Have you ever wanted to jump back and relive the gaming memories of yesteryear, 1995 to be precise? Well, Back In 1995 does just that with its survival gameplay and retro styling, truly transporting you back to the pixelated times gone past. Read on this Back In 1995 Review to see if it is worth the trip back in time.
The story of Back In 1995 is pretty straightforward; you are transported back to a world set in a retro feeling 1995, and you are there to find clues in order to solve the mystery of your daughter, who has disappeared. You get a good feeling of the atmosphere straight away with its over the shoulder camera angle, giving the effect of CCTV and there is also another effect you can switch on (or off) on the screen to actually make it look like a grainy CCTV camera film. As you go through the world, you must interact with various characters to unravel the story and solve the mystery so you can save your daughter.
Back in 1995 has a very retro feel to it with the pixelated graphics, making characters and the world look blocky at best. There are cutscenes that help tell the story with subtitles and stills, which is a good addition to the game, however, the voiceover that talks at each cutscene is robotic and doesn’t really flow. As you start to make your way around, the controls themselves seem to be opposite to what you may be used to and take a bit of adjusting to; yes, you will spend time walking into walls which becomes very frustrating, especially as most of the corridors have monsters to contain, so there isn’t a lot of time to get your head around controls.
When you eventually get going, you start the search for clues, weapons, and health, very similar in the vein of Resident Evil. You don’t have weapons to start off with so it’s best to avoid the floating monsters and start searching the rooms for weapons. The first weapon you come across is a monkey wrench, now… Isn’t killing monsters with a wrench a thrilling experience? That’s where the thrilling feeling ends for me unfortunately as when you do come into combat, it is very slow and slightly difficult to control. Although the combat is sluggish, there is still something satisfying about smacking a monster with a monkey wrench. If you are anything like me, you will die a lot at first, and there is no health bar for you to monitor your health… so you won’t know until it’s too late.
Unfortunately, it’s not obvious where the game save point is as I found out that when I completed the second level, only to die and have to begin all over again; I stumbled across the save point when I walked into a table in a room I came across and a computer beeped at me. I pressed X and there it was, game saved, phew!
As you walk about the creepy corridors you will come across other characters/survivors who will help you unravel the mystery. When you interact with them, the conversation is robotic but you can follow the store well enough, now I don’t want to be a complete downer on this game as the story itself is well thought out and atmospheric, but the gameplay makes it harder to get into the story and kind of limits the enjoyment.
It’s not the fact that Back In 1995 is a retro title, but it suffers in the gameplay department as I play a lot of retro titles and find them enjoyable. Back In 1995 just doesn’t pull it off well enough for me and, unless you find it cheap on a sale, you probably would be better off looking elsewhere for your survival fix.
Graphics and Sound
You may or may not know that I do enjoy playing retro titles and love the pixelated nostalgia vibe, unfortunately for me, Back In 1995 just doesn’t carry it off with the character models looking a bit too blocky. However, you can make out who’s who and the general levels are okay on the eye; I don’t want to be too over the top negative about the graphics as it is meant to be a retro game but I just don’t feel it’s the best I’ve seen. The sounds suit the theme of the game and kind of work, but the voice acting is so robotic that it just doesn’t flow and, unfortunately, it can’t be skipped.