Brok the InvestiGator review (PS4)

Brok the InvestiGator blends classic adventure gaming with light beat ’em up action for a unique blend. Developed by COWCAT/Fabrice Breton, it recently launched on consoles after making a nice splash upon its Steam launch.

With its athropomorphic approach to an almost noir-like detective story, Brok reminded us a bit of Pendulo’s Blacksad: Under The Skin, which we enjoyed playing quite a bit. Here, if the title wasn’t clear enough, protagonist Brok is an alligator, in a futuristic world in which animals have taken over and there’s a class system that lets the privileged live inside a protective dome while everyone else has to make do with the polluted air outside.

And while you can play Brok the InvestiGator like a classic adventure game (by enabling its easy/non-violence mode), its main twist is that the game incorporates beat ’em up mechanics – sometimes offering Brok a way forward when talking doesn’t seem to lead anywhere. It’s an interesting dynamic, though compared to straight up brawlers the implementation is somewhat bare bones here.


One of the most interesting parts of Brok the InvestiGator, however, isn’t its dual gameplay mechanic, or even its main story – it’s the world that was built up around it, brought to life with full voice acting. Considering that there are over 20,000 lines of dialogue, that’s impressive for an indie production. For Brok, navigating this world means going back and forth between people living in different circumstances and managing his relationships with them as well as trying to solve the case in front of him – with some of his findings hitting a little close to home.

The adventure game part of the story is fairly typical of the genre, and builds on the developer’s experience with Demetrios – The Big Cynical Adventure. You’ve got your basic inventory management, some puzzles that require you to combine items before using them, and plenty of dialogue options. You can regularly switch to ‘action mode’ though, and this lets you beat the truth out of suspects or perhaps lets you go to town on the environment itself, uncovering something that was previously hidden in the process.


The interplay between the two modes it nice, and it’s good to be able to resort to the other mode if you hit a dead end. If that still doesn’t work out, there’s a built-in hint system, where you purchase clues with collectibles you find. The system features both generic hints that point you in the right direction and ones that flat out tell you what to do – each at a price. It’s a nice alternative to having to resort to a walkthrough, though we’re sure plenty of people will still play it that way.

When you switch over to fighting, there’s not much need for a walkthrough or hint system. Here, you have access to two attack types – a standard one and one that’ll launch you and your enemy into the air for a bit. A special attack can be activated once the associated meter fills up, but that’s about it. Over the course of the game you’ll level up by spending the money/xp you gather, but the basics remain the same – a novel touch, but no one should play this as an alternative to a regular beat ’em up game.

Instead, it’s a well made classic adventure game with an interesting twist. You also get to play as Brok’s adopted son Graff – who you can regularly switch to as another means to keep trying out things to progress. If you enjoy classic adventure games, which are rare on consoles, then this is a great option.

Score: 8.0/10

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