I do enjoy the fact that certain elements from our rich history of video games seem to have something of an eternal life. Whether it’s opening chests in an RPG, collecting coins/rings/gems in a platformer, or, in the case of Silence: The Whispered World 2 from Daedalic, getting completely lost by the puzzles that inhabit this traditional point and click adventure.
I mean, it wouldn’t be classic point and click without me feeling the need to tear out my hair, before finding a walkthrough online, and then realising the answer was right before me all along.
Despite little frustrations, I still love to dive in to this style of game, and have done for a good few decades now. Point and click allows room to breathe in-between the action, and also offers wide spaces for some great storytelling, and that is exactly what Silence does.
Having not played the first game I was a little worried that I might become lost in the plot, but the reality was that this second chapter plays much like a standalone anyway. The basic plot sees two orphaned children, brother and sister, Noah and Renie, beginning the game taking cover in a bomb shelter as air raid sirens wail outside. Renie, the younger of the pair, is understandably frightened, and in a bid to calm her, Noah, talks about their imaginary world of Silence. He talks of the characters that inhabit the land, brings them to life for Renie in improvised puppet form raising a smile from his little sister and instilling a calm. Just as the bomb hits.
Noah wakes from the blast in the rubble of the shelter, Renie is gone. He climbs through the ruins before emerging into the sunlight of Silence itself.
From here the player gets to travel through the game as both Noah, and Renie. Each are on their own paths with their own adventures and challenges to overcome.
The gameplay itself is classic point and click. Each area has puzzles to solve and items dotted about with which to solve them. Around the puzzling action a nice array of quirky, interesting, and occasionally annoying characters flesh out the story of Silence and its war torn state.
The absolute basics of play consist of being placed in a scene and challenged with working out how to move on to the next one. Sometimes this is fairly straightforward and the objects available for use make it easily apparent which actions to take to proceed. However, as is often the case with point and click games, at times the puzzles are so damned random or lacking in logic that it can prove a crushingly frustrating experience. I admit to having ventured online in search of assistance because the alternative was to cast the game into the fiery fires of hell whilst muttering, “that doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t make sense, that doesn’t make SENSE!”
The game offers hints to those becoming stuck within the puzzling play, but at times it’s too easy to rely on these, and in combination with falling back on walkthroughs I felt I was in some ways cheating myself from the full game experience, but when a portion of the tests are so frustrating it proves the only option. However, all that said, thankfully these moments are pretty scarce overall in the grand scheme of Silence adventuring, where by and large the tests and challenges that await the player are fun to solve and allow you a little air punch of victory moment after doing so.
Away from the puzzles, the game also offers some big heart wrenching decision making. These moments do have a gravity to them and they do manage to stir the right emotions, but having only briefly spent any time in the shoes of these characters, they lack the sort of impact you might get from something like The Walking Dead.
Some big plus points for Silence come from the looks and sound departments. Silence is a glorious looking game, truly rich in detail and bursting with colour and depth at every turn. It needs to be played to get a real feel for just how much is going on in every screen. The soundtrack is suitably mixed with heroic themes and gentle piano play that really captures the feel of the game and the setting.
Overall, Silence: The Whispered World 2 is an enjoyable point and click romp through a vivid fantasy world. The frustrating puzzles are outweighed by the logical ones, and despite the occasional moments of building anger, the game actually manages to prove a very enjoyable experience. The characters are well played by the acting talent, and are wide and varied adding further layers to the richness of the land.
Fans of the point and click genre will almost certainly find the game a welcome treat, and for those seeking a decent few hours storytelling and puzzling, the game will prove equally rewarding. Silence is far from perfect, there are the tougher puzzling elements that raise frustration and the occasional slow pace that grates from time to time, but beyond these little issues, the game proves a solid and fulfilling adventure through a wonderful looking world.
Silence: The Whispered World is an enjoyable adventurous romp though a gloriously realised fantasy world, only let down in parts by some frustrating puzzles and occasional dips in pace.