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Chronique des Silencieux Review

Chronique des Silencieux is a 2024 point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Pierre Feuille Studio. Set in 1970s southern France, the player takes on the role of a rookie private eye tasked with uncovering the secrets of a stubborn old man.

Our main character is Eugene, a young rookie private eye. He recently lost his mother and is on a train journey to meet his uncle in 1970s France. Upon arrival, he discovers that his uncle is in trouble with the police, and the inspector in charge of his case believes that you are the only one who can prove his innocence. How? By doing the police’s job, apparently. With the help of your trusty tape recorder and a bit of brain power, you’ll be able to figure out how your uncle got embroiled in the world of gangsters and sex workers and will be set on the path that leads to Eugene becoming a private eye.

The Game

The game is played from a third-person perspective, with the player interacting with the environment by clicking on objects and characters. You’re thrown right into the deep end with no glossary to learn from. Instead, everything you learn is from interacting with other characters and collecting documents. You’re becoming a private eye, so you actually have to do some work and pay attention.

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The game’s primary focus is on its story and characters. So you’ll need to use your newfound detective skills to gather clues and solve puzzles in order to progress. There’s a load of different characters to speak with, each with their own unique backstory and motivations.

Chronique demands your attention and rewards it by putting compelling mysteries in front of you, with just enough evidence to unravel them and take down your secretive ‘opponents’. Sometimes it can be fun. Other times, not so much. But I guess that’s the life of a private eye. Does this make me want to have a career like this? Not at all, there’s far too much interaction with other people for a start. And I’m also not entirely sure my attention span could deal with it.

Gameplay

The gameplay of this game involves two parts. Firstly, you will explore a limited section of Bordeaux. You need to find important documents and interview people of interest. Some characters can be questioned about every topic you pick up, while others will only talk about one thing, producing a transcript of the conversation. Your job is to connect the dots between the documents you’ve collected and the conversations you’ve had. Look for any discrepancies to further your understanding of the unfolding mystery.

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This aspect of the game is quite open-ended, and you may end up asking irrelevant questions or finding false leads, which makes finding the contradictions a genuine challenge. However, this is an effective way to get you to engage with the stories being told and even explore beyond them. As I mentioned earlier, you really do need to pay attention. Otherwise, this game becomes borderline impossible.

You will also need to use two of your unlocked topics and a verb to construct hypotheses, which are really the conclusions you draw from your detective work. These help move the story forward when you correctly identify them. Although these sequences can be a bit ambiguous and may require some trial and error, I appreciate that you are required to make some logical deductions with the evidence you have collected.

You are an apprentice detective placed in the role of solving the mysteries and required to engage with the questions being asked.

How it Looks

It would be unfair if I failed to mention the art style of the game. It was the very first thing that caught my attention. Although some screens may not be impressive, there are still plenty of them that are. The hand-drawn look is superb, making the game look distinctive. However, there are some parts that could have been improved, such as the difficulty in reading handwritten letters.

Nevertheless, the game’s overall appearance as you explore France’s southern region is stunningly beautiful. I’d happily play more games that looked like this.

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Steam Deck

Whilst it’s not officially supported (yet), it is playable. But you need to make some tweaks to really make it so. You have two options. One, you can just use the touch screen, which is fine. But the Steam Deck is a bit too heavy to really be used like that for an extended period of time. Or, you can change the controller settings. Register the A button as a right mouse click. Set the left joystick to act as the mouse, etc. It takes a few changes, but it can work. Performance wise, it’s really good on on the Steam Deck.

It would be nice to see the Steam Deck become officially supported, where users don’t have to change the controller settings to make it usable. But it’s far from a dealbreaker as it’s not a requirement. It would just be nice, really.

Conclusion

Chronique des Silencieux is a game that has a lot of potential. It’s not perfect and slightly suffers from some inconsistent translations. This is a game that was, unsurprisingly, given the title, made in France. So, everything is translated into English for a broader audience. For the most part, it is fine. But this is a game where reading documents and interactions with people are key. It can provide an unnecessary additional challenge when you’re trying to piece things together, and the translation doesn’t quite match what should be said.

I don’t have a lot of negative things to say about Chronique des Silencieux. It’s a shame that the ones that matter are pretty key. Making the game more accessible with clear text for letters would be really handy for a start. It can be challenging to solve the cases without much help. You may need to read through many notes and conversations to find potentially contradictory statements, which can be overwhelming even if you use the hint system. Clearer text and correcting some translation problems would help massively.

Overall, though, Chronique des Silencieux is a wonderfully crafted detective game that is perfect for those who enjoy solving mysteries on their own. It has a unique and charming French setting, engaging characters and gameplay that revolves around spotting contradictions. It’s not a game that will hold your hand through it. It’s a real challenge at times, and if you’re not confident that you can be a detective without some help, then this game might not be for you. Nevertheless, if you enjoy brain-teasing adventures, this game is definitely worth playing. With future updates/improvements, this could be a fantastic game.

I rate Chronique des Silencieux a 6/10. Check it out on Steam here.

We Score This Game

rating score: 6

Good!

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