Paris has been often referred to as the city of love. It is a town of gorgeous people, exquisite food, and endless romance. However, a horrendous terror has befallen the city. With its citizens in fear of the criminal terror that lies beneath the streets, an inspector, and a cab driver will go headfirst into the clammy underworld to discover the truth behind these grisly worlds. From publisher Raw Fury, and the French-based developers Monkey Moon and Black Muffin Studio comes Night Call, a non-linear murder-mystery game where the player’s ultimate investigative tool is a taxi driver running his usual shift.
Players play the role of a cab driver and an investigator in modern-day Paris. Players must track down a crazed serial killer, who attacks with no warning and leaves a grisly crime scene, much to the horror of the citizens. To solve this murder, a different tactic must be employed. In various video games, players have always had an assortment of investigative tools at your disposal to catch murderers, but in Night Call, you employ a simple cab driver to assist you.
The cab driver can pick up passengers, discover new locations, and pick up pieces of valuable intelligence through peaceful conversation. But a cab driver is no police officer. They can ask the wrong questions, pick up the wrong passenger, or compromise the operation. In Night Call, you must play as both cab driver and investigator. As the cab driver, attaining information is important, but players will be challenged to balance out money and time to pay the bills. It is a difficult challenge as this job is necessary to attain the necessary information the investigator means.
As the investigator, you will use the information obtained to make the best possible decision to track the killer down. It will be a constant battle between justice and survival, with the lives of innocents, as well as yourself, hanging in the balance. The game employs a non-linear narrative, where each run made is completely different from the next. Using a refreshing classic noir style, players will meet an assortment of fascinating characters, learning their stories and struggles in an effort to discover the truth and crack the case. There will be multiple endings to Night Call, making each and every move you make absolutely essential.
I had the chance to play the game at PAX WEST 2018, where I greatly appreciated the atmosphere and story delivery. my demo was quick, but it involved me picking up two passengers. One passenger was an ex-felon, trying to get his life around but struggling to do so. He detailed his remarks about the city of Paris and life in general.
In the discussion, the taxi driver picked up some small, but nonetheless important details about the city. My next passenger was incredibly intriguing. A former Parisian police detective, he detailed a harrowing chase with a Tiger through the streets of Paris, and how that particular pursuit ended. The writing for both passengers was intriguing, energetic, and kept me wanting more, especially the Tiger story.
That particular story yielded clue into strange occurrences, unusual behaviors, and the overall feeling on the street. When the shift was over, the driver returned home to the apartment and added clues to his growing case. On his desk was a map of the city, small sketches to indicate paths and zones, and newspaper clipping detailing the killings. The entire fare only earned me a whopping four dollars as well, making this, and the case, extraordinary tense. With that, my demo ended. With a noir presentation, an interesting investigative premise, and a sharp balance between the normal and the surreal, Night Call looks to be an unforgettable mystery.
Night Call will arrive on Steam and consoles in 2019.