You’ve played the game but have you felt it.
I thought I’d present my experience of OutCry and offer up my opinions on the story.
I wondered as I played (as most did I’m sure), where was all of this going but it wasn’t until the very last scene that all the elements that made up the game came rushing back and ‘clicked’’. The subtle nuances that had no significance at first sight played their part in telling the whole picture. I hadn’t had that feeling since M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Sixth Sense’s”.
Let me see, on the surface, the game was about a writer who upon finding out that his brother, a university professor, has died decides to follow in his footsteps. Perhaps to discover the significance of the professors work and then write about it. It certainly appeared that the brother of this professor followed his footsteps into incomprehensible worlds.
The ending of the game shows the brother/writer drowning and the young professor unable to save him. How can this be? How can the player’s character have died in his youth and still exist in adulthood? The answer is easy; the writer never existed into adulthood except in the mind of the professor. A mind that has been riddled with guilt and depression ever since. The professor blames himself for ‘pushing’ his brother into helping him with his steamboat on that winter day. The professor never pursued a curiosity in inventing a machine that enters other worlds. He was running a way from pain and pursued something to numb that pain. The game as a whole was played out in the professor’s drug induced mind.
Let’s look at some of the “Shyamalan” element’s that gave hindsight clues to this.
1.The old film like effects that represent old home movies or events that have happened. The replaying of events.
2.No pictures of the professor’s adult life or his brother. Seems life for the professor stopped when his brother died.
3.All paintings where sad. No up lifting paintings, just depression.
4.The description of Albertia having the effect of dual personality.
5.The diary states that the professor would like to erase that tragic childhood memory but can’t. It’s “unbearable”.
6.Anemus (sp?), the man on the tram saying that “the person you are looking for is no longer here”. This has a different meaning in hindsight.
7.The professors withdraw from lectures, not paying bills and just generally not caring what happens to him.
8.The professor, during the game, trying to protect his brother to the point of over protection. Perhaps to make up for what he couldn’t do in the past. This is exampled by warning his brother not to follow in his footsteps, blowing the fuse for the chamber, correcting or erasing his memory of the dog attack.
There are probably more examples but it’s been a few weeks now. I do remember feeling sad for this individual who has had a life time of suffering over a tragic event and in the end may have taken his life to end the pain.
Definition – Outcry: A loud cry. Strong reaction.