Farewell Rufus, your arrogance will be missed…
And so we come to the final installment in Daedalic Entertainment’s Deponia trilogy, a game centered around Rufus, an inhabitant of the trash-ridden Deponia who wants nothing more than to live the good life in the much more appealing floating Elysium.
So much has already happened in the previous two games that jumping in at this final point would seem a somewhat wasted experience. Indeed, the developers themselves are making the assumption that the player at least has some knowledge of what has gone before and are offering very little by way of recap for the new player who is late to the party. Early on in Goodbye Deponia, Rufus will make the acquaintance of Barry, his overenthusiastic fan. Through a standard conversation tree, the player will be able to quiz Barry about the previous adventures of Rufus and give them a vague, albeit somewhat inflated, idea about his heroism. This interesting conversation doesn’t really substitute for a proper recap, but it may jog the memories of those who played the other games.
However, it does also remind of what an obnoxious character Rufus is. Y’see, while Rufus is basking in the adoration of his fan Barry, his ever tolerant girlfriend, Goal, is in need of being rescued. Rufus may not be the most likable hero ever seen in a point and click adventure, but he is certainly one of the most interesting. Figuring out just how he can mess things up is half of the fun.
Anyway, whether you like Rufus or not, he still resolutely moves forward on his quest to ditch Deponia for the much more appealing Elysium. There is also the rather less important quest of saving Deponia from destruction, but let’s not let this minor detail get in Rufus’ way.
As the third and final entry in the series, Goodbye Deponia already has the mechanics down. The game would not have reached this point if it didn’t work, and so we have a fairly standard left click/right click point and click adventure, with the choice of a mouse wheel click or on screen button to access the extensive inventory.
As so many of the puzzles are object related in the game, a large inventory makes sense, but can be somewhat tedious to sort through, especially for those moments when combining two items doesn’t make much logical sense. Alongside the object puzzles, which will require a healthy amount of searching, the player will spend plenty of time engrossed in conversations to proceed. Thankfully the dialogue is pretty well written, sprinkled with humour to keep the player entertained.
And then there are the self contained puzzles, the mini-games that offer an optional break from the story for the player. These are generally quirky, as everything is in the Deponia games, and quite good fun, but can be skipped if the player finds them too taxing.
The highlight, as before, is the cast of strange characters that the player has to interact with. In Goodbye Deponia, as befits the final game in the trilogy, many of the more interesting characters return, but there are a few new characters that fit in with the series’ love of the odd. In true finale fashion, Goodby Deponia makes a final attempt at explaining the motivations of some characters, including our hero Rufus. I won’t say that it explains why Rufus is such an idiot, but it does offer some hints.
It seems as though Goodbye Deponia has more areas to visit than the previous games, and as always they are created with a fine sense of detail. Goodbye Deponia fills the scenes with little things to look at, small animations that you can spot from the corner of your eye, or details that will make you smile.
The cartoon visual style has been perfected through the game and there are no problems here. Everything looks impeccably finished. The voice work, which is so often flawed in adventure games that move away from their native language, is also well done here. The production value across the entire game is top notch.
But the real question for a game that concludes a trilogy – does it wrap everything up in a conclusive manner? Well, Goodbye Deponia has a nice ending and the majority of of the threads are wrapped up satisfactorily. Maybe not every question is answered, but this has been a long series with a lot of characters, so it can be forgiven.
Goodbye Deponia easily stands as the best title in the Deponia series, and a very good classic point and click adventure. That being said, there would be very little point in jumping in the story at this point. The Deponia series is episodic in nature, despite the length of its games, and should be played in sequence, enjoyed from start to finish. Just don’t try and do it all at once.