Objectives and relevant data are always kept track of in a menu, and you can ask the game for hints should you ever be stuck. Although, the latter needs payment for this service in the form of hidden ad icons, which I do appreciate for being a neat reward for your exploration while also making the journey not too straightforward. Furthermore, since you can locate weapons, earn money, and do side quests, you are always encouraged to look around for gaining supportive items for puzzles or fights, which is admirable! The areas to visit are also moderate in size and comprehensible, meaning none will be overbearing to scour.
The adventure is broken up into chapters where you control either Brok or Graff. They differ in combat with the father being strong and bulky, while the kid is acrobatic and quick on his feet. Onwards, their structures and tales will be unique too in order to get continually new challenges to overcome, which is lovely. Sometimes you will be able to change between them, but I found this to be a useless feature since you will have to finish both episodes nevertheless to progress.
Sadly, there are parts of the campaign that can be poor. One case has you annoyingly reexamining everything around you to find the real culprit, there is a bike ride where you ram into someone with a recharging boost on four lanes that is bland, and the end portion presents tons of battles with identical enemies. These are not enough to destroy the playthrough, but are low points that did not need to occur.
I say this, as there are multiple segments that contain creative ideas that should have been fleshed out. For example, one sewer stage lets you navigate through a field of mines or try to find a way to shut them all down. Similarly, you can always scour around for evidence to take someone down or let the fists do the talking. These are superb additions for making the journey yours, including changing the storyline! Since actions like killing NPCs or ignoring a task will have others react accordingly, these are filled with consequences that have actual impacts.
Even some other events that happen only once I would have liked to see more of, like timed conversations where you need to respond correctly or obstacle courses that have you solving a puzzle simultaneously! It seems like many concepts were wished to be properly implemented, though there might not have been enough time for this. With that being said, this is overall still an entertaining adventure that mixes two genres in mesmerising manners. Maybe a diet take, but nonetheless a tasty one.
Gameplay Score: 7/10
Brok: The investiGator brings a beautiful hand-drawn style to life. Whether it be the wasteland with rundown buildings, busy streets inside the clean dome, or just your friend’s garage holding plenty of strange objects, it is hard to not be impressed by the amount of personality each place has. I also wish to commend the small subtle elements like changing weather or moving vehicles, enhancing the gorgeous immersion.
These details go so far as to visualising lore since you will see more technology overtake the closer you go towards the upper-class region, with plenty of environmental set pieces giving insights into what once was. Similar praises can also be given to the cast. All look fitting to this world with clothing showcasing status and characteristics, like the military beaver with worn uniform and tags. Additionally, any creature talking will have a bubble to present expressions to anything occurring and they are all solid and diverse, making these segments quite engaging.
Granted, there are a couple of issues that should be addressed. Outside of battles that come with graphical highlights of hits and flying opponents, the inhabitants’ animations can feel stiff and lack any sign of life such as breathing movements. Furthermore, there is one fire effect that looks oddly implemented due to clashing with the surroundings and there is a selection of pictures for cutscenes that do miss shading or could use more polish.
Also, I wonder if this game was supposed to include more, as there are big sections of the map for traversing to different zones that have nothing to them, causing them to feel neglected. However, probably the hardest to ignore is Graff’s running as it is just a sped-up version of his walk cycle. This one is bizarre to me, as this kid has some impressive fighting moves to witness, yet contains this one tiny blemish.
Nonetheless, it should be reiterated that these are gripes that do not hinder appreciation for the amount of work gone into this product. Especially with the audio, as it is incredible. Punches and kicks are satisfying to hear, footsteps reflect the surface you are on, and even the sounds of cars flying by are immersive. As for the voice actors, all are phenomenal at giving clear directions, tones, and emotions to provide impact to every scenario and make each character memorable.
While all are fantastic, Bryan Olsen and Micheal Kovach as the main duo deserve particular recognition for their powerful performances, with subtle trembles and wonderful transitions between uneasy and calm minds. Only one line from an NPC could have been redone, but that is nitpicking. Though by far my favourite part is the music by Python Blue. His compositions are beautiful with varied notes and rhythm, creating extraordinary build-ups and the perfect atmosphere for any location. Be it the uplifting yet sad string instruments used in Brok’s home, the comforting electric chimes while walking inside the dome or a combination of both within the consciousness centre, all are outstanding!
However, what elevates them is how these tunes are utilised for showcasing a meeting between the wasteland and the modernised world, with each genre being stronger depending on where you are. Even when interrogating someone, the melody used is enriched whenever you make a discovery, creating a clear feeling of achievement. I wish to here end my praises by stating that the tension is also remarkable whenever investigating a crime scene or pummeling down some criminals thanks to the tracks’ fierce and effective beats!
Presentation Score: 8/10
Change of plan?
Due to the amount of exploration and ability to gather more money, Brok The Investigator actually has some side content to dive into! You can take on quests for some extra story bits and rewards, fight in an arena where you face multiple opponents for cash, and even play a crane game where you hunt for treasure with numbers indicating how close you are to one. Admittedly, these are all small additions, but worth taking on and enjoyable in their own rights.
Oddly enough, the most compelling aspect was looking for ad icons since they need to be thoroughly searched for and some might require you to solve a puzzle to reach them. You even can get an overview of where the rest are and purchase hints if you need a clue on their hiding spot! Onwards, there are various game overs that are legitimately intriguing due to how unique they can be, and the unlockables in the form of music and artwork are neat inclusions too!
What might be surprising is that there are 11 different endings with all having specific criteria for achieving them! You will get tips after seeing one for how to get the canonical one, which will give you more insights on how to acquire those left. Regrettably, this is a hard sell. While it is exciting to get special cutscenes or events depending on your actions, this is also a journey that can take 10-13 hours to beat depending on your skills.
Having to rethread and do a couple of alternative steps can be demanding due to repetition, even with the exclusive dialogues and conclusions. Certainly worth revisiting, but not right after one playthrough. Should you be in the mood for solely punching foes, there is the option for a quick fight with five difficulties and a bunch of enemies to deal with. It is a decent distraction, but sadly lacks content and bizarrely enough does not have any opportunity for co-op, despite being able to choose between the two main characters.
Extra Score: 6/10
Brok: The investigator reminds me of the great cartoons from the early 90s. Sure, it can be rough around the edges, but is made with so much love and personality, that it is easy to be immersed in its universes. As a game, I am also impressed by how smartly it mixes two genres that are quite opposite towards each other, even with some unnecessary parts included. Cowcat shows that they are a passionate team and I am already eager to see what their next title will be like.