Wales Interactive’s The Complex is out on PC and console platforms today. The FMV game, described by the company as a “cinematic interactive movie sci-fi thriller” puts you in the director and writer’s chair making decisions that will decide the fate of the protagonist and the world beyond.
Much like their previous releases, this game walks the line between choose-your-own-adventure movie and video game, this time in the shoes of Dr. Amy Tenant (Michelle Mylett), a doctor and researcher in the field of nanocell technology, who finds herself locked in her underground lab with fellow scientist Rees Wakefield (Al Weaver) and a young woman named Clare (Kim Adis), who has fallen ill after a bio-weapons attack on London.
Your job, as Tenant, is to determine how this attack took place and deal with the possibly far-reaching repercussions.
Joining Mylett, Weaver, and Adis is Kate Dickie who appeared in The Witch and who had a recurring role on Game of Thrones as Lysa Arryn. Dickie plays Nathalie Kensington, the woman who owns the titular complex where Tenant and Wakefield find themselves trapped.
The action here is fast-paced. Your choices must be made quickly giving your path through The Complex a more instinctual feel than you might have in other games of this kind. You’re basically following your gut, choosing who to trust and what is more important to you. Those decisions will not only shape your relationships with other characters but also determine which of the game’s eight possible endings you’ll see.
Speaking of decision-making, there are two tracking matrices set up within the game. The first, a relationship tracker, monitors your interactions with other characters and keeps track of the strength or weakness of your bond as you work your way through the game.
The second is a personality tracker which monitors those same interactions, but instead keeps track of what traits Tenant–and by extension you–exhibit throughout the game’s play. This is particularly interesting when you receive a Personality Score at the end of the game along with a sort of breakdown of how you played the game.
What struck me most about The Complex, however, is how timely it seemed.
Tenant is actively working to stop what could become a global pandemic, and well, playing the game under a “shelter-in-place” order from my own local government certainly made it seem a bit more real.
Director Paul Raschid elicited honest and raw performances from his actors and Lynn Renee Maxcy’s script is tightly written, which isn’t surprising considering her work as a story editor and writer on shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Covert Affairs.
Furthermore, while this is science fiction, very few moments in the game felt entirely unreal. There is a plausibility to much of what we see, and even those elements that seem less so don’t feel like they’re entirely out of our grasp.
The Complex is available on Steam, PS4, XBox One, and Switch today for an average price of $12.99. Check out the trailer below and download the game today!