Of Bird and Cage
A (hard) rock opera video game.
A game that refuses to be pigeonholed, with the plot revealed through a metal album that adapts to your decisions! You play as Gitta, a lost soul trying to manage her drug addiction and toxic relationships. The story is told both through the gameplay and the soundtrack, with each track corresponding to a chapter of the game. One for fans of symphonic metal and games with adult themes.
Of Bird and Cage
All in! Games
Of Bird and Cage © ALL IN! GAMES S.A. 2020, developed by Capricia Productions LTD and published by ALL IN! GAMES S.A. All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are/or may be property of their respective owners
More than just another run of the mill narrative game, Of Bird and Cage is a whole new kind of experience. Instead of a series of music videos, the music carries you along through a 2-hour story. But the music here wasn't composed to accompany the gameplay: quite the opposite! The gameplay is there to immerse you in the music. Some of the biggest names in hard rock collaborated on this project from Arnold Nesis: Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal from Guns N' Roses, Rocky Gray from Evanescence, along with Kobra Paige (Kobra and the Lotus), Davidavi 'Vidi' Dolev (Gunned Down Horses), Rob van der Loo (Epica), Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria), Casey Grillo (Kamelot), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Tina Guo and Snowy Shaw (King Diamond, Therion).
This is a video-gaming metal album, or more of a rock opera, that tells a deconstructed version of Beauty and the Beast, with a dash of Stockholm Syndrome.
But be warned: the story it tells is dark, traumatic, and depressing. Drugs, alcohol, violence, gender violence, and squalor... it's got all the ingredients to send you on a downer. But if you've got a couple of hours to spare and you love it loud, it's well worth the journey.
You play as Gitta, 25-year-old waitress. Her father tried to murder her mother, and Gitta dreams of being a singer. You'll soon learn that you are addicted to a man-made drug, and that you start hallucinating whenever you are in withdrawal... which is often!
Our advice? Be ready to interact right from the outset, because the prologue contains Quick Time Events when you have to press the right buttons at the right time.
In terms of gameplay, you play in first-person in a 3D world, often in filthy and stifling rooms. From scene to scene, you'll need to observe your environment to spot the items you need for each mission and click on them to trigger an action. Some NPCs unlock scenarios through dialogue.
A little tip: remember to look out for the CDs. They are well hidden but found throughout the game, and they'll come in very handy.
Of Bird and Cage has a branching narrative and four different endings, so your choices have a real effect on what happens next.
We liked the fast pace of the game, which makes it stand out from most traditional narrative games. You just won't have time to get bored.
This does mean that it's a challenging game for gamers who aren't quick fingered with the keyboard or controller. You won't have much time to react, and it's all arranged to stay in time with the music. So while not all the mysteries are revealed when the timer reaches zero, once the song ends the game moves on, remembering what actions you took and what you weren't quick enough to get done. There's no going back and trying again.
Our favourite part? It has to be the soundtrack. The game is just a vehicle for the music, and the symphonic metal soundtrack is fantastic in your headphones.
Of Bird and Cage is an original experience that works surprisingly well, thanks to the synchronisation between the characters' actions and the lyrics of the songs. This is a gaming experience that takes you off the beaten track, but it's definitely not one for the kids.