The Ten Worst VNs of 2017
8) Blind Men (Man Eater Games)
Dev: SO! You know all of those 60s and 70s cheesy spy films and TV shows?
Me: …Uh huh…
Dev: What if they were GAY?
Dev: Like, REALLY GAY?
Me: -hits dev with a yardstick-
I’m pretty sure that’s the extent of the thought put into Blind Men and it is to its detriment. Unless you spent the last four James Bond movies shipping the titular character with the main villain (and you know who you are), the baseline pitch of the title is hardly appealing. Then you get into the actual meat of the game which tries to straddle the line between tongue-in-cheek spoof and sincere character-driven adventure. It fails on both and it due to a few factors, but for the benefits of this entry we’ll focus on the two that stuck out the most: the relationships and the protagonist.
The relationships don’t go beyond what I’ve already discussed: male spy fiction tropes flirting and making out with one another. The Bond expy gets the worst of this turn; coming off completely shameless and a borderline rapist. There is an attempt to give some plot to, well, the Armie Hammer from The Man from UNCLE expy (wouldn’t that make the Bond expy actually an expy of the Henry Cavill character then? I’m overthinking it back to the comments). But it’s tied to the whole, ‘let’s watch these spy fiction tropes flirt and make out’ thing I’ve mentioned; NOT for any sort of developing storyline. And I know that because the protagonist tries to let the Russian go, wrecking his entire motivation in this game, because of a sob story. Yeah.
As for our protagonist…the fact that he looks like one-eyed Athrun Zala shouldn’t have been a dead give-away I was going to have issues with him. Keegan, or Doctor Cyclops, isn’t in over his head as much as he’s not even in the water. The game attempts to give several reasons for his attempts at villain, including an infodump on his background at the beginning. However, those reasons never manifest into actions and are useless by the end. Subsequently, his plans repeatedly fall apart not to give him a chance to learn or develop him, but to give him more time with either the Armie Hammer expy or the Cavill/Bond expy. He spends more time in the game either petulant or looking like a puppy begging for a pat on the head that he becomes immediately secondary to the rest of the cast and especially the two expys because that’s just his lot in life. It keeps the game from ever building tension around his character and there are several actions beats here that needed that tension.
It’s an unfortunate turn for this one, but it isn’t so bad it can’t be learned from. The developer just clearly needs a repeated JP3 remedy: someone with a yardstick hanging around in the back for when these type of ideas pop up.