This Is The Zodiac Speaking
Top Critic Average
If you absolutely have to pick up this game, do yourself a favor and play Detective mode. You’ll get through it three times as fast and can move onto something worth your time
This is the Zodiac Speaking has interesting ideas, but is ultimately a dull slog through a poorly-told story.
A mediocre, meandering mystery game hiding under the mask of something greater. While it has a competent story to tell, it lacks the means to tell it in an engaging manner.
Ultimately the game feels like the first draft of a really great idea. Add some polish, and we’d love to see what it could become.
We commend the approach taken with this game. It’s a thoughtful take on a real-life murder mystery, and although the stealth sections felt a bit unnecessary, the experience as a whole at least felt relatively authentic. Ultimately, though, the gameplay and visuals just aren’t up to scratch at all, and there are far better examples of the genre on Switch that you’d be much better off playing.
Taking inspiration from the infamous Zodiac Killer, you too can feel the fear of hunting the hunter, or are you in fact also his prey?
This Is The Zodiac Speaking salvages a faulty setup by offering a secondary story mode that is much more enjoyable to play than its main draw.
The core mechanics of This is the Zodiac Speaking and the mystery that it offers are intriguing, but the ugly visuals make it extremely difficult to recommend on the Nintendo Switch. I can’t deny that actually enjoyed investigating the case and seeing how it affects Robert does add a neat personal touch to proceedings, but the fact that it has such a blurry resolution, dark environments that are difficult to make out, and terrible pop-in that springs objects into your viewpoint from out of nowhere just soured the whole experience for me. This is the Zodiac Speaking is certainly playable on the Nintendo Switch and in fairness it does have its moments where even the graphics are passable (even if they are few and far between) – if you really want to enjoy the clever concept of the game though, I’d implore you to try it on a platform where the awful visuals won’t ruin the experience for you.
There are some really good things in This Is The Zodiac Speaking. It nails its setting, being shockingly faithful to its source material. The developers did a great job researching the subject matter, that’s for certain. Sadly, I can’t say the same about the game as a whole. Its graphics are cheap, its sound design is a mixed bag, and what’s worse, it’s just not very exciting to play.
This is the Zodiac Speaking is a decent psychological thriller significantly hurt by the Switch’s underpowered hardware. The narrative is there, but everything else falls short in terms of visuals, graphical glitches, and sound. There are some nice features here, but I urge you to play the PC version if you can.