Keeping everything fresh and new in the video game industry is becoming increasingly tougher, which is due to change being frowned upon in a series, and a working formula for developers and publishers keeps the money rolling in. Why change something if it’s successful? The chance to play something new is a rare commodity these days, but thanks to the talented team at Wales Interactive, we are seeing new ideas and changes coming to the ID Xbox program. Previous titles The Bunker and Late Shift have been less a game, and more of an interactive movie, like the books from my childhood where you chose your own adventure based on choices. This time around, we have The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, who has been murdered by one of his patients, leaving you to step in his shoes and solve the mystery of “whodunnit” from a cast of characters that all brig their own unique personalities to the green leather sofa.
From the start, you are sat in the room, looking through the eyes of the camera across from a green leather sofa, with a choice of 6 individuals all looking for redemption, salvation or just acceptance for who they are, why they are in need of therapy, and help in dealing with their own personal demons. Everyone is their for varying reasons, and has their own story to tell you as you pick away at their thoughts and what is bothering them over the course of the games 5 chapters which slowly unravel everyone’s history and potential motives.
I was curious as to how this would play out, and it’s just as simple as using the bumper buttons to choose your patient, then selecting a question for them to answer. With over 1600 live scenes recorded across all of the cast, there’s plenty to see and hear for sure. The alluring Marianna, who gives off the impression of a troubled free spirit, to the cold and blunt honesty of the upper class Claire, and more, leaves a lot to see and do from the confines of just one room. All have one thing in common, and that’s the Infectious Madness of their former Doctor.
Early on I had ideas of who committed the murder, solely down to their personas and why they were there in the first place. I want to keep spoilers as minimal as possible, so I’ll be fairly vague where necessary in case you’ve read this review before playing. But the 6 main cast members during my initial playthrough where joined by a couple of others, who were not a part of my final 6 suspects to choose. Needless to say, I don’t think I should follow a career of solving murders as I got it right on my 4th attempt.
On a few occasions, I was presented questions by several individuals as to how they should proceed with their own dilemmas. Here you can have some fun, either by telling them that yes they should date or no they shouldn’t steal. Or vice verse of that floats your boat. But the moral implications could well change outcomes or further questioning. I fully intend to play through again to find out how this changes.
Regarding the mental health aspect, you will find subjects straight out of a conspiracy theorists dream. Totally unbelievable in the real world, but certainly something on the science fiction level that helps form intrigue into the lives of Claire, Bryce, Nathan Elin, Jaya and Marianna. The 6 predominant patients with whom you have to question and investigate throughout the course of all 5 chapters.
My time count for finding the guilty person took just over 8 hours, and while it could be a lot quicker for others, I went back and played the answers to questions again, pondered what had been divulged to me as I sought to solve the murder and going through my notes.
The actors and actresses involved all performed to a level that had me convinced of their maladies and troubling thoughts, not to mention the delusions, and issues that cropped up regarding Doctor Dekker who seems to have been quite troubled himself and may have been better off as a patient himself rather than a therapist.
Being a title with possibly the longest name on console right now, and a step in an interesting direction for the Welsh publisher as they are favouring live action instead of the usual look for a video game, The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is unlike anything I’ve ever played. Sure it could be a whole new genre of its own, Therapist Simulator but it brings a breath of fresh air to the Indie scene and if you’re open to new ideas and gameplay, then I’d highly recommend checking it out. Great acting, well written dialogue, and a murder mystery to solve, what else are you waiting for? Make that purchase today, and dive into a sea of madness, courtesy of Doctor Dekker and patients.
Overall Score 9/10
Publisher: Wales Interactive
Release Date: 5th June 2018
File Size: 9.90GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch & Steam