I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I just discovered The Cave. The Cave comes from Monkey Island creator, Ron Gilbert. The second that I read that Gilbert made the game, (and read that it was free to Playstation Plus members) I knew that I had to check it out!
The Cave is about three characters that wander into a mysterious Cave. Oddly enough, The Cave is also the Narrator of the game, and he keeps the story and humor going throughout the game. As the game begins, you will find out pretty quickly that these characters are flawed. They are not heroes, they are not quite villains; I guess you would call them anti-heroes. As you go through the game, you’ll discover for yourself, just who these characters are.
This game actually reminds me of Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales. A group of flawed people go on a sort of adventure and along the way discover just how vile the others are and they’re OK with that somehow. Sounds a bit familiar, eh? And yes, I know that was an oversimplification.
Also, I was pondering the possibility that The Cave is actually supposed to portray our conscience? The struggles that go on during your character’s journey are actually your character’s inner struggle to either do the right or wrong thing? Maybe I’m just overthinking it. Either way, this game will make you think with it’s dark humor and it’s interesting (yet simple) story!
I mentioned in the Story portion of this Review, that The Cave follows three characters, and that’s true, but there are seven characters to choose from. You can choose from: The Scientist, The Time Traveler, The Hillbilly, The Knight, The Monk, The Twins, and The Adventurer. Each character has a special power, a special backstory, and a special level within The Cave. Not only does this make things more interesting, but it also adds to the repeatibility factor. I personally played as The Adventurer, the Knight, and The Monk (you can see them in the three screenshots in this review). I liked their stories, but I’m definitely going to play again with new characters next time. Another cool feature that goes along with the number of playable characters in this game, is the fact that you can play co-op with 1 or 2 of your friends. The whole 3 players thing makes sense now, right? If you’re more of a single player type of guy like me, don’t worry, switching between characters is easy.
An important part of the Gameplay of The Cave to note is that it’s a 2D, side-scrolling, adventure game. I think it makes for an interesting, unique experience. It also makes for a simple controller scheme, which can be refreshing at times. Some games have a controller layout that is so complex, that you need a tutorial every time you play it again.
Even though this game is much darker than the Monkey Island Series, you can definitely see and hear Ron Gilbert’s influence throughout this game. I loved his wit in those games and it is very much alive in The Cave. Interestingly enough, this game has been on Gilbert’s mind for a long time now.
“Bringing The Cave to life has been something I’ve wanted to do for almost thirty years,” added creator Ron Gilbert. “Being able to work with the amazing creative team at Double Fine, and with the strong support of SEGA, I’ve been able to make a longtime pet project a reality.”
It’s kind of like James Cameron and Avatar, except on a much smaller scale.
Anyway…I still want more Monkey Island.
The bottom line is that The Cave is a fun, simple, little game! It could have used a few more levels to make it a little longer, but as I mentioned before, it is definitely a game you’ll want to play over again. If you’re a Playstation Plus member, what are you waiting for?! It’s FREE! It’s worth the 15 bucks, if you’re not a PS+ member too.
Rhodes Rating: 83/100
P.S. I’m switching my Rhodes Rating scale from 0.0-5.5, to 0-100. I think it’s better that way and gives me more range to work with. Just an FYI, in case you were wondering.