Xbox version tested
Review code provided
Wailing Heights is a musical adventure game in the style of old point and click games like The Secret Of Monkey Island series mixed with a bit of what Telltale is doing with its current games. The game starts out with you in jail for being alive in Wailing Heights which is solely consisting of characters that are dead. There are four main characters I will talk about, first is a ghost (Saul Ghoulman) which later has an achievement tied to him called Better call Saul. The main focus on the game is that of Frances Finkletein who has been invited to Wailing Heights to attend a gig. In the first couple of minutes, you get introduced to a band that Frances was the manager of called the Deadbeats.
The Band has long since split up and it’s rumoured that most of them have finally died. A person appears in the roof asking for a cookie and in return, it will help you escape Wailing Heights in return for the mouldiest cookie I have ever seen.
From there you are given access to the soul wheel which enables you to body swap with the characters as long as you find out their name, one thing they hate and one thing they love. You then go wandering around Wailing Heights to meet their eccentric characters.
We now move on to the second character called Lola she is a vampire and all vampires in this world are massive Hipsters. All of them complain about everything and spend most of their time standing in a queue out front of the Crematory, which is strangely a coffee shop.
The next character you meet is a werewolf called Abnorm in a bar that is eerily reminiscent of the Cheers bar, even down to the fact that all the werewolves greet you when you are playing as Lola but if you go in as Saul all the Werewolves will snarl at you as they don’t trust anything they can’t smell.
The final character I will discuss is a zombie called Debbie Decay who has been having some rough luck and she has a fantastic singing voice as well.
When you first start playing as each character you get a comic version of their backstory by some fantastic artists John Mc Farlane (The Revenants), Glenn Fabry (Preacher), John McCrea (Hitman), PJ Holden (Judge Dredd) and more. This covers the cutscenes as well.
This allows me to pivot into the absolutely stunning art style presented in this game, I often found myself just standing still watching the scenery move and the characters walk in and out of a scene.
The beauty of this game lies in the fantastic voice acting and excellent script, while not groundbreaking the story is superb throughout and things you expect to happen do happen but you have so much fun going through the lines spoken by each of the characters you can interact with. After finishing the game I found out that the script was written by Kevin Beimers who wrote Hector Badge of Carnage which is another point and click / adventure game that I love.
The music of the game heavily influences my love of it as well. All the songs are great, I still have more to listen to as I didn’t experience everything before I completed the game. These are only side elements tied to achievements which a second playthrough will sort and I can’t wait to do that as I really enjoyed Wailing Heights that much.
Overall if you don’t like challenging adventure game I would say this game isn’t for you but if your brain works the way mine does after many years of playing the original adventure games like Monkey Island, Loom, Blade Runner and Sam and Max. Then this game is totally for you. I experienced a few bugs in the game but the console version seems to have been much improved from the original PC version which was buggy as hell. Overall I give this a 9 out of 10 – fantastic, fun but short – the music and the art style will stick with you for a long while after finishing the game.
Beard Score: 9/10
Xbox One Essentials:
Genre: Action, Adventure
Publisher: Outsider Games
Release: 15/08/2018 (Console)
Format: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One