Originally published at: Review | Accident - XboxEra
Accident was released back in December by Duality Games. It’s a really weird title. In it, you will take on the role of a car magazine journalist who uses the power of VR run off of CDs to relive the memories of car accident first responders. The premise makes little sense in theory, and even less in practice. How does this Euro-centric title come together? Not well Bob, not well.
The developers ask “Who o help first? How to do it the best way?” in their description of the game. As you are simply a car magazine journalist reliving the past in VR the premise does not hold up. In practice, you’re investigating past events, yet you’re doing it in a fully realized VR world where all information is already known. So, what is the point? Why can you fail? Why is going into the past through picture-perfect VR not enough to already understand what happened in each scenario? Those questions will not be answered. Instead, you’re left with that question gnawing at the back of your brain if you’re like me.
Things start off with you at your desk responding to a text message. From there you open a file folder that has crime scene info and a CD! After plopping that CD into your desktop, a true rarity for the 2020s, you put on your generic VR headset and get to solving already-solved accident reports! Most accidents take place in Europe which makes sense as the developers are based in Poland. There are some outside of the EU but the American ambulance still used EU siren sound effects which pulled me out of its already tenuously held immersion.
In each scenario, you start out as a good Samaritan first responder. After coming across the scene of a car accident you’ll call emergency services and do something no human being has ever done, which is cordon off the area with the “road triangles” that every person in this universe keeps in their trunk. Every person you play as is an excellent paramedic who understands how to put out car fires and administer perfect CPR. Each victim has a health bar that lowers over time based on the severity of their injuries. If anyone dies you will fail the level instantly and have to use your magic VR time rewind powers to go back and try things again. You’ll get a checkpoint for each major action you complete, but if you find yourself low on time near the end you may have to go back multiple checkpoints to be able to complete the level successfully.
Touchy Controls & Terrible Performance
Accident is not a good-looking game. It shoots for 60 fps and rarely holds it. You will need to do a lot of fine aiming and the acceleration on the right stick is far too high. The only way to counter this is to turn down your sensitivity as much as possible, but then you run into the issue of movement being far too slow. The main button in the game is A/RT, as both will do every action you are aiming at. From picking up and using fire extinguishers to performing rescue breathing it’s all on those two buttons which are fully interchangeable.
Performance wise the game is atrocious, with never-ending framerate drops inducing headaches in no time. For a game that looks like this, with playable areas this small it is an unforgivable issue. At the end of each scenario, once you’ve saved every victim, you will need to reconstruct the accident. This means finding a number of clue bubbles floating in the environment and then using a poor controlling UI to put them in the correct order. Once you’ve accomplished this you’re treated to a low-res, stutter-filled pre-rendered cutscene that plays out the accident. Victims are dead sometimes, and they happily show you the log smashing into a couple’s roof as it instantly breaks both of their necks.
I did run into one bug where I couldn’t progress through a rescue scenario. A quick rewind back to the previous checkpoint did fix things, and other than that it was stable. The runtime for the game should be 2 and ½ to 3 hours for most people.
Wrapping Things Up
Accident doesn’t look good, runs poorly, controls even worse, and feels like it’s in bad taste more often than not. The basic premise makes little sense, but it does have an excellent soundtrack of all things. If you’re feeling morbid and want to rescue breath a 13-year-old whose mom is dead in the front seat then get help and still avoid this game.