Knee Deep – Review (Xbox One)

Welcome to Cyprus Knee. It’s a strange yet captivating place. A suspicious death, A religious cult, a hungry gator and a whole host of weirdness await you in a slow burning yet gripping story. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of it all however is how it is presented. In Knee Deep, you are watching the story unfold on a theatre stage. It’s a truly unique premise. At the end of each of the three acts, you hear applause from your fellow audience members. If something shocking happens, you hear the audience gasp. It sounds odd but it’s actually a really cool touch.


Now all of this would be frivolous if the story wasn’t up to scratch, but luckily it is and then some. And not only are you an audience member, you control how the story goes. 90% of the game is controlling character’s conversation options. If a critical choice is coming up, you will be warned in the top left corner of the screen. So what about the characters? You star as a blogger, a reporter and an investigator. No matter who you’re playing as, you’re all investigating the suspicious death of actor Tag Kern, who is hanging from a neon lit tourist attraction. With every nugget of information you find out, you’ll be required to upload or submit a story to put out into the world. These can be edgy, cautious or inflammatory – your choice. Whatever spin you put on it will have a ripple effect. It may just piss off your boss, or it could change the way the story goes. There’s obviously a lot more avenues the story heads down, but I won’t elaborate anymore so you can find out yourself.


Another detail to note is that you shouldn’t let the fact that the game is hugely dialogue based put you off. The script is genuinely witty with some bizarre and hilarious lines throughout. That being said, to break up the talking slightly are a handful of small puzzle games. These are really cool, and consist of hacking a smartphone code, matching fingerprints, playing a carnival mini game and so on. I especially liked that they were all very simple. It can be frustrating when you’re really invested in a story and then get a painfully hard puzzle thrown at you. Luckily, that’s not the case here. Another plus is that Knee Deep doesn’t outstay its welcome. Everything feels as long as it should be. It’s all killer, no filler.


The icing on the cake comes in the form of achievements. Around 70% of them are story based, so a quick mop up and you’ll be leaving Cyprus Knee with a cool 1000G too. But more importantly, you’ll be leaving with an experience that is genuinely unique. And let’s face it, how many other swamp-noir games are you going to play this year? Give Knee Deep a go, it’s well worth the price of admission.



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