Haydee Reviews

AuthorReview
VanessaMagick
22,814
VanessaMagick
TSA Score for this game: 991
Posted on 11 April 18 at 05:43
This review has 2 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Updated: 28 Oct, 2017 @ 7:42am

Haydee is a niche game.

There's a lot of games that are just "not for everybody", and Haydee fits the bill. Most of the attention regarding the game is about the design of the protaganist. If you like THICK android girls with massive assets that jiggle with her gait, then you'll probably be all for it.

But I play Haydee for the game. A quick glance at the achievements stats shows that less than 3% of people who have played Haydee have even beaten it. Most players haven't even passed the tutorial.

Haydee is a simplistic sort of game, but it's brutally hard and unforgiving. It suits a 'metroidvania' style of progression. You exit one zone, get a device or keycard that might let you get halfway through another zone, then go do that and get another item that opens up a couple other zones... that sort of thing.

The controls are unique, and somewhat unintuitive. They demand a certain rhythm that other games don't. The simple act of jumping onto a ledge requires multiple button presses. Haydee moves with a certain sluggishness, as if she struggles to maneuver with the size of her chest. It's far from terrible - after a little while moving around will become second nature; but it does take that getting used to.

Rather than 'puzzles', of which there are only a handful, the challenge of Haydee lies mostly in the shooting. It's a perfectly functional third-person shooter with an element of survival horror. Ammo and healing items are scarce, poor aim is regularly punished with a very quick death, and the game LOVES to catch you off guard by spawning enemies behind you, around corners, even in rooms you've already been through.

The game simply isn't always fair. You die, and learn by dying. There's often an element of sheer trial and error, of regularly backtracking through parts you've already played to give an encounter or room another crack. In a couple of places, the game simply spawns an armed mine around a corner, and unless you're rigorously checking every single inch you pass through, you'll find yourself instantly killed without warning.

Haydee even adopts an old school Resident-Evil style 'ink ribbon' save system. You find consumable items, called Diskettes, that allow you to save your game at save points. They're abundant - even saving at every opportunity I could I still had a couple dozen diskettes by the time I finished my first playthrough.

There's a certain tact to the ambiance. All of the music, a sensible original soundtrack, simply adds to the feel of each area. It's all a very low-key ambient-electronica. An upbeat percussive rhythm for a brightly-lit and open zone. Low, bassy chimes for a cramped, pitch-black area crawling with enemies. Deep and breezy sustained notes on a tower of corridors clouded in toxic gas. They all fit quite well, and subtly add to the various tensions of the gameplay.

Ultimately, what sets Haydee apart from most games (aside from the protaganist's design) is the game's insistence on not guiding or telling the player what to do. This isn't a game that holds your hand - in fact, it doesn't even point you in the right direction. "Figure it out yourself", it seems to say. No map, no arrows, no objective markers, not even an indication of what you're supposed to do. It's entirely possible (and common) to waltz straight out of the tutorial and immediately enter the final zone without any knowledge that you don't have the items required to complete it.

I love Haydee - the game, not the protaganist. There's something so immensely rewarding about beating a game so brutally difficult and has no interest in telling you how to do that. It's something for "hardcore" gamers of a sort. If you feel like games these days are just made too easy, Haydee is an example that goes the clear opposite direction - not just a challenge, but a proper kick to the jiggly android backside.

This is a game that is, above all else, completely unafraid of what it is - and in doing that, it fits a niche that no other game quite meets. If that sounds good to you, then I heartily recommend it.
Please log in to comment on this solution.