Have you ever said to yourself, “Gee, I wish there was a game where I can play as a belligerent drunken Koala private eye in search of his lover Alex?” Well I certainly didn’t, but yet here we are, time to review Stone – A Hip Hop Stoner Noir by Convict Games.
On the surface, Stone appears to be an adventure game, as you travel from location to location questioning folks and searching for answers as to what happened between you and Alex, and where is he? But in reality the game plays out much more like a walking simulator story game, which isn’t a bad thing per say. However, I thought it was going to involve some puzzles or something else to make it more of an adventure as opposed to playing out the story.
Basically the game just plays out in different environments, Stones Apartment, Night Club, Hipster Bar, etc etc. You travel and talk to a few key people to try and piece together what happened and who knows what. Along the way you have a run in with some bounty hunters, the police and a few others. Graphically the game is pretty simplistic, the character models are pretty nice but the different environments are left pretty bland and lifeless over all, which considering one of the places is a night club…it feels a bit off. And warning, there are ALOT of load screens, they are not long, but plentiful due to you not staying in one environment for more than a few minutes at a time.
Voice acting in this game however I greatly enjoyed and thought was pretty well done. It conveyed the stress, anger, disgust amongst all the characters pretty well and with a bit of flair to be honest. The soundtrack is very well done, with a great blend of EDM, Hip-Hop, and Rock music. Personally I don’t know if all of the songs were by Indie bands or if it was better known internationally but I enjoyed it.
The story here has me a bit torn. The entire game took me less than two hours which isn’t a bad thing, however the pacing of the game feels lackluster. You can go through many story beats in a very short time, some where basically nothing happens at all to sometimes you hit a lot of big things at once, so the game struggles with it overall. Most of the game you as Stone are a very much despised character by a lot of people, and with right too. Stone is not a nice, likeable character and they make that well known, however everyone eventually seems to want to help you for some reason. The overall story arc without getting into too much detail is somewhat rewarding and interesting enough, I’d compare it to an indie flick. Where you are like “Hey I can appreciate what they are trying to do here, even if the execution leaves a bit to be desired”
Overall if you are a fan of narrative driven games, give Stone a try. If you are not, maybe stay clear of this one mate.