With a great art style that perfectly encapsulates and updates a bygone era of gaming, Deponia has always attracted a particular audience. But the end of the third game, Goodbye Deponia, put a rather definite stop on the story of hero Rufus.
So, how do we now have Deponia Doomsday? Well fans find away, and not only is Rufus alive and kicking, he also has access to a time machine. Get ready for another point-and-click adventure with bizarre logic, humorous voice acting, and lots of backtracking.
Do, do, doomsday
Starting off with a dramatic retelling of the original trilogy, Deponia Doomsday quickly shows the after effects of the choices made by Rufus at the end of Goodbye Deponia. It seems all did not go according to plan, and down on Deponia the planet has frozen over.
This is where the tutorial begins – and yes, that gruff voice IS David Hayter of Metal Gear Solid fame. After being taken through the basics, everything suddenly stops and time rewinds to the beginning of the very first Deponia where fans can once again relive the opening of the series. Only all is not as it should be, and as you tussle with the time traveling McChronicle, you and Rufus relive the tale with a new twist.
Deponia Doomsday is a game that is economic with its assets. Many of the areas you visit are familiar to series fans, while the time traveling nature of the game means that even these situations repeat within the course of the game. That said, revisiting all three previous Deponias does result in a good environmental variety.
Thanks to some pretty sharp writing, good voice acting, and overall strong cartoon presentation, this is never punishingly repetitive. But on your third rerun of the first area you can start to feel like things are stagnating, at which point your patience may wear thin.
This can prove particularly trying if you are unfamiliar with the Deponia series’ convoluted logic. Yup, it’s an classic adventure, so you need a tap to get the honey in order to stick a beard to a child so you can capture bees. But in Deponia Doomsday that is just a single logic-chain among multiple repetitions, so you don’t always know what you need when.
Like many point-and-click games, this can result in random confused-clicking. Here, however, this mechanic is exacerbated by the fact you can’t be sure if something that isn't working now will be right in a future timeline.
It’s all entertaining though and, providing you can keep the action moving past possible frustrations, every run through an area does add new layers. It even manages to add extra mechanics to the adventure format, like searching for a pink elephant's footprints using a shard of tachyon-infused glass.
Let's go around again
Depoina Doomsday certainly knows its audience and is not trying to capture anyone outside that group. Nope, this does not throw open the doors of the adventure genre like The Walking Dead did, but for series fans it is a must. Adventure fans who haven’t played Depoina yet: go back to the start and enjoy the trilogy for the beginning before trying this alternate timeline.