Virtual Russian Roulette Absolutely Terrified Me in Gods Will Be Watching
By Marcus Estrada
Note : This piece includes and discusses spoilers for Chapter 2 of Gods Will Be Watching.
Gods Will Be Watching is a diabolically difficult (at its intended difficulty) point and click game with narrative focus. Opinions from players have been immensely diverse, ranging from absolute adoration to raging hatred. What such a divisive reaction says, to me, is that it’s a game worth playing. And so I did sit down with Gods Will be Watching to form my own opinions on the Indiegogo-funded project. Although I didn’t fall deeply in love as some players did, there was an incredible chapter in the game which caused reactions that I’d never before experienced from a game. I felt sheer terror.
It was all thanks to chapter 2. In this chapter, you play as two characters who are stuck being tortured for days on end. Initially I found it quite silly as the pixelated characters clash with the dark subject matter. Of course, that was before the chapter wore on and I realized how long it was. This mindset was also changed once my captor pulled out a revolver. Was he really going to shoot me if I didn’t tell the truth – and would these bullets actually be randomized like digital Russian roulette? Yes, of course that’s the case.
Up to this point I’d been doing well enough letting my characters both suck up damage and getting healed during the night. But it was during this segment that my nerves were tested. I saw that gun pointed straight at Burden’s head and prayed that he would make it through round after round of shot attempts. On my second attempt at stalling, the bullet sailed right through his skull. I couldn’t believe that, at this point in the chapter, everything would boil down to luck.
I worked my way back up to that portion of the chapter again, but this time stress started to pound on me. It was easy enough to work through all previous steps but they took around ten minutes. This was ten minutes of dread because I knew what was next. As the gun was pulled out again, I hesitated. Sure, this was in no way dangerous to me but I didn’t want to see anyone’s pixelated head burst open again – voiding my progress. I needed both men alive. This was my personal mission.
As the time came to make my moves, my heart pounded and sweat broke out without my consent. Immediately after telling Burden to spend a turn by using “think” I closed my eyes tightly. It was all up to chance and my desperate hope was to have the turn end without hearing the gun go off. It didn’t – that turn. With more to go, my tension stayed at its peak as I once again tempted fate. And again. Because of bad gambling tendencies, I tried it once more and resumed my closed eye ritual. My heart sank when the bullet rang out from my speakers.
With my nerves basically shattered, I went for one more round. Ten stressful minutes later I found myself facing death once more. With heavy exercise amounts of sweat already excreted, my clammy skin just made the moment all the more awful. Giving it my last go of the night I squeezed my eyes tight and tempted fate one more time. Instead of going all out, my character finally acquiesced and told both a lie and truth. Regardless, the two men finally survived unscathed. My heart rate mellowed and my claw-like grip on the mouse finally relaxed. Of course, there were still more days to go. But after that point nothing could block me from victory.
Never before has a game made me feel like Gods Will Be Watching did during chapter 2. Sure, I’ve been frightened by Fatal Frame. And yes, I admit to being reduced to tears maybe once or twice thanks to video games. However, nothing has reduced me to a cold sweat and actually closing my eyes over it before. I’m not sure exactly why this scene became so important to me, but it was definitely a moment I won’t soon forget.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg” ]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]