In a marketplace bloated with games of all genres boasting intense (read: loud) action and mature (read: sex) themes a quirky story about a down on his luck thief trying to propose to his wheel-chair bound girlfriend and get out of his slum is refreshing. However, E-One Studio’s debut title by no means an eight-karat synthetic diamond and despite a gorgeous soundtrack and a slew of good ideas the final result comes off somewhat lacking.
Graphically, Hoodwink makes a very good case for itself. The cell-shaded graphic novel look works very well on the character and setting design; I was reminded very much of Blade Runner as I stepped onto a mucky balcony full of traditional Asian interior decoration punctuated with harsh neon lighting and heavy iron bulkheads. While in Blade Runner the aesthetic was Japanese, not Chinese as it is in Hoodwink, the heavy clash of traditional and future-modern certainly evokes the same feel and really helps solidify the setting. Sadly, character animations can sometimes seem a little robotic and stilted; though considering the obvious effort that went into the sets Michael can explore it can be forgiven of such a small team.