First posted on 01 August 2015. Last updated on 01 August 2015.
Goodbye Deponia is the third and final game of the Deponia trilogy from Daedalic Entertainment, following the release of both the original Deponia and the sequel Chaos on Deponia. While the game can be played as a standalone adventure, I strongly advise playing both of the previous games first so to better understand the evolving mythos of this series, particularly of the deep history underlying the world of Deponia and its colorful inhabitants.
The world of Deponia is unique in that it is composed of 3 distinct layers. The lowest layer, Deponia, is little more than a pile of junk and garbage that is used by the upper and middle layers, Elysium and the Organon, as a dumping ground (in German, the word "deponie" literally means dump). The zany denizens that dwell in Deponia are considered lower class of the society. When Deponia is targeted for total destruction by Elysium, a resistance group headed by Rufus, Goal, Bozo, Toni, and Doc is determined to thwart this plan overseen by the Organon and save the world. Apparently, the Council of Elders in Elysium has asked the Organon to investigate whether or not there is still life on Deponia before ordering for its destruction. The Organon, dwelling upon a network of huge monorail tracks built on high concrete structures, is a bureaucratic military led by Prime Controller Ulysses, Bailiff Argus, and Inspector Cletus that uses giant cruisers to police Deponia. For its own nefarious agenda, the Organon too wants Deponia blown up so that the bureaucrats there can also live out a life of luxury in Elysium. Elysium can only be reached by using a highboat via the Upper Ascension Station in Porta Fisco, where the headquarters for the Organon are located.
Upon starting the game, you are immediately presented with the Main Menu: Continue, New Game, Load/Save, Settings, Bonus, Credits, and Quit Game. After choosing to play a new game, you are offered a choice for inventory mode—to access the inventory by scrolling the mouse wheel or left-clicking the mouse button at the top right corner of the screen. Under Settings, you have the options (among others) to adjust various volumes, enable subtitling, and choose to play in either full screen or windowed mode. Under Bonus, you can view all previously unlocked cut scenes and achievements. Before starting the game proper, an interactive and humorous tutorial with Rufus and Toni offers you advice on how to use the game's interface.
The game begins with a cinematic cut scene that shows the Council of Elders affirming its plan to destroy Deponia as soon as the Organon can confirm that the planet is uninhabited. Like previous games in the series, Huzzah appears next to sing a ballad introducing the story. As before, you play the role of the free spirited and amateur inventor Rufus. Rufus is aboard Bozo's cutter on the monorail track, believing he is going fishing at the Sea of Shards. True to form, Rufus soon endangers Goal and company on board when they collide with a cruiser patrolled by the Organon. Fortunately, Rufus is able to free the cutter from the cruiser before heading to the haunted Hotel Menetekel. Along the way, however, Rufus must deal with a trio of tasks: finding Goal who has gone missing (again), getting on the highboat to get to Elysium, and preventing the Organon from destroying Deponia. Needless to say, these tasks are easier said than done. Above all, they will take more than just a "single" Rufus alone to solve.
Gameplay in Goodbye Deponia uses typical third-person point-and-click mechanics. The game uses only 3 cursors to denote available actions: to walk, to talk, and to use or take. There are a number of mini-games, all of which can be skipped by clicking on the skip button on the right side of the screen. There are also 15 platypus eggs randomly hidden throughout the game as well as 50 achievement awards for completing certain tasks in the game. Your progress is saved automatically when you exit the game, from which you can resume later when you restart playing. As well, you can manually save your progress and reload it later to continue. Active hotspots can be revealed by holding down the space bar or the mouse wheel. Pressing Esc during play returns you to the Main Menu.
The evolving plot in Goodbye Deponia is quite original. You will get to interact with no less than 50 zany characters, each with a personality as eccentric as the next. Additionally, you will need to manage over 130 items in the inventory. The game plays over 5 chapters. Each chapter is introduced by Huzzah who sings a ballad foreshadowing what is to come in the next phase of the story. The writing is humorous, witty, sarcastic, and at times quite noir, though also bordering on tacky. There is a poignant love story hidden somewhere, in a bent sort of a way. The cloning machine to create 3 different clones of Rufus gives rise to inventive situations but becomes a nightmare when solving puzzles. Who does what, where, and when, is often not easy to figure out. Rufus is funny, rough around the edges, and usually has no clue of what he is doing. Yet, he is there to save the day. The game has a twisted sense of logic. As such, you need to think outside the box when you decide on what to do next. The ending is somewhat unexpected, theoretically leaving the door open for yet another game in the series (despite being planned only as a trilogy) down the track.
The high-resolution, hand drawn 2D artwork in Goodbye Deponia is superb, frequently making you marvel at the intricate details of each scene. The visual styling pays homage to the steampunk genre, with lots of machineries, robots, and mechanical contraptions everywhere. Even the characters' costumes are a tribute to the genre. The characters are cartoonish in appearance and fully animated with great facial expressions. Lip synching is excellent. English localization from German is decent. The voiceovers are professionally done and sound great. In particular, Kerry Shale has done a wonderful job voicing Rufus. Sound effects are excellent. The singing by Huzzah and the singing of the Organon anthem are a joy to listen. Ambient and atmospheric music is played throughout the game and complements well the action at hand or the mood of the moment.
In sum, Goodbye Deponia provides a satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy series. The seemingly final fate of Rufus may leave some fans, who long for another Rufus adventure, a little disappointed. The game is deceptively long, offering some 15-20 hours of play time. While the game is suitable for all ages, younger gamers will likely miss out the more subtle noir humor. At the same time, some of the humor can be a little too tacky, so that parental guidance is also advised. The game has some replay value for obsessive gamers who want to collect all of the platypus eggs and achievement awards. For fans who have played previous games of the series, this game is a must play and an easy recommendation. You will not be disappointed.