LifeisXbox’s Erica review | I have a weakness for full-motion video (FMV) games, so I was happy to make an exception to help cover Erica for our PC team. In Flavourworks game Erica I was introduced to Holly Earl, an attractive and talented actress who did a convincing performance. She didn’t ring a bell to me but had a small role in Doctor Who, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands and a few other series. I know games like Erica or another one I recently covered for the Xbox platform, Dark Nights with Poe and Munro have a niche player base but that doesn’t mean that these kinds of games can’t be successful. On the contrary, I always felt that games like this bring the household together. As this interactive movie with decision-making options is always fun to play with family and friends.
This is a short review, our usual the good, mixed and the bad was difficult because of the nature of this game.
Erica features two ways of controlling. You sometimes have to make decisions (as you see in the screenshot above) that change the outcome of Erica’s story. Those moments come in two ways, most of them don’t have a time limit while others need to be done fast-paced. Most of the times this follows the action on screen so you’ll always know when decisions have to be made. This means that Erica has multiple endings and replaying this game will never be exactly the same, well… only if you take other decisions obviously. What I really liked are the more original ways of controlling or interacting with Erica, opening up a gift or cleaning a window are only a few examples that uniquely task the player to progress in the game. You will never be stuck on puzzle solutions or forced to find clues but the playful control touches really make this a standout release from other FMV games.
Erica’s story of learning about her fathers dark past places it between a thriller and horror experience, not your typical horror scares or tension but more from disgust. I have admired Holly Earl’s acting skills here but sadly the same can’t be said about the supporting cast. This is a big shame as developer Flavourworks did some great captures with strong camera angles and original settings, something that can’t be said about other games in this genre.
Abrupt and open for discussion. I’m not entirely convinced about the ending and how it explains what happened in Erica’s hour and a half playthrough, together with the disappointing side-cast with only a few highlights it brought the entire game experience down. Holly Earl manages to save a lot by her outstanding performance and the intriguing questions surrounding her person and father is well written. Clearly placing it with the better full-motion video games!
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