The Bradwell Conspiracy Xbox One Review
IT ALL COMES BACK TO STONEHENGE….
Yes, published by Bossa Studios comes the aesthetically alluring first person narrative puzzle game, The Bradwell Conspiracy. Set in 2026, something has gone disastrously wrong and you are left: trapped in the newly constructed museum just next to Stonehenge. What’s happened to everybody? Why is the building in a state of disarray? It is up to you to find out and try to piece parts of the puzzle together…
First let me start by saying The Bradwell Conspiracy is a beautiful game. The graphics here are second to none, with a slightly minimalistic style to the art design – it works wonders. You really start to feel like you’re at the epicenter of a colossal disaster. The contrast between the vibrant colours and art design of the original building, fused together with the chaos and carnage of all the debris everywhere gives me flashbacks to the opening scenes in the film 28 Days Later, where the protagonist wakes up to a filthy, empty world. Everything in the level demands your attention. I spent the first few hours of the game, simply looking around and investing myself into the narrative.
Unfortunately, this amazing first impression was cut short by the controls I felt ruined this otherwise immersive experience. Whether this issue persists on all versions of the game, I cannot say, but the analogue stick controls are very clunky indeed. I was playing with an ordinary Xbox One controller and the dead space for the sticks was slightly off. If I moved either analogue stick, by just a bit, and then stopped, I would slowly continue walking on screen. At first, I thought this problem was with my hardware and decided to dashboard and try my controls on another game. Everything seemed to work fine, I tested my sticks in the same way and I had no issues. Popped back onto The Bradwell Conspiracy and the dead zone issues sprung back up.
There’s not much you can do to combat this issue as the control settings are entry level at best. You can adjust the camera sensitivity, which I thought would help but didn’t. But other than that, there’s not a lot of choice here when it comes down to control preferences.
Other than this small hitch, I began to immerse myself with the narrative of the game. There’s a lot of story to be told here and you’ll often find the story in places you wouldn’t expect. Everything ties in together and sometimes it can be easy to miss a detail or two, if you’re not paying attention. The game centers around the Bradwell company, in which have been slowly working their way up the corporate ladder and have found themselves in a position to research highly advanced tech. This tech, as you will see, lets you utilize the Portal Gun 2.0.
When you are introduced to this Portal Gun (the name of which has escaped my mind), you will have a training course in how to use it. Now, you can’t actually shoot portals, instead it acts as more of a replicator. There will be certain puzzles in the game that require certain objects, or multiple of said object. When you approach an object that can be “copied”, you approach it and it gets added to your blueprint inventory. Some items can’t be replicated, but can be harvested for “Units”. Units are the measurement of times you can place an object down. For example, if you scan a coffee mug, you can only place the coffee mug down 4 times, if you had 4 Units, you don’t need to find 4 coffee mugs in order to place 4 of them down, just the 1. Units can be found in every object you copy, but the best sources of units are the “Substance” bricks. These clay looking bricks, will boost your units, given you can find them.
This leads to some out of the box thinking, and some challenging yet entertaining puzzles.
The puzzles are a bit hit and miss. I felt the game suffers with acute repetition, especially with all the fetch quests you have to do. Since you’re basically trying to repair a severely damaged building, your assistant asks you to do a lot of mundane things and you just start to lose interest, well I did anyway. Things, I thought, were picking up a bit and then something went wrong and then I had to fix this and make sure the power was on and it just bored me a bit really.
Another issue I had was with the performance of the game. The frame rate isn’t stable and will jitter from 60 to 25 fps, depending on what you’re looking at and how quickly you look at it. During an intense moment of the game, the frame rate dropped to 0 and I stared at a freeze frame for a good 10 seconds. This really broke it for me, as the moment was highly suspenseful and it was just ruined.
Overall, The Bradwell Conspiracy was a mixed experience for me. The narrative and aesthetics of the game are beautifully crafted. The look of this game is nothing short of amazing and the level design, especially with the puzzles, are enticing yet challenging. The frame rate issues and clunky controls however, warrant a looking over and possibly a patch to fix. But other than that, I would definitely recommend picking this game up and for the price it is, it’s not half bad. There are moments when this game feels repetitive and sometimes unengaging, but for those keen eagle eyed players, who don’t mind a bit of a challenge, then I’d say go for it.
Thank you for VIM Global for providing us with the game code.
Price – £14.99