[Beyond PlayStation] The Bradwell Conspiracy Review
The Bradwell Conspiracy from Bossa Studios and A Brave Plan is a first-person adventure with a unique gameplay twist. Find out what it is in our The Bradwell Conspiracy review!
The Bradwell Conspiracy is a first-person narrative-driven adventure game in which the main gameplay mechanic is using 3D printed objects to help you solve puzzles. You play as someone who was taking part in a fundraiser for the Stonehenge Museum when an explosion makes the floor before you collapse, trapping you inside of the building. To escape from this rather troublesome situation, you’ll be using a pair of smart glasses, a Substance Mobile Printer (SMP), and the help of Amber, another survivor located elsewhere somewhere in the building.
Since this is a first-person adventure, you’ll be moving your character around with the left analog stick, looking around with the right analog stick. If you need to move at a faster pace, you can run by pressing down on the left analog stick. If, on the other hand, you need to go slower or go under an obstacle, you can crawl by pressing down on the right analog stick. Since your character won’t be able to talk since it has damaged its vocal cords due to smoke inhalation, you’ll be communicating with Amber by taking pictures with the R button.
You’ll also gain access to blueprints, and you’ll be able to use these to 3D print objects with the A button – cycle between blueprints by pressing up or down on the D-Pad and find the one you need. To be able to 3D print things, you’ll first need to get your hands on the SMP, as well as on some Bradwellium, also known as Substance, which you’ll have to obtain by reclaiming objects made of said material. Some objects will be locked, keeping you from obtaining their blueprint, and this will play into the puzzle solving. Speaking of that, you’ll get to rotate Substance to solve some of the puzzles by pressing the ZL and ZR buttons – an example of this being reproducing a pattern on the wall in a spot next to it by 3D printing the pieces and rotating them.
You’ll be taking a ton of photos as you play The Bradwell Conspiracy to be able to communicate with Amber, and while many of the photos you take will make her interact with you – sometimes providing you with the guidance or information you need to move forward with your plans -, it would have been pretty much impossible Bossa Studios and A Brave Plan to have Rebecca LaChance, who provides the boss for Amber, record thousands of extra lines of dialogue to account for every potential set of objects and every corner of the building you can photograph, so every now and then you’ll get an “I don’t know what to tell you about that one,” or a similar line.
To balance the game experience, and to keep you from stocking a lot of Substance from start to finish, the game will tell you that in order to access each of the new areas that Amber and you will get to unlock, you will first need to insert the SMP into a device on each lift to surrender the Substance you’ve collected, since Bradwellium is a valuable resource. It’s a good way for the game to make sure that for each new section, you’ll have to search for new blueprints as well as new Substance.
An issue the game has is that for most of your time with The Bradwell Conspiracy, the framerate is going to be all over the place. Walking or running down a corridor? No issues there. Are you exploring an enclosed section of the building? You’ll be fine. Are you trying to walk around a large area with a high ceiling? Then expect the framerate to dip into 20 fps territory. It’s not a deal-breaker since it only ends up making this first-person adventure feel a bit like a walking sim of sorts, and it won’t get in the way of you solving puzzles or enjoying the game’s story. Hopefully, it’s something that the team can sort out by way of a patch.
The Bradwell Conspiracy is an entertaining first-person narrative-driven adventure with solid writing and an interesting story. Its 3D printing gameplay mechanic is a good hook that changes how you approach puzzle solving, and once you learn how the whole SPM thing ties up to the game’s story, it will all click. Other than the slowdown on Nintendo Switch – which happens when playing in Docked, Portable, or Tabletop mode -, this is a short but solid experience that will take you around 2-3 hours to complete. The game is available on Nintendo Switch from $19.99 and is definitely worth the price of admission.
This The Bradwell Conspiracy review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Bossa Studios.