Chaos on Deponia Review

The official logo for Chaos on Deponia

Daedalic Entertainment’s Deponia is a great adventure game whose ending clearly indicated a sequel. I was hoping that it would sell well enough to get one, but I wasn’t expecting for it to be announced and released three months later. Chaos on Deponia picks up right where the first left off, with Rufus watching the girl of his dreams leave so he can save everyone he cares about. For such a lighthearted game, it was a pretty intense and sad ending. Not only are we getting a sequel, but Deponia is going to be a trilogy, with Chaos as its ‘dark middle chapter.’

Those are my words, not Daedalic’s. Deponia reminds me of Monkey Island on many levels, and even though both series do get serious at times, they never get to a really dark place. If anything, since the Deponia series is about trying to make sure the planet doesn’t explode, they put in so much humor to help balance out the intensity of the plot. I wasn’t entirely sure where Chaos would go with the way things were left, but everywhere it did go, I was completely on board.

Chaos on Deponia screenshot 1
Rufus is incredibly happy that his game is back

Chaos on Deponia (PC)
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Released: November 6, 2012
MSRP: $19.99

Chaos on Deponia does a much better job at handling the environments you have to journey through. There is now a guide map so that Rufus can fast travel around the floating black market. It’s not really necessary and I didn’t use it a whole lot, but those times when I was unsure of what to do next, the ability to instantly move to the other side of town made figuring it out so much easier. I was never confused about how to get where I wanted to.

There’s always a certain point in every adventure game where you just get stuck. You either have no idea what to do next or the puzzle in front of you makes absolutely zero sense in any form of logic you understand. If that game was made in the past 10 years and decided not ignore everything we’ve learned, when you do figure it out or look it up, you’re kicking yourself about how easy it was. I only was stuck twice in Chaos on Deponia and both times I managed to logic, not brute force, my way out of it.

Chaos on Deponia screenshot 2
OH GOD THERE’S TWO OF THEM. BAIL. BAIL NOW!

I was impressed with the majority of the puzzles. I felt like I actually had to think, but never outside of traditional logic. The only gameplay I found lacking was the weird combat minigame you play a grand total of one time to pass a section. There were moments where I felt my inputs weren’t being recognized and the training was completely useless. Thankfully I managed to get past it, and if I couldn’t there are options to the minigame-like puzzles.

Deponia made me chuckle at times and I’m not sure what the team did, but they clearly stepped up their game. Chaos on Deponia is much funnier and I loved laughing along with Rufus. He did grow after the events of the first game, but this is still the deluded, self-obsessed Rufus. Just as I found in the first game, half of the excitement of the plot is watching him grow out of his incredibly childish mindset. Rufus reminds me of so many people I know, minus the explosively destructive nature, and I wanted to watch him grow from the increasing mountain of mistakes.

Chaos on Deponia screenshot 3
You can’t hear the awesome 007-esque music playing.

Not all is rosy in Chaos in Deponia. Daedalic stated that they wanted to fix the issues that people had with Deponia and, for the most part, they did. The animation is a bit better and there’s much more of it. Things move along at a faster pace and you’re not shoved down a linear path. The same hang ups and general slowdown that would happen hasn’t gone away and actually seems to have gotten worse. At times I would find myself watching almost slideshows instead of the animated transitions. It was never detrimental, except during the fighting minigame, and even then I still enjoyed my time romping around with Rufus.

I need this soundtrack. Deponia had great music and Chaos only moves the bar higher. When you’re wandering around beautifully drawn environments for hours on end, you need music that won’t be obnoxious.  When you find tracks that you want to listen to while you wander around, you’ve hit gold. If Daedalic doesn’t already, they need to put this out in a place where I can easily buy it. I would buy it in a heartbeat. This is the kind of soundtrack you dive into the install files for and hope you can just grab and not have to convert from FLAC or OGG.

When Deponia came out in August, I was in a bit of an adventure game marathon. I go through them every once in awhile and I was playing every point and click adventure game I could get my hands on. After five or six, I burned out. As happy as I was to see another Deponia, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to play Chaos on Deponia right now. It managed to convince me otherwise. This, and the sequel that will hopefully be turned around at a good pace like this, make that long wait until Double Fine Adventure all the more bearable.