Silence Review
Silence Review
If you are a fan of point-and-click fantasy adventures, I would recommend this game. It is a delightful tale with a classic story, heroic characters, intriguing landscapes and a marvelous soundtrack.
Posted: 12/06/16 | Category: Review | Developer: Daedalic Entertainment | Publisher: Dadelic Entertainment | Platform: Mac, Windows, Linux

Developed by: Daedalic Entertainment
Release date: November 15, 2016 
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Reviewed on: Windows 10

Silence Returns
 

Silence is a beautifully illustrated point-and-click adventure created by Daedalic Entertainment.  While the game stands on its own, it is a continuation of a story begun in The Whispered World, which was first released in 2009. Both games have been designed by Marco Hüllen, a concept artist and game developer who is based in Odendorf, Germany. 

The first game introduces the fantasy world of Silence and the primary characters Sadwick, the sad clown, and his shape-shifting green caterpillar, Spot. It ends with Sadwick breaking a pivotal mirror in the dream world and returning to reality as a boy named Noah, who has awakened from a coma.

Silence continues the story. Noah is now a teenager who is charged with the care of his younger sister, Renie. During an aerial bombing of their city, the two seek shelter in a bunker. Noah entertains his sister by recounting the story of Sadwick’s first adventure. When the bunker takes a direct hit, Renie enters the world of Silence and Noah follows to rescue her.  There, he resumes the role of Sadwick, reconnects with Spot, and the new adventure begins.  Once reunited, the siblings join forces with new and old friends and embark on a heroic quest that confronts evil, requires personal sacrifice and attempts to save the world.

Silence is Golden
 

The most striking features of Silence are the stunning environments created under the art direction of Marco Hüllen, and an original sound track composed by Tilo Alpermann and performed by the collegium musicum Potsdam orchestra.  Silence is a lush world of color, sound and form with intricate 2D landscapes and unique 3D characters. At times, it is simply breathtaking. The voiceovers are professionally done with flawless English dialog and on-screen text. All-in-all, it is a well put-together game that feels as if you are actively participating in an expansive fairytale.

Gameplay is straightforward.  Characters are moved and items are discovered by pointing and clicking.  There is no inventory per se, and most items found in a location are used in that same location by dragging and dropping. Puzzles are logical and primarily of the "find-and-use" variety. Throughout the game, there are puzzles solved by changing Spot’s physical form and enlisting his assistance. In some cases, mouse coordination is required to balance a character or directly manipulate an object.

The game's hint system can be used to find hotspots and discover information concerning the use of objects. Except for a few conundrums that require a very specific sequence of actions to solve, Silence is not a difficult game.

To keep the story interesting, game segments are alternately played from the perspective of Noah/Sadwick, Renie, and Spot.  This means that, at times, there are parallel story threads occurring with the option of flipping back and forth between characters.

The game is auto-saved with a single save file.  At the end, Renie must make a critical decision that changes the outcome of Silence. Luckily, the game retains the save point just prior to this decision so alternate endings can be experienced with minimal replay. There are earlier decisions, however, that cannot be changed without restarting from the beginning. For example, towards the end I chose to fire a cannon and run rather than rescuing my fellow travelers. I remain curious as to whether a kinder approach would have changed the story but I am not inclined to revisit Silence in its entirety to find out.

All That Glitters...
  

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the world of Silence. My journey was somewhat marred by extensive dialog and lengthy cut scenes. Much of the dialog is predetermined, with some driven by the player selecting from a set of responses. Conversations are often very long and cannot be clicked through while speed reading subtitles. I spent just over 8 hours playing Silence and it felt as if more than half of that time was spent as a passive observer.

I was also frustrated by the fact that gameplay is continuously interrupted by almost 6 seconds of load/save activity when a character moves to a new scene.  Each time this occurs, a black screen appears, and this became intrusive over time.  Concerned that it might be my own hardware, I reviewed some of the You Tube postings of other gamers playing Silence and they, too, reflect the same delays.

Finally, I had two episodes of game instability.  The first resulted in a total corruption of my save file while switching between character perspectives early in the game. A search of the Daedalic website revealed that they have posted a full set of save game files for Silence. I downloaded a file that approximated my position in the game and continued without having to start over. Later in the game, I encountered a scene that repeatedly became non-responsive and required shutting down and restarting. In this case, my saved game remained intact. I returned to You Tube to view the exact actions needed to complete the scene. By not doing any extra clicks on the problem screen, I avoided the error and continued my journey. 

 

The Bottom Line
  

If you are a fan of point-and-click fantasy adventures, I would recommend this game. It is a delightful tale with a classic story, heroic characters, intriguing landscapes and a marvelous soundtrack. For a patient player, it will provide a vacation from reality and will keep you engaged from start to finish.

 

Grade: B
 
Gorgeous world to explore with an original soundtrack
Interesting story with unique characters that provides an engaging escape
+ Puzzles are logical and diverse; players with persistence should be able to complete this game without outside assistance
 
- Hours of dialog and long cut-scenes may frustrate those who want to play rather than watch
- Long load/save times, coupled with minor game glitches, detract slightly from the overall experience
 
 Logo 
 
Trailer:
 

 

System Requirements
 
 
MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core CPU 

Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 / ATI Radeon HD 5800 / Intel HD 5000
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 20 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible with latest drivers
Additional notes: Mouse and Gamepad supported


MINIMUM MAC:
OS: Mac OS X 10.7
Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core CPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 / ATI Radeon HD 5800 / Intel HD 5000
Storage: 20 GB available space
Sound Card: OSS-compatible
Additional Notes: Mouse and Gamepad supported
 
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