The Complex is an interactive sci-fi thriller movie from the publishers of Late Shift and The Bunker. After a major bio-weapon attack on London, two scientists find themselves in a locked-down laboratory with time, and air, running out. Your actions and your relationship with other characters will lead you to one of eight suspenseful endings.
With cinemas closed and most everyone hunkered down at home, The Complex’s hybrid interactive movie experience might be just what the doctor ordered to remedy your cabin fever. Whether you play it by yourself or navigate via decision by committee with some friends, there’s something to be enjoyed here by everyone. In my mind, Wales Interactive has earned itself a reputation for being the bar to be measured by in the interactive movie genre, and I can’t wait to see where they go with it next.
Once The Complex enters full-on thriller mode, this compelling choice-driven tale of a trapped scientist facing terrorists and moral decisions doesn’t let up and even provides enough prompting and interesting options to weather multiple plays.
Those who want more involvement than occasionally making a choice from two or three options won’t suddenly get over their frustrations with the nature of what’s essentially a visual novel, but for people who want to enjoy a good slightly sci-fi thriller, I’d really recommend this. I’ve really enjoyed it.
The Complex's potential gets lost amid weird subplots, throwaway characters, and a ton of plot holes. With so few meaningful choices, it's not an experience worth repeating more than once.
A polished but disappointingly by-the-numbers FMV adventure that won't linger in your mind for long.
The Complex is an interesting experiment that sometimes yields the fruits of its labor. More often, though, it reveals precisely why developers stopped using live-action video as a means to tell an interactive story. With a minuscule budget and equally small ambitions for its narrative and characters, The Complex just doesn’t replace the gaping whole that TellTale left behind. I don’t want to discourage Wales Interactive from continuing down this path, however. While it didn’t shine often, there were glimpses of a world in which this can work and work beautifully. I just hope they can secure the funding necessary to achieve their ambition.
For the most part, the acting is pretty dismal, as if the cast were exhausted by the number of takes they had to make for each branch path of action. Nevertheless, the always welcome Kate Dickie pops up as the tech company’s CEO and gets to sport a particularly amusing pair of tartan pants – the kind of clothes you dig out of the closet when you have been in isolation for too long.
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