Reviewed by Gavin Herman
Platform Tested: Xbox Series X
“How would you spend your last day on Earth?”
Adios tells the story of two men spending a day together somewhere in Kansas in the early 90s. One is a farmer, the other is a hitman for the mob. The farmer has earned a few extra bucks on the side helping the hitman get rid of bodies by feeding them to his pigs, but he has decided enough is enough. They both know what that means.
The game takes place during the farmer's last day alive, which he spends doing his usual farm work with the help of the hitman. They talk, sharing observations about family, their jobs, life and death. It's a melancholic tale about sin, regret and redemption and it treats its subject matter with tact and respect, imbuing the mundanity of everyday life with an understated beauty.
Rick Zieff and D.C. Douglas deliver great performances as the farmer and the hitman, and their acting does a great job establishing the relationship between the two characters, and inviting you into it. They milk the goats, shovel the manure and do all the things that need doing on the farm, and they both know what will happen once the day is over. The hitman tries to persuade the farmer to change his mind, but he won't. He can't. You often have choices during the dialogues, and some of them are greyed out. Those are the things the farmer is thinking and feeling, but that he can't bring himself to say out loud.
While the story is well-executed, the game itself is not always a smooth experience. The farm work is often awkward, and the context-sensitive actions are not always intuitive. It's by no means disastrous, but it can distract from the somber tone when you fail to do basic things. There's not much to be frustrated by anyway: The game takes an hour or two to complete, and focuses completely on its storytelling.
The characters and location are well-realized, making the most of the game's low budget by focusing on the farm and painting the backdrop to the farmer's slow, quiet life in broad, expressive strokes. It's not exactly impressive, but it's confidently executed and just might surprise you with its artistry.
What matters most is that the story is expertly executed. The memorable characters and their quiet, understated relationship lingers long after the credits roll. It's a sad game, but it's also an exciting reminder of just how much more expressive potential videogames have. There is no other game like Adios, and that's exactly why you should play it.
- Gripping story
- Melancholy atmosphere
- Strong performances
- Awkward gameplay
- Stiff animations
- Minor glitches