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The Bradwell Conspiracy Review (PS4)

The Bradwell Conspiracy wants to reach the same heights as Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch, but thanks to woeful performance on PlayStation 4 and clunky, unreliable mechanics, it goes in the opposite direction. After an explosion at the Bradwell Stonehenge Museum starts to topple the building over, it’s yours and a companion’s job to escape and work out what’s going on. However, the experience resembles a slideshow more than you might think.

Aiming for a consistent 30 frames per second, the game rarely actually achieves it. A choppy frame rate plagues the game from beginning to end which in turn leads to hitches and pauses during gameplay and frame pacing issues. It’s a huge detractor from what little fun you may be having, making the game almost unplayable in its current state.

The problem is that while A Brave Plan has some neat ideas for this narrative-based adventure, they’re implemented poorly. As well as simply walking about the place, you’re equipped with a device that 3D prints the scannable objects around you. This can be used to construct makeshift bridges across gaps, transport keys, or solve puzzles – but the user interface that lets you place those pieces is a clunky mess. You’ll have to wrestle with fiddly controls that refuse to let you place an item in your desired position, while another feature that has you taking photos to communicate with your companion is completely unreliable.

Said mechanic asks you to take pictures in a very specific position to trigger any progress, otherwise the sidekick responds dumbfoundedly. She’s incredibly annoying, but at least Jonathan Ross puts in a good performance.

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