Fancy an existential walk in a
variety of planetary environments? Where the story is the thing, and
even moreso what you make of it, and its telling comes through your
tenacity for looking everywhere? If so, this might be for you.
A colony is missing. You and
Wilco the AI can find out why.
This is less a game, and more a
narrative experience (to borrow from elsewhere), with a large somewhat
philosophical bent. Having said that, I confess to not being a
philosopher, and to the fact that philosophical contemplation does not
generally ring my bells. So in truth perhaps I wouldn’t know what a
philosophical bent actually was if I saw it. Maybe metaphysical is a
better word, or perhaps thoughtful is enough. Certainly it is the last,
so I will go with that, and leave it to those more learned in those
other fields to make comment.
Whatever the descriptor, we are
barely 60 seconds in when Elizabeth Woolgather ponders about worm holes
and the “reality” of time travel, and where memories go when we bend
time. Artifacts, mysterious voices, empathic anomalies, and a strange
vapour are all part of the mix.
I doubt you will be ambivalent
about De-Void. Either you will embrace it or you won’t. It will be
contemplative, metaphorical and perhaps even moving, or a walk looking
for a purpose.
Regardless of which, it’s a
reasonably detailed walk, if a little sterile, although the look suits
what is happening storywise. There is no one here, so a stark and
somewhat drab environment adds to the mood. And the visuals aren’t
really the point. There needs to be somewhere for the experience to
occur, but they are there to hang the story on, and to give you
somewhere to look for the next bit.
The voice acting is good, the
save game system not quite so. Played in four chapters, De-Void
autosaves at the end of each one. They are relatively short, which makes
it less an issue, but get to the end of a chapter or start again.
The keyboard us used to move
around, although you can map locomotion to the mouse (or anywhere else
for that matter). I use the right mouse for forwards, and the left mouse
to interact with the environment. You have free movement both in terms
of where you can go and the extent to which you can look all around you.
There aren’t inventory items, but there are plenty of things to look at,
and terminals to read, and you do have to find a thing or two. The main
one is the AmbER helmet, enabling you to experience the anomalies
through Wilco’s senses.
Plus engage in interesting
dialogue with … something/one.
The path straight through is
certainly less than an hour, although to be fair you won’t know what
that path is, but if you explore absolutely everywhere it will probably
max out at not a whole lot more than three hours. The story warrants
doing the latter. Find and read everything you can, as it builds the
layered discourse, as well as adding depth and things to ponder.
I confess De-Void didn’t grab
me, but it did draw me on to the (albeit abrupt) ending. However you
feel about it, there is room for more games like this, and I hope people
keep making them. I have “played” a few like this, with differing
responses. Gaming is a rich tapestry, and the more threads there are the
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz
RAM: 32GB GDDR5
Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB
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