Capricia Productions takes the very definition of a “concept album” and turns it up to eleven with their game called “Of Bird and Cage.” This is a game that is unlike any other game that I’ve played before and gives a whole new perspective on getting lost in the music. Here’s the official description from the Of Bird and Cage website: “Dive inside a disturbing metal album presented in a game. Based on ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Take the role of Gitta Barbot, a 25 year-old drug addict, as she struggles to escape her captor – Bres Lupus. The choices you make will have dire consequences all while you slowly lose your sanity…” So, what do we think about Of Bird and Cage? Is it a Billboard chart-topper or does it belong in the worst top 5?
Okay, I’m not going to lie, Of Bird and Cage’s story gets super convoluted at times and the entire first act seems to be a bit all over the place. However, once Act II begins, you realize that the first act was just setting up and providing some exposition for the rest of the story. While I don’t want to go into too much story detail, because that would pretty much ruin the experience, I do want to talk about the basic premise of the game for a minute. The story follows 25 year-old Gitta Barbot as she struggles with a crippling drug addiction, a hostile work environment, and abusive family and relationships. While I was playing Of Bird and Cage, there were times when I felt genuinely afraid of the people around me, there were times when I felt like I was in Gitta’s position, and it was terrifying. While I don’t have experience with drug addiction or abuse to the extent that Of Bird and Cage details, I feel like this game does a very good job at representing and demonstrating many of those feelings. I did feel incredibly engaged with the story throughout the couple of hours that it takes to complete the story, but I’m really struggling with understanding how I feel about the finale. After completing the final mission, there is a screen that asks streamers not to share the finale to the audience as it may ruin the experience for others, so I will abide by this request and you’ll just have to find out for yourself what happens. The only thing that I’ll say is I just don’t know how I feel about it.
Telling a Tale
Of Bird and Cage allows players to choose their own paths while playing the game in a gameplay style very similar to that of classic Telltale Games games like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead. Each choice you make will affect the progression of the story and character development for better or for worse. While this style of gameplay may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly is mine and I love the ability to carve various paths and the ability to reach multiple endings – it’s just the best. The Wolf Among Us is one of my favorite games of all time and I loved being able to get the same sort of feeling that I got from The Wolf Among Us while playing Of Bird and Cage; it’s clear that there was a lot of inspiration drawn from Telltale Games’ fairytale saga, while at the same time making it its own game.
The Sound of Music
The biggest part about Of Bird and Cage is the music. This game has a fantastic soundtrack, including work from Davidavi “Vidi” Dolev (Gunned Down Horses, Subterranean Masquerade), Kobra Paige (Kobra and the Lotus), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Ex-Guns N’ Roses), Rob Van Der Loo (Epica), Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), Casey Grillo (Ex-Kamelot), Rocky Gray (Ex-Evanescence), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria), Tina Guo, and Snowy Shaw (Ex-King Diamond, Ex-Therion). Of Bird and Cage is a concept album that has somehow been spun into the form of a video game; it’s extremely ambitious, but it just works. Of course, if metal isn’t really your typical music taste, then Of Bird and Cage might not be your kind of game, but it’s definitely worth checking out. While it is a primarily metal-based soundtrack, there is a ton of variety in the soundtrack, so it isn’t all metal.
So, should you play Of Bird and Cage? I would absolutely give this game a shot. If you can get around some wonky visuals, Of Bird and Cage is absolutely worth the $15 cost on Steam. If you love metal, I think that you’ll love Of Bird and Cage.