Gameco Studies released “Mozart Requiem” on Sept. 6, 2022, on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC (Steam), stating over 30 hours of gameplay. A single player game and a murder-mystery insinuates a casual gameplay full of content and thrillers.
Despite such promising excitement, the studio and developers screwed up “Mozart Requiem” in too many ways, and the best parts are completely overshadowed. The first five minutes of the opening scene and grabbing my PS4 controller to move Mozart made me laugh so hard because of how awful it looked.
Let me say it again: the first five minutes.
The opening act sets the theme and city of Prague, Czech Republic in the 1780s, where classical music and sceneries of the playable locations are presented (also stated to be historically accurate). You play as Mozart, preparing the music score for “Don Giovanni” (a famous opera by the real Mozart) in the hotel room. As Mozart, we ran errands to the opera theater and the castle of the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, before visiting the Freemason’s headquarters. A consensus to accept the new musical apprentice needed to be made, but the prodigal boy plagiarized one of Mozart’s symphonies, resulting in a rejection. When the leader of the Freemason, Shultz, went to tell the fraud his rejection, the boy was found dead. Essentially, Mozart was framed, and the player needs clear his name and uncover the occult conspiracies regarding the hidden, magical “power” to save the emperor.
At a base level, the plot is mediocre and cliché because nothing positively or negatively stands out. The pace of the plot is solely on the player because it is a point-and-click game: in other words, keen eye perception and logical combination of objects determines how fast the player can move on to the next step.
The music was opera and classical based, so it reinforced the theme well. Despite that, there were no musical moment that was distinctive, which means “Mozart Requiem” did well enough with their music score. And yes, adding some of Mozart’s real symphonies did create a sense of historical accuracy.
However, the voice-acting and the script were a little funky at times The script needs a little revision because for a 10+ age rating, inviting someone into a room coyly and asking to be penetrated are two very different things. Fortunately, the dialogue did not repeat after the subtitles.
Another minor problem pertains to generalized programming, resulting in glitches. Instead of using the left analog stick to move, you click and Mozart will move to the designated location (similar to PC or mobile games). The first couple of times walking over and through a 2D house wasn’t the problem. It happened like most games, and “Mozart Requiem” kept it to a minimum. Nonetheless, my Mozart managed to get stuck off screen, and I had to reload from my last save point, repeating a few things once more. “Mozart Requiem” does not have the autosave function, so it is highly suggested to save frequently. Furthermore, there was one incident where I couldn’t have access into the room Mozart needed to complete his task, and therefore, I had to reload the last save point to regain access to the room.
For majority of the time, the graphics were the best aspect of the game. The graphics were above average and helped enhance an immersive experience in the beginning, until parts were noticeably choppy as the story progresses. For example, all humans and animals were boxy in high definition, like the middle-ground graphics between old and new “RuneScape.” Some conversational scenes were hilariously off-putting because the spatial distance between a standing Mozart, an aristocratic lady sitting on the bench, and the bench itself was poorly placed. In addition, towards the end of the game, one cutscene was poorly rendered, where the humans, room, and objects stayed rectangular.
Ironically, Hoplite Research (developers) did amaze with their central interpretations of what is the hidden power. The hidden lore between reading books and the leading suspense of the secret plot twist was well written. As Mozart, you solve mini-games and mini-puzzles, which distracts you from putting what-seems-like-random facts together. In hindsight, the answer should have been obvious, but the unexpected concept is a win for “Mozart Requiem.”
However, the main problem of the game was the mini games. Essentially, there were no hints nor a skip option when players were stuck, meaning players were expected to figure out the rules themselves and then solve. But if they cannot understand the rules or solve, they cannot continue the storyline. Furthermore, Mozart was a historical composer, implying that music would be a part of it in one way or form. If you are not knowledgeable in basic music notes or are tone-deaf, you can spend thirty minutes or more on one mini game, like myself. Instead, you would be resorting to pattern-memory solutions or guessing the answers all the way through.
Can Mozart Requiem give you over 30 hours of gameplay? Technically yes, because most of the time you are concentrating on the puzzles, but it is not 30 hours of content. With a bare minimum knowledge of music reading and being tone-deaf, the game was completed in 15 hours. Anyone with more music knowledge would finish the game even quicker.
Was the game that bad? Mozart Requiem isn’t a terrible game per se; it just isn’t worth $29.99. If the price value dropped to $9.99, then the price would be fair, considering some games at $4.99 or lower are great like Elder Scroll Online.
Interestingly enough, I also have my own plot-twist researching a few things. “Mozart Requiem” isn’t a new game, but a remastered version released in the USA and Canada, meaning Gameco Studio only worked on the graphics and there is no other change in any other aspects. In French, but translated to English, “Mozart: The Last Secret” was initially released in 2008 as a PC game. In Dutch, but translated to English, “Mozart: The Conspirators of Prague” was also released in 2009 as a PC game. Yet, it was falsely advertised as a new game based on graphics with a new game trailer in 2022.
Hoplite Research could have made this work if they advertise it as a remastered version or simply lowered price. They could have just scrapped this game, since it didn’t do well in France, and create a whole new plotline. Also, why would there be a decision to launch a PC game through gaming consoles be a possibility, if the game mechanics were still based on PC mechanics (click and point)? Truthfully, the time they wasted on redesigning the graphics should have been put towards something else because now, “Mozart Requiem” is just a money-grab game and money-grabs are borderline scams.
“Mozart Requiem” is exclusive to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC at GameStop stores and Steam online.
The Slate welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.