Co-Optimus - Review - Beyond Co-Op Reviews - June 2011

Squad 51 vs. the Flying Saucers

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign

Beyond Co-Op Reviews - June 2011 - Page 5

Publisher: Lexis Numerique
Developer: Lexis Numerique
MSRP: $9.99
by: Katrina "Shadokat Regn" Pawlowski

Red Johnson’s Chronicles is a game that you may have heard in passing, but forgotten about. It is a Playstation Network exclusive that released the same day that all the network outages began. As such, the game’s release went largely unnoticed, which is a real shame considering the quality content in it. You play as Red Johnson, private detective in the grand city of Metropolis. Your job is to solve a murder using whatever means necessary, as the lazy police force doesn’t really feel like it.

Playing the game is fairly simple and straightforward for any gamer, but the language is definitely set for an adult audience. Basically the gameplay resembles something like Phoenix Wright crossed with Professor Layton meets L.A. Noire. Your first task is to investigate a bridge, and you have a few options that you’ll investigate now, and some you’ll revisit later. Most of the areas are visited repeatedly, like the bridge (crime scene), various apartments, and your office.You’ll have to solve a few puzzles to get to each thing you’re looking for, as well as keep an eye out for any items that may be out of place in case they’re important later.

During the course of Red Johnson’s Chronicles, you’re investigating environments, figuring out complex puzzles, interrogating people who may have been involved, and surviving short little cut scenes (controlled by quick time events, hit X to dodge, Y to recover, etc). The puzzles range from rewiring circuit boards, to cracking safes to find the evidence you need to uncover who killed who, and why.

Sometimes the puzzles are obvious in their solution, and sometimes you have to dig deeper to uncover what’s going on. You have a snitch to rely on for clues, but he charges you for each hint he offers to a puzzle. Each puzzle you solve or successful interrogation will lead you to the next clue you need. The charm in Red Johnson’s Chronicles is endless with the clever dialog, intriguing world of Metropolis, and colorful characters involved in the storyline. I can only hope the series continues with more crimes to solve in the future.