Every now and again you come across a game that surprises you and also makes you think about the wider impacts of the decisions people make, this is what you will experience with Headliner: Novinews. What starts off as a pretty basic premise turns into something far more complicated and engrossing than what you would have expected when you first get involved with Headliner: Novinews.
In Headliner: Novinews you are a news editor, in charge of controlling what your newspaper has as it’s main headlines. You start off each day by leaving your apartment and attending the newspaper offices. You are given a variety of headlines/stories you can publish or not publish. Once you have chosen what you want to publish you then make your way back home, but on your way home you see the consequences off your actions, you may even talk to a few of the inhabitants and see how their lives have been affected, in some cases how you interact with them also has an effect on the storyline.
Headliner: Novinews juggles many plot lines which have a massive effect on where you end up. You can choose to support the leader of Novistan, Wolff which means the government encourage you to publish more pro-Wolff articles, but you can also choose not to, resulting in the possibilities of Wolff being impeached or worse, you may even be asked to change your stance by a number of different entities. Health care is under threat, do you push for privatization or a NHS style healthcare, do you think increasing drug prices will result in better care or should lower prices be priority so more citizens can benefit? What’s your stance on the immigrants from Learis? Will a possible love interest persuade you to publish there articles instead of going with your gut? These are just a few of the many strands you will need to get to grips with, you may not even last long enough because of your choices resulting in the powers that be not being in favour of keeping you employed. There is also the interactions in the real world that will shape your adventure in Headliner: Novinews. Your brother is trying to crack the comedy circuit, do you keep reassuring him or do you ask him to focus on something else? Maybe the new drink that he’s been consuming isn’t something he should keep drinking, what do you say? Do you try to help a cop solve a crime, do you strengthen your relationship with a co-worker, will you advise the local shopkeeper to sell out, maybe you will adopt a dog or even a random drone. As you can see, there is a lot going on in Headliner: Novinews.
The choosing of which articles to publish is very straightforward, sometimes you will have a limit on how many you put through and there will be occasions where you will need to decide which one of two articles you will publish. The adventuring part of Headliner: Novinews is simply walking back to your apartment and interacting with some of the shops and people you come across. The way you respond to them will dictate future interactions. You have a job which you get paid for, this money can be used to buy things like dog food, it’s another element which can have an effect on your experience, so spend wisely, if you don’t feed that dog you adopted then don’t be surprised if it leaves. As you make your way home you will see certain events unfold before your eyes and speech bubbles randomly appear above people giving their thoughts on current affairs. The subject matter of Headliner: Novinews is very serious at times but is portrayed in a bold and colourful way. The only recurring issue you’ll find is that you can’t reverse your approvals, so if you accidentally approve/deny an article you can’t go back, you can reload and replay the day but it’s not ideal.
Headliner: Novinews script and dialogue is really good, the impending sense of dread as you know that your articles that were critical of the police or government will have a detrimental effect on your career and life is thoroughly involving and enjoyable. The two week cycle you play works really well and when it comes to an end you want to play it again. Headliner: Novinews has multiple endings, so the replay value is really high, you don’t really get different endings as such but more a summary of how your actions have had an effect on the world. Even the initial choosing of your character will make you think.
Headliner: Novinews is really fun game that is immersive and though provoking at the same time. There are a variety of stories to throw yourself into and each of the character are superbly written. Each run of Headliner: Novinews can be completed in an hour or two but there’s plenty of scope for replaying as you will want to go back and see how your choices change the world you live in. If you want to experience an adventure that makes you think then Headliner: Novinews is the perfect game for your aspiring editorial tendencies.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Headliner: Novinews Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Replay Value - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Headliner: Novinews is really fun game that is immersive and though provoking at the same time.