It’s the year 2095. Team Fortress 3, Portal 3, and Half Life 3 are all ready to launch! First, however, Gaben needs lunch… and then everything goes horribly wrong.
GabeN: The Final Decision is yet another RPGMaker title. You follow the story of Gaben (Gabe Newell) as he gets the long awaited TF3, HL3, and Portal 3 ready to launch with the Triple Steam Summer Sale. After going to get lunch, he heads back to his computer to find that everything is gone. The only possible explanation? The Illuminati of course!
If you couldn’t guess it already, The Final Decision is a massive meme game. At first, it handles it really well. Then the game goes completely off the rocker when Gaben is sent into the depths underneath the police station. This was after they had tried to arrest him and his friend Mike. For the first bit of the game you’re actually treated with enemies/characters from Valve games. Once you start getting into actual encounters though… Well, hope you like default RPGMaker enemies!
For quite awhile the story becomes non-existent. And then as soon as you’re back in a “city”, you suddenly get to meet up with Gordon Freeman and then you’re tossed off to try and get to the final boss rush. The last boss feels completely forced and doesn’t even really make much sense. Granted, very little of the story actually made sense, but at least I expected it going in. Some sort of half logic to the final boss would have been nice though instead of it just being “Hey, look, here’s this guy Gaben just offed at the very start of the game!”
The main portion of the game takes place in the underground, however. You need to go to three different wings, each one representing a different element. What it really means, though, is that each wing has the same enemies just recoloured to fit with the area you’re in. And as I previously mentioned, the enemies are just default from RPGMaker. They don’t make sense, even in this messed up world.
If that wasn’t enough, the encounter rate is absolutely insane. I’m talking ever 1-5 steps you’ll have an encounter. This turns every encounter into a chore of just hitting Attack over and over again as it becomes the fastest way to wipe them out. You’ll also level at an insane rate, and each level you gain heals you back up.
The combat system is rather bland as well. As I said, you’ll typically just be hitting Attack for the encounters. For bosses, you move into the realm of actually using skills. Then there’s the final boss, otherwise known as my 30+ minute struggle of running out of items before I finally got into a good pattern of spamming the shield skill every turn and just having Gaben attack and restore MP. The difficulty of the bosses seems all over, with the only bosses that actually pose a real threat being GladDOS and the final boss. The GladDOS fight isn’t even really that fun. Struggle to get through, burn a core, rinse, repeat.
The chances you have to get new equipment are extremely limited. There’s only really two chances to do so – before you head into the dungeon and before the final bosses. My suggestion is to just try and grab the best weapon you can, at least for one of the characters, followed by some defensive gear, and then finally some healing stuff. You won’t really use the healing items for most of the game but it’s good to get it for the final fights (and GladDOS).
Is GabeN: The Final Decision worth it? No, not really. Not unless you’re really into all the memes in it, and even then it might be iffy. The story is shaky, the encounter rate is just insane, most of the enemies don’t make sense, and text box colour will burn your eyes out. I mean sure, at least the creator apparently did get permission to use all of these characters. That doesn’t excuse how default the sprite for Gaben looks. Or the sprite for Gordon Freeman. Or really, most of the sprites. My final decision on this game is to say to just pass it and play one of the better RPGMaker games on Steam.
GabeN: The Final Decision Review Score
I’ll give them a point for at least having some enemies make sense. There’s not much else redeemable about this game however.