Average User Score: 5.7Sep 11, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game gets a C+... but it should have been an A.
Mechanically, musically & atmospherically 'a machine for pigs' is perfect. But what wins the game its C+ is its confused, unorganized writing & story. From what I understand, the crew at frictional sacked their old writer (or writers) from 'the dark descent' for dan pinchbeck the guy who wrote for the indie adventure game 'dear esther.' and, as someone who has played 'dear esther,' I can tell you... the writing in that game is not very good.
as I was playing 'a machine for pigs' I developed several questions, none of which were satisfactorily answered. pretty much all of them had to do with the basic parts of the plot, such as:
- why are there secret rooms in my house? are these to spy on my own wife? my children? why?
- why did I begin the game in my bed, which was surrounded by a cage?
- who let me out of the cage? and aren't I mandus, the boss?
- for that matter, why did I build 'the machine'? what is its purpose? is it to collect the vitae and become immortal (like alexander of brennenburg in 'the dark descent')? to bring my sons back to life?
- I do not understand the character of Mandus, his saboteur alter-ego, or the evil mandus which is personified by the machine. none are really explored or have their motives explained. and this is very important because if you're going to have these 'different manduses' having conversations with each other, they need to be distinguishable.
- what happened to my sons? my wife? I seem to understand that they died but why is this not more clear to me?
- for that matter, why am I an amnesiac in 'a machine for pigs'? was amnesia a necessary plot element to keep?
- what the hell happened in mexico? how did it affect me? this is not clear.
- and who is the professor? why do I speak to him on the tapes?
I'd also like to add:
- there were too many notes. 'a machine for pigs' must have had 4x the notes of 'the dark descent' in a much shorter game. and all of them were filled with extraneous nonsense, couldn't keep on topic.... and somehow still failed to explain to me even the basic parts of the game (see above).
thinking about it now, this game really pisses me off. why? because this should have been even better than amnesia. I understand the vision they had: the vitae alexander strove so hard to collect in 'the dark descent' (which he used to become immortal) is being collected in this game now on an industrial scale. but, like alexander found that animals were a lackluster source of vitae, so, too, in 'a machine for pigs' mandus finds it necessary to extract the vitae from humans. here then come implications of a conspiracy, in which murderers are hired to bring in dead bodies. in which graves are robbed of the recently deceased. and in which imbeciles are brought in from overcrowded mental hospitals. then, the machine is unleashed over all of london in an orgy of horror. but, when this happens its constructor, seeing his own wickedness, decides to the destroy the machine. but this whole vision is exectued poorly. the writer and the producer are at fault here. everyone else did their job.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.9Aug 23, 2012It's a "good" game, but by blizzard's standards (which are exceptionally high) this game was a failure. You can get a good amount of play out of it, perhaps 100 hours, but it isn't worth $60 and it isn't comparable to the 1,000+ hours you got out of Diablo 2. The game is shallow; the horror atmosphere is gone; the quests and writing will make you cringe. D3 might be the end of the blizzard we used to know.… Expand