Home Reviews 4/5 Review Venice 2089 Review

Venice 2089 Review

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“Ah, Venice,” muttered Indiana Jones as he emerged from a sewer into the centre of Venice in The Last Crusade. He’s not wrong – it is an amazing wonder of the world. A life built in and around the sea. Canals and bridges fill the land, scattered around this amazing place. But that city is fighting a battle against the sea and rising tides. 

Venice 2089 deals with this issue, putting the story firmly in the future. But it isn’t all grim. The game plays as a family adventure set in a colourful city that is full of characters and warmth. 

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Venice? Hoverboards?

You play the role of Nova, a bored teenager, who comes back home to Venice to hang out with their grandfather and explore the city while trying to work out what to do with the rest of their life. Sadly things have changed to what we know of Venice today. See, once every other day the city is partly submerged by the sea, resulting in the Venetians fleeing the city, leaving shops and buildings boarded up and empty. At the same time, a corporation called Atlas monitors the city, throwing up huge advertising billboards everywhere. 

The story and setup are intriguing and cleverly put together by the development team. On your journey through the city, you will meet a host of fascinating characters, gaining an imaginary insight into the future world and the effects of a city living on the brink. I loved the dialogue and the relationships between characters. The little extra details in the visual storytelling help add texture to the narrative too. 

The gameplay is simple but effective. It involves Nova walking and hoverboarding around the streets of Venice, meeting people and completing tasks. You have a home base where you live with your grandfather, and it’s he who may ask you to go and put up some posters for his art exhibition. You then go out and complete your tasks around different areas in the city. You can walk or use the hoverboard to get around; making the most of the latter will allow you the opportunity to grind on benches, take in jumps and hover in the air through wind tunnels. 

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Wander Venice 2098 and have a chat…

Items and secrets are hidden all around the city so it encourages you to explore everything, everywhere. There are main quests that take place over a week, but there are lots of side quests too, like trying to find different flavours for an ice cream seller or collecting bird feathers for a quite deranged old lady. There is some environmental puzzle-solving to do as well. 

But you also have another tool at your disposal – your retro drone. You can control this to get rid of obstacles or disrupt cameras dotted around the world. It’s a great help, but I did sometimes get a bit lost in what I needed to do and what I needed to find. Venice 2098 does run signposts, but I found it was quite easy to get lost. And perhaps that’s to do with the visual perspective in use. 

Venice 2098 comes with a colourful graphic novel style. The creation of Venice is nicely creative and beautifully drawn, whilst the characters are fantastic. In fact, the level of detail is nicely imaginative. The game play on the 2.5D and it does an interesting thing with the camera whereby when you turn down a street the whole camera swivels with you. It’s a good system but takes a while to get used to. At times I found it disorientating. The soundscore that accompanies things is great though; a nice, relaxing, pleasant piece of music to enjoy as you move around the city. 

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Want puzzles? We got puzzles.

Venice 2098 has surprised in many ways. I initially thought it might be too depressing, pushing a tricky subject matter concerned with climate change. But the game is full of hope and humour, as well as concern surrounding the human spirit. You will have to get used to the camera though. 

The biggest surprise though is the price of Venice 2098. This is a game that is brilliant value for money, especially when you consider the four hour or so running time. 

Honestly, go grab a Cornetto and get yourself down to Venice 2089.

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