the monsters is quite effective at creating tension. You know they are there but you don’t know where!
Apart from that there is no music and not many special effects sounds. It all feels rather basic.
Classified Stories is average at best and brings nothing new to the genre.
I thought it was going to be a detective game collecting evidence, interviewing characters etc. but there is none of that in the game. The private detective angle is purely coincidental. He might as well have been a fireman. It wouldn’t have made any difference.
Most of the time you will be searching rooms for anything you can pick up. This proves to be a lackluster affair with only some drawers, bookcases and lockers to search.
The searching seems rudimentary and feels clunky. There aren’t many objects to find but the ones you do find can be examined by turning them.
During examination, not one object revealed anything more sinister, so completely pointless.
No objects opened, revealed clues, or needed to be combined with others. It turned out to be a complete token gesture, so don’t bother.
Some of the objects were quite difficult to find. The house becomes quite a maze with locked doors needing special requirements to open. This is where most of the challenge lies, finding objects to use on other objects.
There are no real puzzles in the game. The puzzles just require you to find objects within the house.
Collect three wooden pieces to open one door; find a key to open another; collect three weights to place on some scales; collect some other pieces to put on a musical box etc. Everything is obvious and doesn’t provide much of a challenge.
There is hardly and variety in the “puzzles” at all.
Whilst looking for objects, the occasional monster appears. Whilst these can add a bit of tension to the game, the AI is quite bad and they will just run at you in a straight line. Most of the time, you’ll be moving backwards whilst shooting as they approach which means you can get stuck on items in the room. They are sometimes hidden around corners or appear as you open a door so they can provide some jump scares, and the only real excitement in the game.
Ammunition is quite scarce and to dispatch a monster requires two shots in the head but five shots in the chest. This means accurate shooting is required to preserve ammunition.
The story is very basic and doesn’t excite at all. There are no cut scenes or voice acting. Any links between scenes are text based and only still images are provided.
A few letters can be found around the house which reveal story plots and that is the main vehicle for driving the story. It doesn’t even make that much sense in the end and I have already forgotten the plot. It is quite unmemorable.
There wasn’t much tension created apart from the distant noises of the monsters. I don’t remember any special effect sounds or eerie music. The graphics were okay and did provide a Lovecraftian feeling of uneasiness.
The game doesn’t support a gamepad, have achievements or trading cards. It only has one manual save slot which can get you in trouble if you save at the wrong point, meaning you’ll have to start the game again.
Classified Stories: The Tome of Myrkah is not terrible but it is average at best.
The game feels basic and featureless, the puzzles aren’t very imaginative and the story felt forgettable.
I did have some fun playing it however, so if object hunting and the odd monster encounter interests you then give it a go.