I draw a lot of relations to Zelda in my reviews, and I’m not gonna stop now. The Sexy Brutale brings a mechanic like Majora’s Mask’s time-based mechanics to the table to create a thrilling mystery. Taking place at a fancy, extravagant party, multiple guests are being murdered and it’s up to you to put an end to it.
So let’s get straight to the nitty gritty. The Sexy Brutale is all about using your expanding knowledge of events to then go back and make changes. You’ll use new clues and information to influence the future. Like the good old days of Majora, you’ll relive the days events until a certain time, then you’ll go back to the beginning. The same events will always happen you’ll always have someone that needs saving. By going back and reliving events from a different angle you can see everything that lead up to a murder. This means you can try intervene in which way you find appropriate.
Why is this happening story wise? Well you play the role of a priest named Boone, and you’re one of the unlucky few at the party. All of a sudden the staff begin to murder the guests while emitting some mysterious power from their masks. You’ll use the help from the Bloody Girl to discover what really is going on in this house.
There are plenty of rules to play by in this house. Boone is not interacted with by other characters but he is not allowed to be in the same room as them. This means you’ll need to spy through key holes and listen to conversations to get a sense of what the character is up to. This is what makes reliving a murder over interesting as you realise what the character was doing to get into a sticky situation. Using the same knowledge can help to uncover a way to save the guest.
While not being able to directly interact with the murder it’s usually the environment or objects that come into play. While not giving away specifics, I’ve found great success in following everyone routine and playing with what they do. It gives you a real sense that you’ve meddled up a genius plan from behind the scenes, and that feels smarty than having the player simply take out the murderer with weapons. When you are successful you will be able to talk to a guest and learn a new power to aid your quest. Only once you can save everyone can you get out of the time loop.
The later you get into the game the more you feel a sense of how much you are doing within the time space. You’ll enjoy seeing more stories that come into play at different points within the game. The most satisfying moment for me was always when I had worked out what might be the clue to stop the murder. You just feel really intelligent and like you’ve been studying for it, giving that sense of accomplishment at the end of it.
Technically I had a few issues with my game, not things I didn’t like, but rather barriers to playing. On the version I played I couldn’t make my game go full-screen or work with the Steam client. The game wouldn’t always save either, so the first time I tried playing resulted in going back to the start. While this didn’t hinder my experience too much, it made playing the game a chore, to make sure I didn’t crash or break the game. On the visual side of things, Sexy Brutale is a great game to look at While not being the most groundbreaking graphics of our generation it holds the atmosphere well. Shadows creep in through windows and add some thrill to the locations.
It is a full on game as you come to terms with the time loop. The fact that all these murders are happening at the same time in different locations becomes really sinister to think about. You can also feel the British aura in the game, which is something I particularly enjoy. A lot of the characters use the good old British charm which never fails to make me laugh. The humour that comes off of this makes the dark setting lighthearted for a moment, until you are brought back into the world of murder and despair. The music also fits in with the type of rich party atmosphere you expect people at a ball to listen to. All these aspects come together to make a well crafted experience from start to finish.
I’ll give The Sexy Brutale a 8/10