LifeisXbox’s Genesis Noir Review | Prepare yourself for an incredibly abstract adventure where you travel through space and time, searching for numerous different ways to prevent or destroy life as you know it to save the love of your life from the dreadful impact of being murdered by the ‘big bang’. Playing as No Man, you find yourself caught in a love triangle with Miss Mass and Golden Boy. When things turn hostile and affairs are discovered, you will find yourself walking in on an active gunshot fired towards your love, and before the fatatlity occurs, you must find a way to stop the damage being done through an expanding universe. Genesis Noir is an untraditional point and click action/adventure title that will have you completing a range of unique puzzles to progress with each area being created to represent different stages of how the world came to be created, observing key elements of humanity and the creation of the universe. Genesis Noir has been developed by Feral Cat Den and published by Fellow Traveller to create a truly compelling experience that managed to intrigue me from the very beginning. If you’re looking for something to captivate your attention, I doubt you will have to look any further – especially if you are an owner of Xbox Games Pass.
VicciVulpix played Genesis Noir for five hours on Xbox One S. This game is also available on Xbox Series S/X, Steam, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Nintendo Switch.
What we liked!
- Artistic Interpretation | As an individual who adores artwork and everything it represents, I was overjoyed to see the amazing use of simplistic detail to convey such an impactful story. The use of geometric art using striking lines and abstract shapes has been used in such a way to still give the game a contemporary feel. By using such a powerful design, Genesis Noir becomes a serious yet exciting encounter as it should be. Shapes are combined to form characters, backgrounds, and environments for a noticeably distinctive layout and this element alone made me exhilarated from start to finish.
- Powerful use of contrast | Variations of high and low contrast have always been something I really like to use, manipulate, and adapt in imagery which brings me to the beautiful use of black and white colour combination exclusively used for ninety percent of the game. This with subtle hints of gold created a gorgeous and effective setting. The monochrome appearance hinted at the seriousness and aged plot of the game with the gold hints perhaps representing life and hope in glimpses. The bright use of colouring emerges nearer the end of the game that unquestionably brings joy, hope, and happiness.
- Jazz and orchestrated music | An incredible component that made the design of the game stand out to another degree was the classic jazz and orchestrated music combination. It was harmonious and created emphasis when the game needed to draw your attention to specific intense scenes. The jazz music can be complex as in one section you can find it to be soothing to listen to whereas other times, it can indicate something far more important or serious could be about to happen. Fantastic use of sound and music which I believe has done Genesis Noir a huge amount of justice.
- Assortment of puzzles | Throughout Genesis Noir, you and No Man will be greeted with various puzzles to complete should you want to progress through each level. Most are fairly straightforward with a couple being ever so slightly harder but still managing to be far from difficult if you’re paying attention. Constantly varying them allowed the game to not become repetitive or stale which I think is pretty important. For example, I had to collect four objects in one area and bring them to someone and in another, I was required to work out a formula with some trial and error. A great mixture for those who enjoy casual variety.
- The Big Bang experience | The best way to describe Genesis Noir? A cosmic adventure that explores and observes the moments life began many years ago and how even the smallest of changes could have a negative or positive impact on our future. Going through the main events of life being born and changing the outcomes to prevent your love Miss Mass from being murdered, allowing destiny to be rewritten. Whoever came up with this concept of representing the big bang executed it incredibly and I was speechless to have played such an in-depth title portrayed in a rather minimalistic depiction.
- Point and click adventure | Playing Genesis Noir will have you using a point and click game mechanic but not in the traditional way. Drag and drop, copy routines, put together broken pieces; the list goes on. I found myself clicking around the screen frantically sometimes when I was stuck but thankfully I never stayed in one area for too long. I found the navigation easy to control, had no issues with exploring areas and key objects were never too small to notice. The point and click element keeps you involved and allowed me to feel more in control compared to other games using the same mechanic.
- No manual save | With each chapter started and completed, an automatic save point will be created. Now, although the game didn’t allow you to save manually, the majority of the chapters were short enough to not require a save option. On the other hand, I found one or two chapters, in particular, a little longer and these were the only times it would have been nice to have the choice to save manually as when turning off the game mid-chapter, I found myself starting from the beginning of the said chapter.
- One-time playthrough | As Genesis Noir only offers one true playthrough with no alternative routes/options for players to choose from, there is no replayability offered. However, that is far from saying one playthrough won’t be enough for players to experience everything that is on offer with the story. Personally, I think it would have been nice to see more options available, even just a simple one or the other, that perhaps could have impacted the course of the game and ending depending on your choices.
What we disliked
- Chapter select unnecessary | Once you have completed the game for the first time, the main menu will provide you with the chapter selection option. Now, I know chapter selection is a feature most games should include as you may need to return to areas for any miscellaneous achievements or collectibles you have missed along the way. However, as Genesis Noir only offers one true playthrough with only two endings, which can both be seen by continuing the game after unlocking one, I couldn’t understand why this was only made available once finished. Maybe if the chapter select would have been available earlier once you had completed a chapter, this would have been more useful and beneficial for those who return to the game and find themselves unsure as to where they were up to.
- Glitched objectives | I had a few instances where I had to close my game and restart from my previous save as objects that progressed the story would glitch out, not allowing me to interact with them. I tried numerous times to cooperate with the objects but to no avail would anything happen. It made me question if what I was doing was the correct way to progress but each time I restarted because of this issue, it would work the second time around without any issues. It just ended up being a little frustrating at times.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!