Top Critic Average
Calvino Noir needed less time and effort spent on aesthetics and more spent on gameplay and delivery.
The noir atmosphere is top notch, making it one of my favorite things about this game. The environment is more detailed than you might expect, and the mystery plot is fun to experience. Though some aspects of Calvino Noir can be frustrating or not as polished, overall it is worth the journey.
Take your $27.99 CAD and spend it on literally anything else, and I do mean, anything. It will result in a more satisfying purchase than the experience of playing this game.
Calvino Noir starts off strong with a great setting and cast of characters but finds itself almost totally crippled on account of its heavily flawed stealth mechanics; a tragically missed opportunity.
[T]here's a cynicism deep-rooted in Calvino Noir, a heavy darkness you can't escape. Death is always lurking, success is futile. Maybe this is the best representation of noire in games that nobody wanted.
An excellent noir aesthetic doesn't save Calvino Noir from its utterly incompetent and buggy gameplay, making for an infuriating stealth title.
Unfortunately, Calvino Noir doesn't meet the expectations that come with this genre and style. From the faulty mechanics to unfair challenges, it fails to present itself as anything more than visually beautiful.
The game's "whodunnit" caper isn't the only mystery that needs solving in Calvino Noir. Some other design choices will leave folks scratching their heads. The greatest complaint I have here is movement -- characters move dreadfully, painfully slow. They're trying to be sneaky, and that's all very well and good, as it's a genuine way to stick to the stealth theme. However, when you die as much as you do in this game, playing through an area for the 3rd or 4th time at a slothlike pace becomes a bore, and a player will likely begin to question why they're putting themselves through this. When trying to move characters into hiding, they will sometimes move past the spot and shuffle around a bit before moving into place. Such side steps can be deadly. The game's "collectibles" present another puzzle. From time to time you will happen across money or other abandoned treasures while sneaking through gloomy hallways. This is fun at first, until you realize that said findings bear no discernible use. It's a strange loose end that makes the game feel a bit half-baked.
I was surprised at how interested I was in the story. It's not too difficult to understand the plot, yet it isn't spoon fed to you. A big part of the immersion comes from that fact that every bit of dialogue in the game is completely voice acted so I actually felt a connection to the main characters.