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The Butterfly Sign (PC) artwork

The Butterfly Sign (PC) review


"The Butterfly Sign has a lot of potential"


The Butterfly Sign is an atmospheric horror game that puts you in the shoes of a man named Jack, who is trying to remember what happened to him. Itís a little difficult to give away more of the story without spoiling it, but suffice to say, itís pretty good. Short, but good.

In this houríish experience, youíll explore a small portion of what is a mental asylum, and your job is to investigate a few crime scenes to determine what happen. Difficulty ranges from amateur to expert, and if you play on expert, you get zero chances for error, and one wrong guess will result in game over, please try again. Now, that might sound hard, but the investigations wind up being pretty easy, and you should be able to deduce what happened and select the right answer just by looking around the scene. Aside from investigations, there are two typical get-from-point-A-to-point-B flowing puzzles that are fairly easy.

The game is gorgeous. It definitely brings up The Vanishing of Ethan Carter feelings in how the outside world is portrayed. The landscape is simply beautiful. Once inside the asylum, it turns into a typical, industrial, hospitalized look, but thereís enough small touches that it just stands out. The developer seems to really like motion blur, depth of field and having an insanely thick fog inside the building. All of these cannot be turned off, as graphics options are very limited in what you can change.

The Butterfly Sign (PC) image


Audio is fantastic, and I highly recommend headphones for this game. Youíll be accosted by various things in the world, and listening to the whispers and all the other noises (again, donít want to give away much) really draws you into the world of Memority. The acting is surprisingly good as well, from both Jack and Dr. Romanov.

Unfortunately, the game is capped at 30FPS. It feels like 30FPS, but it seemed like it dropped even lower at points. I played most of the game at 2160p, but swapped to 1080p to try, and it still resulted in a stuttery experience. Not sure why the developer would go with a hard cap like that. Also absent, for some reason, are key bindings. I use the typical QWERTY control scheme, so it didnít bug me, but if youíre someone who uses AZERTY, or just likes changing keys, youíre out of luck.

Thereís also a few questionable design choices, the biggest one being how sprint suddenly stops working for no apparent reason. Youíll be sprinting, dialog happens and you can no longer sprint, which is fine, but then you enter an area and your sprint just flat out doesnít work, forcing you to trudge along.

The Butterfly Sign (PC) image


Lastly, the developer has this game listed as The Butterfly Sign, implying a full game. However, in a forum thread, theyíve stated that chapter two will not require chapter one being installed, which can be taken as chapter two will be a new, separate purchase when itís released. I donít necessarily have a problem with this, but the game is not advertised as being a single chapter only. In the same vein, your choices are supposed to effect the story at the very end, so unless they do some cross-save system, or however Telltale does it with Walking Dead, then Iím not sure how your choices will carry over.

The Butterfly Sign has a lot of potential. I thoroughly enjoyed chapter one, which was helped along by both the fantastic acting and visuals, with a solid story and some fun investigative techniques, that reminded me slightly of Condemned: Criminal Origins.

Iíd like the developer to be more clear on how the other two chapters will work: are they separate paid titles? Will they be addons? Will they be added to the current game at no charge? As itís only titled The Butterfly Sign, with no subtitle saying Chapter 1: Necessary Evil, itís all up in the air to me.

The Butterfly Sign (PC) image


Pros
Good story
Excellent graphics
Excellent audio
Good acting with good writing
Makes you think but not overly challenging puzzles when it comes to investigations
Achievements and trading cards for those who like them

Cons
Hard capped 30FPS
Short, you can beat it in an hour, give or take (replay value is there for higher difficulties and achievements)
Not sure how chapter two and three are going to be available

4/5

crazycanuck's avatar
Community review by crazycanuck (April 06, 2017)

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Observer (PC) artwork
Observer (PC)

Well worth your time and money

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