Developer: Blackpowder Games
What I Think: Betrayer is the first game to come at us from indie developer Blackpowder Games, a company made up of developers previously employed by Monolith- the creator of F.E.A.R. It came through Steam’s Early Access program, which has a bad reputation in some circles due to the poor quality content that comes out of it. Betrayer, however, is definitely not poor quality. An atmospheric indie horror game, it begins with you waking up alone on a beach in early colonial Virginia- your ship has wrecked and you are the only survivor. As you move through the deserted world you stumble onto a Spanish Conquistador, but he’s in an almost rabid state. You soon discover that you and a mysterious maiden in a red cloak, who can’t remember her name or where she came from, are the only two normal humans left.
The English colonies are deserted, apart from a few human-shaped ash figures, and seemingly rabid Spaniards, who roam the countryside as you move between locations…and worlds. You see, Betrayer is a game with a theme of duality, and to continue this theme, there are two worlds . A light world, where the stunning monochrome visuals strike the eye, and a dark world, where the physical beings disappear and the world becomes dead and threatening. As the ghosts of the English settlers appear in the dark world with unclear memories regarding what happened to them, you must figure out their fate and the fate of the colony and what caused it to collapse.
Would I Recommend It?
F*** yeah! Betrayer is a stunning game, both visually and story-wise. The game aims to weave together threads of stories to create a blanket of betrayal that dooms a colony and its inhabitants. The ending is almost Christopher Nolan-esque it’s so open-ended, but personally I feel it’s a little weak. The game isn’t long, you can definitely play through it in 8 hours, but it takes all the time needed to tell a story and doesn’t outstay its welcome, which I like. The game is equally mysterious in the light world as it is tense and grim in the dark world. The choice of setting has to be commended, with 17th century Virginia being a relatively untapped seam and one that is so alien to us that supernatural happenings are a bit more plausible than they would be in a 1980’s Wigan. The gameplay isn’t fantastic, mostly due to the weapons being as wieldy and useful as fighting with a massive iron bar. Also, due to guns being in their relative infancy around this time period, there is no ‘spray, pray, then run away.’ Since there’s a gang of angry Spanish Conquistadors after you who won’t let up easily, it’s more like ‘fire, get frustrated with long reload time, then retire.’ Only being let down by some repetitive elements and a poor ending, Betrayer is a great game that I’d seriously advise picking up when it’s on sale on Steam.
Overall Score: 8/10
Words by Gabriel Rutherford