Whenever you pick up a game you can usually find one or two similar games to compare it to. Chronique des Silencieux is unique in that regard, as there are no other games to compare it to. Even the ones that come somewhat close to it aren’t “it.” Let’s see what this charming cartoonish detective game has to offer.
The Story of Chronique des Silencieux
In Chronique des Silencieux you play as Eugene, the son of Italian immigrants who’s run away from home in search of his uncle in Bordeaux. Unfortunately for young Eugene, his uncle never shows up at the agreed rendezvous, which prompts Eugine to investigate.
His investigations lead him to the Pays de Galles, which he believes is his uncle’s place of residence. There he meets a certain Madame Solange, a central figure in the narrative. She informs him that his uncle is no longer there and tries to expel Eugene as fast as possible.
Bewildered and with nowhere to go, Eugene lingers around for a bit at the Pays de Galles. It’s then that he’s confronted by Blanche, another important character, who pushes Eugene into the classroom with the other girls.
When I first saw all of this I thought to myself: “Aww, so sweet. His uncle works at a boarding school.” Only for that image to be completely shattered 5 minutes later when another character barges into the residence and reveals that the Pays de Galles isn’t in fact a boarding school but an illustrious brothel.
The girls in question aren’t students, but “workers” being groomed to accommodate higher-class clientele, which will hopefully bring in more money for the operation. Oh, and your uncle is their procurer. Talk about a complete 180?
The Gameplay of Chronique des Silencieux
Chronique des Silencieux is divided into multiple acts, with the gameplay being focused on investigating and revealing the main mystery of that specific act. Each of the characters offers a unique account of the events that transpired. It’s your job to put together the bigger picture.
Characters will outright lie, and documents will be misleading. What’s more, the game refuses to hold your hand, which means that you won’t get any help in putting things together. At the end of the act, you will get a score judging how well you did in that act, and this is technically how you “win” the game.
I’m honestly impressed with how well everything is put together. The game feels as if you’re reading a crime novel. You read and experience seemingly unimportant things, only to find out that they were crucial to the story after 2 hours of gameplay.
The answer can be right in front of your nose and you wouldn’t know it unless you exhaust every possible option. I found this to be a breath of fresh air and oddly intimidating. I’ve become so accustomed to games holding my hand that complete freedom feels alien to me. That however is not a bad thing, not at all.
What I Liked About The Game
The thing that I really like about the game is how much agency it gave me. From the moment I first stepped onto the train platform, to the final confrontation of the game I had complete agency. The outcome was entirely determined by me, and me alone. I was free to get there however I knew, and with whatever tools I deemed appropriate.
What I Didn’t Like About The Game
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really like the art style too much. It reminded me too much of that soulless corporate art style that companies like Google and Meta like to use, which I feel has no substance. The cutscenes and assets are great, don’t get me wrong, I just have an irk with the entire presentation of the thing.
If you’re looking for an authentic detective experience filled with mystery, then Chronique des Silencieux will be right up your alley. There’s quite literally no other game like it out currently. That being said, I’d wait for a few months before picking it up so that the bugs can get ironed out.
What did you think of our review of Chronique des Silencieux? Share what you think about it in the comments below.
This review is based on the PC version of Chronique des Silencieux. The key was provided by Strange Signals.