The Fidelio Incident is a game that was inspired by Beethoven’s only opera. It begins in first person in the cockpit of an aircraft over icy terrain. A dialogue follows between a man and a woman who we soon discover are a couple. As the dialogue continues we learn that the couple have been on the run from their native Ireland for many years. The main character mentions it has been 30 years since he has been in Ireland and how he can hardly remember his home. You see the plane encounter some turbulence and subsequently crash after some birds fly into the engines and windscreen. The protagonist is a man called Stanley who is then left to search for Leonore after the aircraft breaks apart.
The game itself was developed by Ken Feldman, former art director of God of War 3, this is evident in the games beautiful landscape and stunning aesthetic. As you gain control of Stanley, you are met with ice and stone. A cold and unforgiving landscape is presented and it becomes evident that you must somehow, navigate your way through a treacherous environment. Signs can also be seen throughout the game warning you of the signs of hypothermia.
You are also burdened with having to prevent yourself with getting too cold. You will begin to freeze to death and must find burning wreckages or steam to warm your character up so you can move on through the game.
The main experience comes from solving puzzles and finding more about the characters in the game. The game actually forces you to find missing diary pieces which sometimes contain information needed to progress through the game. Leonore is also on hand throughout the game to update you on her status. Though, the radio is broken so the communication between Leonore and Stanley is one way.
As you progress through the game it becomes very evident that the lovers left Ireland because of a connection with ‘The Troubles’ – an incident in Ireland which left over 3000 dead. The game deals with potential dangerous territory as it spars with sensitive topics such as martial rule, terrorism and violence leading to death. Progressing through the game also gives you a stronger connection to the characters and makes you WANT to save Leonore.
The game does make you connect to the characters but the actual game play itself can sometimes feel very repetitive. As you wander around, you are tasked with finding diary entries and then using those entries to connect missing dots which allow you to progress through puzzles or locked doors.
What the game lacks in innovative and creative game play it more than makes up for in its ability to connect you to the characters. It also allows you to delve into Stanley’s inner psyche so that you can understand, if only a little bit, remorse and burden.
‘The Fidelio Incident’ makes up for its lack of engaging game play with a compelling story and character development.
<3 from Gemcode.