Beholder 3 Playtest is an exciting sneak peek at the third installment in the Beholder series. This time with new developers, the third indie game of the series promises to take after both its predecessors.
Remember that this is a playtest! It’s a work in progress and isn’t representative of the developers final vision for Beholder 3.
Still, we cannot resist this opportunity! For those who missed the Playtest, we’ll discuss it here.
Let’s see what the Ministry has in store for us.
The new Beholder has the same publisher as the previous games. That said, the developer is new, and this is their first title.
Beholder 3 is being created by an indie game studio Paintbucket Games, which is based in Germany.
Given that the studio was founded by former AAA developers, it is interesting to see how their experience will translate into Beholder 3.
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After a mysterious and unfortunate event, the playable character Frank Schwarz loses his job. In fact, he is supposed to lose much more than that, but he is given a second chance by the Ministry.
Now, the Ministry needs you to help Frank in his duties as a landlord and undercover spy. You will take care of the house while spying on the tenants and ensuring that they are good, law-abiding citizens.
Despite being a Playtest, which can be finished in an hour or so, the demo has a couple of endings and enough worldbuilding to create a stifling atmosphere of a dystopian, totalitarian world.
The Playtest has a complete storyline and looks a little like a tutorial and a little like a first chapter of the game.
We are looking forward to learning more about the plot of Beholder 3. It promises a lot of intrigue based on the Playtest!
The gameplay is incredibly diverse despite the fact that it is just a Playtest. You can consider Beholder 3 Playtest a stealth task-based puzzle with consequences for finishing or not finishing certain tasks. You need to hurry against the clock to earn money, talk to people, find evidence, and so on.
The Playtest takes your duties as a landlord seriously. You are supposed to take care of the household chores in the common rooms.
But everybody knows what the job is really about. You are supposed to talk to the tenants and befriend them to get information out of them!
You can also open the doors to any apartment since you have spare keys and search the rooms. Peeking through a peephole is a good option too, but only if you do not have hidden cameras to place in the apartments.
Just remember to be stealthy because your silly tenants still believe that their privacy is more important than safety.
And once you have enough information, you can return to your monitors and write reports to the Ministry. Or blackmail people. Or do both because your money is short, and you need it to maintain the house. And to buy more cameras.
If a citizen you need to condemn has been doing nothing illegal recently, you can always plant some evidence while they are away.
The good, so to speak, ending hints at more gameplay opportunities. You will probably be working two jobs rather than one. The Steam page proves that suspicion: you are meant to work both as a landlord and (officially, at the very least) as a clerk at the Ministry.
However, that aspect of the gameplay was not introduced in the Playtest.
The fans of the previous two games will notice that the Playtest is mostly taking after the first game. But the influence of the second one is visible as well. It looks like Beholder 3 might be a fusion of the two!
The worldbuilding in the Playtest is great, and it takes after the previous two installments.
For one, you have the opening sequence, which already gives you an idea of the totalitarian world Frank lives in. But then, there are regulations, descriptions of different items, and, of course, conversations with other people.
Every character in Beholder 3 Playtest shows a bit of their personality as you talk to them, trying to solve your quests.
To add to that, there are the sound design, music, and stylized graphics.
Now, the sound design is not finished yet, so some characters don’t have their voice lines recorded. Still, you can figure out what Beholder 3 might sound like. The hushed tones of the unintelligible gibberish the characters say adds to the overall atmosphere of fear and the feeling of being watched.
The characters are black, white, and red blobs with few facial features. They are not quite faceless, but their design can be somewhat unsettling and somewhat cute.
The music, like always in the Beholder series, is amazing. It adds to the atmosphere of danger, and it can remind the listener of the previous games, but it is quite unique.
The Playtest’s menus are rather convenient, and they include everything you need: from regulations to tasks to bills that you have to pay.
The quest tab might be a little excessive given that the quests appear on the screen without it.
Also, it might not be immediately obvious how to add evidence to the profiles of tenants. Even if you do find the icon at the corner, you might click it over and over without any feedback. The feedback comes after you close the item’s menu. And then you can go and make the Ministry proud by writing some reports.
The Decision to Arrange a Playtest
Let’s take the time to thank the developers for arranging the Playtest. It looks very, very good, and its atmosphere feels just like the previous games. Personally, we found just one typo and no translation errors that the first game has, which makes the Playtest look quite polished.
Still, any feedback from players should help to make the future game better.
Thank you to the developers for this opportunity and to all players for their undoubtedly great feedback!
Beholder 3, which is a stealth task-based puzzle game with elements of management, has received an early Playtest. Meant to be released in 2022, the game holds similarities both with the first and second games of the series.
The Playtest was a great opportunity to experience the game and provide feedback to improve its final version.
It would not be fair to rate the game based on a Playtest, but just to be sure, we’ll say that the Playtest was quite polished. We are looking forward to learning more about Beholder 3, its expert worldbuilding, and its intriguing plot!
You can wishlist Beholder 3 on Steam.