The game world of the palace is a stark, off-kilter black and white with splashes of color here and there. For what it’s worth, those poor slaves with devoured faces bleed goldenrod. I see some red blood-splatter here and there. I’m somewhat concerned in that I don’t see any obvious source of these smaller splashes. I’ve found blue pages in a few places. Some have yielded information but others have not. It sounds like Dehon wasn’t exactly trusted by his family (good call) before everything went down, and that Livos and Pithon were plotting something with Armon. Given that they’re dead (according to Dehon) they probably weren’t particularly successful – though someone left a number of particularly lethal traps in their wake. I suppose it could have been his family’s work.
There’s not really any music in Vigil. There is some voice work (kind of) and sound effects when you hit certain places. Did I mention that the voice work, beyond being really odd, is also presumably in French? I’m guessing it’s French. The designers are French but I don’t speak the language myself so I’m speculating. The spoken parts are subtitled (which helps a bit). The problem I had is that some of the subtitles are a little odd, plus in some sequences it seems like they’re only on screen for a short time. If I try to take in the visual of what’s happening in the story, it’s easy to miss the subtitle. Of course if you have to play through an Act as many times as I have, you’ll have plenty of time to take in both.
Moving through the game is pretty basic. You left click on the ground where you want to move. If you’re in the right spot you can right click to manipulate an object or pray (I’ve run into some odd looking altars here and there). You do have to pay attention to visual detail. You’ll learn that each of the characters in the story has a particular sigil associated with them. You need to learn those differences and keep them straight.
I get the strong feeling while playing Vigil that the creators set out to make a game that is totally different from any other game out there. I have to give them points for that. I’ve never played anything like this before. On the down side, I don’t feel as much thought was given to the player trying to navigate their creation. The only ‘save’ is an auto-save at the end of an Act (chapter). If you blow something in that Act, you start over at the beginning. There are some incredibly frustrating challenges and you get only one chance to get it right, with no obvious clues as to what the right answer might be. Blow it? Oh well. Start over again. After so many, many, many tries, I finally found the secret way into the ‘special’ library. I got my clue. Yay! And then I stepped into an unmarked spike pit and died horribly. Not yay.
I am interested to see where the story is going, but the lack of saves coupled with frequent instant-death is straining my frustration tolerance. I swear - if I could find a walkthrough I would abuse it in a heartbeat. If you are persistent beyond all reason, and you’d like to experience a game that’s probably completely different than anything else you’ve ever played, by all means, give Vigil Blood Bitterness a try. Good luck and good gaming.