Belief + Betrayal
Developer: Artematica Entertainment
Publisher: Lighthouse Interactive
Release Date: Out Now
Players: 1
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If you had to buy one adventure game this month (you know, if someone happened to be holding a gun to your head, threatening to kill your children) then this should be the last choice on your list. In fact, scratch that, it shouldn't even feature, even as a scrawled smudge at the bottom of the page. Buy Overclocked: A History of Violence instead, which I reviewed last time on Gamecell. If nothing else, the kids will be alright. Belief and Betrayal (B&B), if it could be said to appeal at all, will only do so to those slack-jawed cretins who thought The Da Vinci Code was the height of modern literature and have never played another adventure game in their entire bloody lives. What we've got here with B&B is an ugly, irritating effort lacking any polish, spark or hint of enjoyment.

And I feel bad saying that because the press release that came with the review disc was so polite, earnest even. The developers and publishers seem like nice people (Lighthouse Interactive even gave us Overclocked which wasn't half bad), but this dreck just doesn't cut it, even on a budget. I could go so far as to say that I hate B&B, but in all honesty it engenders apathy more than any other emotion. In order to hate it properly I would have to actually care about its existence, characters or themes. After trying to play it that's just not possible. What's it about? My reference to Dan Brown's Author Insertion Wankfest at the start might give you a clue - your character Jonathan Danter is a rubbish, boring journalist (description author's own) who ends up trying to investigate the Catholic Church over the mysterious death of his uncle. There's a conspiracy you see, involving some ancient, grave secrets that threaten the Vatican and...

Bloody hell, the plot is all so 2003. And the rest of the game feels decidedly late í90s with the grainy pre-rendered backgrounds, clunky interface, pixel hunts, cack-handed animation, bad dialogue delivered by bad actors and that all encompassing feeling of despair that you feel tighten inexorably around your heart every time you find an excuse not the play this, but then force yourself to because you are supposed to be reviewing it after all. Your impressions may vary slightly. Regardless, there is no reason for you to pay any money for this whatsoever, let alone any justification to spend your time playing it when superior alternatives are available (hello again, Overclocked). This all may sound like a bit of a rant but letís be honest with ourselves, shall we?

B&B is only notable because, as will be obvious to even the most blinkered of individuals, it attempts to piggy-back on the thematic success of a book that is over 5 years old. The fact that the developers were so hard up for ideas that they had to try and "borrow" from Dan Brown for inspiration should be grounds alone for being barred from making games ever again. And they couldn't even make those potentially interesting (if unoriginal) ideas into a remotely engaging adventure setting. Put that together with a game that is at its core badly designed and badly built, and all you have is something that is just utter, utter pants. This may seem like a shorter than average review, but I blew my critical load in the first paragraph and I've got nothing left - please don't buy this. It'll only encourage them.

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by: Barry 'Imperial Creed' White

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