Something’s not quite right next door, the family are acting suspicious and government officials want them evicted, It’s up to Carl to sneak in, plant video cameras in the apartment and gain evidence, or he could just put a few apples into the Wardrobe and call the police.
Beholder is a game about spying on your neighbours, looking after your family and making important choices that effect all of those around you.
Carl’s a nice chap, working hard to provide for his family, so when he’s offered a move to living zone 3 to oversee tenants on behalf of the state, Carl moves his family to the basement apartment beneath 6 other dwellings, Thankfully the government know how time-consuming tenant management can be so they’ve given Carl some drugs which negate his need for rest so he can work 24/7 to ensure the safety of the state-ran building.
After a dark and sinister intro, you’re given directions by the government ran Ministry of Order to report any crimes, and keep an eye on your neighbours, as the former landlord is dragged away there’s a reminder that you’re being watched.
Carl isn’t phased by this and proceeds to go about his duties, using the left analogue stick to navigate the building, with the main interactions on the A button you can open doors, look through the keyhole, speak to your tenants or search through their apartment for clues about their background or any wrong doings, there’s an easy to access store page on the back/select button, as well as a shadowy salesman who appears on the street, and the triggers and bumpers serve as quick access to your building and all information you’ve built up about the tenants.
Sometimes people will commit crimes, but the only way you’re going to catch them is by looking around in their apartment, check the cupboards, bed, and TV, maybe even put up a few security cameras so you can keep an eye on them when they’re home and soon enough they’re bound to break the law.
It was very early on, I realised this wasn’t always the case, an emergency call from the Ministry instructed me to evict a tenant, however with my reputation on the line, I couldn’t kick them out without reason. So after paying a visit to the shady salesman down the street, I planted a few apples in the tenants bedroom, before writing a report on the tenant….. Soon enough, the police arrived, beat the tenant a little (because obviously apples are bad) and carted them off to jail, soon after the quest was complete, and after repairing the apartment and moving a new tenant in, I moved on to watching others.
There’s always something about your neighbours, some act a little suspicious, others are just outright rude, but you’ll want to profile any findings to the ministry for additional funds, this is all done at your trust desk in your apartment, so as much as you might want to ignore your wife, it’s worth checking if she needs anything when your passing through.
Beholder is a very dark game, Fail to provide for your family and sure enough you’ll pay the price, characters will die if you don’t cater for their needs, and while I took the easy route of having the police take away my son for reading a book before bed, I wasn’t expecting my daughter to die while I struggled to make ends meet, this did mean there was 2 less mouths to feed (and care for) which makes being the landlord from hell a much easier task.
Thankfully any decision is allowed, good or bad and while you’re not going to meet the most pleasant end if you don’t do as you’ve been instructed, there’s over 20 different endings to uncover, meaning at some point you’re going to be wanting to keep your nose out of trouble, while next time you’ll intentionally be defying the Ministry to try to work out if there’s any truth behind the alternate claims of corruption.
There’s plenty of opportunities within Beholder for some long, immersive and exciting gaming sessions, scenario’s are procedurally generated so no two play-through’s are ever the same, working to keep the Ministry and your family happy (as well as delving into the personal lives of your tenants) will keep you entertained long beyond the first evening and even if you do get to the end, there’s plenty of intrigue of how things could have been different if you’d make some drastic decisions differently, you could take to stealing all of your tenants belongings and selling them to that shady trader, or maybe try to do your job properly, profiling every tenant and reporting them when they break the law. With timed quests there’s often a tense feeling of pressure, but usually failure doesn’t mean game over as the endings revolve around these tough decisions and tasks.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Beholder and will continue to turn Carl into the worst landlord ever, while sacrificing my family to uphold my reputation with the Ministry, but one day, who know’s I might put family first and try to cripple the Ministry’s evil ways.